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Posted: 2008-02-16 06:40am
by Chris OFarrell
Starglider wrote:
Chris OFarrell wrote:Of course, they might rob a bookstore or four and walk way with every Jane's publication in the last decade for the same effect.
I doubt that would be terribly useful without a lot of cultural and technological context the demons don't have. 'The Big Book of Warfare (ages 8 to 12)' * would probably be more useful.
No, but as Slade has pointed out, they are not dumb, just ignorant, horribly so. It might take months for them to really start to understand effects, if never the cause, but even some of the basics are readily understandable. Ranges of weapons measured in kilometers, blast effects of munitions, speeds of aircraft, its all raw stuff, but its gross enough to start to understand the SCOPE of the way humans wage war.

Some of the 'before' and 'after' pictures of nukes going off might be a bit of a shock as well. Someone get them a copy of Terminator II and watch them freak when th nuke goes off :D

Posted: 2008-02-16 10:58am
by Aranfan
I'd like a copy of "The Big Book of Warfare" do you know where I can get one?

Posted: 2008-02-16 01:09pm
by Starglider
Aranfan wrote:I'd like a copy of "The Big Book of Warfare" do you know where I can get one?
I think the PC crowd forced a renaming. Seriously, the progressive sense of horror that would ensue should a demon lord get a hold of a copy of something similar would be rather amusing.

Posted: 2008-02-16 03:49pm
by Balrog
Presumably Hell has been receiving the dead before the fighting started, right? Wouldn't they then just go find some modern scientist or soldier locked in a pit and torture them into revealing information?

Posted: 2008-02-16 04:02pm
by Einhander Sn0m4n
Starglider wrote:I think the PC crowd forced a renaming. Seriously, the progressive sense of horror that would ensue should a demon lord get a hold of a copy of something similar would be rather amusing.
I think the Baldricks' warfighting capability compared to our civilization is rather like that of the Borg versus the Galactic Empire at its absolute peak. We know how that affair turned out. :lol:

Now imagine the Borg getting a hold of a twelve-petabyte (give or take) sabacc-table holobook on Republican and Imperial warfare through the ages available to any Republican/Imperial citizen with the funds to purchase it or pay for the Holonet connection to pirate the thing. I predict spectacularly epic lulz ensuing from the monumental conniption-fit our favorite space vampires would pitch. Teraton-level capital-starship weapons casually bandied about would be our Uberwankatine Iron Chariots so ubiquitous on the battlefield.

And I have a suspicion the Baldricks and the Borg could forge steel and Chobham or Star Destroyer shield generators and armor respectively with the same ease: None. :twisted:

Posted: 2008-02-16 04:47pm
by Stuart
Balrog wrote:Presumably Hell has been receiving the dead before the fighting started, right? Wouldn't they then just go find some modern scientist or soldier locked in a pit and torture them into revealing information?
It's critical to remember the mindset here. To the demons (and to the angels come to that) humans are just feedstock, cattle. They don't care about us or know any more about what we think than we do about cows in a slaughter yard. Less in fact, as humans we at least try to make slughter yards as humane as circumstances allow, the demons don't even do that.

Also, because their length of life is so long, they don;t look at time the same way as we do. After all, in human development, the switch from what was basically a modified bronze age Army to the modern mechanized force has taken four human lifetimes (4 x 70 = 280) so without that change we would be looking at an Army of the 17th century which still used pikes the only difference between them and a macedonian phalanx being the replacement of bows and arrows with muskets (a change many might argue was of minimal practical importance). That's the key to what's happened - the change in human military capability is incredibly profound and very, very fast. Its happened in demon terms between two eye blinks. (And what brought it on - look when science and reason replaced blind faith in a critical portion of the population).

Also, even if the demons did understand what was happening, the "torture them into revealing information?" won't work. These people are being tortured all the time anyway. All more of the same will do is tell them they know something very important that the demons need to know very badly so the souls in question can hit back at them by keeping their mouths shut - and they won't be any worse of for so doing.

There are 90 billion souls in hell. To do what you suggest means that the demons would ahve to sort through them, find the ones who know what they need, find the ones of those who can explain what they need, find the ones of those who are prepared to and then understand the answer.

"The M1A2 Abrams is a standard main battle tank armed with a 120mm 44-caliber smoothbore gun equipped witha fume extractor and a ballistic computer. It is protected by a mixture of rolled homogenous armor with inserts of Chobham composte armor and depleted uranium mesh. It is powered by an AGT-1500 gas turbine and has torsion bar suspension."

I reckon there are three words there that a demon would understand. They need an explanation to understand the explanation of the explanation of the explanation. Even then it won't mean anything. These things never do. Nobody understands what a nuclear initiation is actually like until you've heard the road, seen the flash and felt the ground shake under your feet.

Posted: 2008-02-16 04:49pm
by Stuart
Wadi Abu Tahir, Western Iraq, late afternoon

Memnon snorted in disgust as he watched the young human die. He stared into those cow-like eyes as they fluttered and the hands feebly clawed at his infernal flesh. He could feel the soul within stirring now as the meat caging it finally ceased its life functions. He casually allowed the corpse the slide out of his grip and he was quiet for a long moment, listening. The humans were about in large numbers and he was no fool. His wings would take time to regenerate and his flesh was still aching from his wounds. Their spears of plastic and metal spat hot burning bolts that could wound even his great personage. This was not the way it was to be. Go find them and challenge them, he was told. They will cower before you. He had found the humans but their chariots of steel and plastic were far too powerful for him. He had lost two wing mates already and he was in no condition to meet them again. Not yet, anyway.

Memnon smiled cruelly. When he did, there would be blood. Enough to drown a thousand human infants, and then the pain would come. Sweet melodic pain. Memnon’s eyes fluttered and the never born knew that it was time to rest. His prey had been bested and he had claimed a lair for himself. At least long enough to heal the wounds and allow his spirit flesh to sing to the domain he called home. This wretched place of cloying life and limited matter was not to his liking. He was his own being and he needed rest.

“Just for a little while.” Memnon growled and curled down onto the floor next to the corpse of the boy. He looked with contentment at the place that surrounded him for sprawled out across the couch was an older woman, head turned completely around and leering at him while a younger woman was impaled on a broken piece of furniture, scream frozen on her face. All were small offerings to the Morningstar and his Prince to watch over him in this moment of weakness. He would repay them with more flesh and blood when he was whole again.

Wadi Abu Tahir, Western Iraq, just before dawn

A single eye snapped open at the sound of the tea pot whistle and Memnon spoke. “For disturbing me in this moment of respite, you shall know such wonders of pain, I will make a cathedral of your bones and sinew and your agony will be my choir, pathetic human.” He snarled coldly at the young Arabic man who now shared the high-roofed barn that was now his den. A man dressed in plain khakis and a billowy white shirt opened at his chest who nodded politely to Memnon and knelt cross legged across from him as he delicately poured himself a cup of tea. The steam rose lazily from the ancient chipped porcelain. It had been brewing on the stove and the smell wafted over to the groggy demon.

“Peace and blessing be upon you, Fallen One. Your absence still saddens my patron.”

Memnon paused. He stirred more now, unfurling like some obscene spider, long leathery limbs reaching out as he rose with eyes like cold embers pinning the young man with a predatory gaze. “Slave of the Nameless One.” Memnon inclined his head with bitter sarcastic politeness as he smelled the clean scent of the Angelic.

“Care for a cup?” the Angelic asked with a child like innocence as he sipped his own, for a brief moment he closed his eyes and seemed to savor the tea like one savored the sensation of forced coupling.

“You’re all whores to your senses, you know that, don’t you?” Memnon chuckled darkly, his cloven hooves clomping on the packed earth floor like a caged bull as he paced back and forth before the kneeling man.

“This world is delight and rapture. It is the fulfillment of all and the joy of bliss.” The young man sighed as he inhaled the aroma from the tea cup.

Memnon said nothing. They liked to talk, they liked to taste, they liked to savor, these slaves of the Nameless.

“What is the purpose of this world if not to delight in its wonders? You must remember, surely, how bright it is in our Ethereal Realm. How the chorus of praise and supplication a constant backdrop to the great one above us all as he basks in our light of selfless devotion.” He continued in a soft whisper like leaves on silk.

“What manner of slave are you, eh? Cherub, perhaps?” Memnon asked silkily. How frail he looked just sitting there, it stirred his predatory urges like a woman’s breast called to a male. Memnon clomped forward a bit, talons gleaming dangerously.

The Angelic inclined his head and closed his eyes and listened to intently for a moment, he looked absolutely beautiful, like a statue carved of perfect alabaster, there was not a blemish on his skin and his body moved with a sublime grace that would have made a human weep. Was it a wonder that these bastards had their way with the women of this wretched place while his kin had to forcibly take what they wanted? Was it any wonder they were always the ones the Nameless sent in his stead to speak for him.

Always put your best face forward they say. They were such supple and elegant heralds. How could the humans resist worshipping the Nameless One when these were the ones he sent in its name? If the humans could only see what they actually worshipped, now that would be worth the price of admission, no?

“It is so…quiet here.” The Angelic announced with tears welling in its eyes. “No maddening chorus always haunting your every thought, no cries of baseless devotion, no shrieks of joyous revelation. Just. Silence.” There was a sadness there, deep and abiding.

Memnon could stand it no longer, it maddened him to see this abject weakness paraded before him. “Slave!” he roared.

There was a rip and whirl of taloned hands and leathery limbs flashing forward and the angelic merely raised his head as if offering his throat to his attacker but it gestured with its hand and Memnon was catapulted off his feet and landed in a heap against the far wall of the shack, shaking the entire frame to its core.

The angelic was off his feet and had crossed the room in a single stride in between heart beats and he had a flawless alabaster hand wrapped around Memnon’s throat. Without a grunt of effort, the Angelic hoisted the still stunned Harpy off his feet and held him high above him. The eyes were no longer human but white within white and there was a low sound growing around him like a chorus of women slowly building up tempo.

“I am Appoloin, servant to Gabriel-Lan, Seraph of the Hosts of Michael-Lan, Devout Servant and Herald of He Above All Others. You will listen to my words and heed them.”

“I…listen.” Memnon managed to choke out.

“Are you certain?” Appoloin asked tightly and there was a cold smile on his face. Oh, yes they were beautiful, but they were also terrible in their wrath. These humans worshipped the Nameless with such zeal and spoke of his Perfect Love never really discussing that when the time came for punishment it was these beautiful angels that delivered death and destruction without hesitation or remorse. In the end, human morality was just as alien to this beautiful creature as it was to Memnon.

“Yes, Appoloin. I attend your words.” Memnon stammered.

“We are watching. Tell your prince that. The One Above All has spoken yet he sees vile repugnant defiance from humanity. The Great Chorus must not be disturbed. The Chanting must not cease. Your ilk were given this world and we see nothing but abhorrent failure. We do not want to take a more active role. Uriel awaits on the ether like a sword of Damocles.”

“Uriel?!” Memnon exclaimed.

“Last he moved upon man, the Land of Khemet wept bitter tears. Do not force our hand. Cow them. Stop the defiance. Should they find a way to disrupt the Chorus we will end this charade once and for all.” Gabriel jerked Memnon down to face him, tusk to nose.

“Clear, foul one?” Appoloin replied like ice and hurled the Never Born back through the wall of the shack. Corrugated tin and sheet rock gave way and Memnon found himself running before he even realized he was touching ground again.

“Peace be with you.” Appoloin whispered into the dawn wind and calmly sat back down to enjoy his tea.

He was disturbed in his tranquility by a roar and a clattering noise that shook dust from the ceiling of the hut and spoiled his tea. Dawn had still only half arrived but standing at the door, he could see a hulking brute made of square boxes sitting in the road. Two more of the same were behind it and three smaller brutes. Appoloin looked more carefully, there were twenty thin black rings painted around the long tube that stuck out of the upper box. The there was a squeaking noise and something opened from the top. At first Appoloin thought it was one of the foul ones but then he saw it was a human. With his eye for beauty, he saw her as comely, and buxom even by the standards of the daughters of Ham.

Lieutenant Keisha “Hooters” Stevenson didn’t feel comely. She was gray with exhaustion, her hair under her communications helmet was matted and her scalp stinging with sweat. She and the crew of Alpha-One-One had been on the move all night, at first chasing down the fleeing remnants of the northern army. Later, they’d split away and were now swinging west and south across the rear of the Baldrick army. If it had been a human force, there would have been supply columns to devastate and rear area units to destroy but here there was nothing. Until they’d come to this tiny village. Here, they had to wait until the great ships of the desert, the Oshkosh Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks, could catch up with them and bring them new supplies of fuel for the greedy gas turbines and ammunition for their guns. Although Stevenson thought, they didn’t need ammunition for all their kills. The roadwheels and bellies of the Abrams and Bradleys were stained green and yellow with baldrick blood. It was a dirty little secret of armored warfare that tanks killed infantry with their tracks just as often as they did with their guns.

There were other dirty little secrets as well of course. One of them, she had found, was that her physique wasn’t perfectly suited to the inside of a cramped armored vehicle. Put quite bluntly her breasts got in the way. Back in her first unit, their impressive size had got her the nickname of ‘hooters’. Woman in the Army reacted to things like that one of two ways, they either got offended, kicked up a fuss and were eased out or they sucked it up, gave back as good as they got and were accepted. Stevenson had been one of the second group but that didn’t help her now. After being thrown around inside a fast-moving tank all night, she was sore, tired, bruised and battered. And she had seen so much killing over the last twenty hours that she was a veteran with a veterans lack of patience for stupidity.

Still the dawn chill felt good after being sealed down for so long. She looked around the village, saw people slowly coming out of the buildings to look at the great American tanks. She checked them over carefully, noting the glitter of silver from their covered heads. The word was spreading fast, cover your head with foil if you don’t want a baldrick stealing your mind. Even out here in the back of beyond. The breeze sure did feel good though, even though it gave her a shrewd idea of just how bad she must smell. She slipped the shoulder straps of her top off to get full benefit from the cool air. That caused a stir of disapproval from some of the men in the village, although she did note they kept staring at her to remind themselves how offended they felt.

In his doorway, Appoloin saw the gesture and felt perturbed. She might be comely but such brazen behavior was immodest. He stepped away from his doorway into the street, projecting an image of love and friendliness with all his might. “Cover yourself woman,” and his kindly voice echoed across the street.

“Screw you!” Stevenson’s voice was harsh for she was a veteran and didn’t suffer fools gladly. “And the horse you ….. SHIT! Baldrick 20 degrees left! Canister!” She dropped back into the turret of her tank, by long practice ending the fall in her commander’s position. The turret was already swinging to bear on her mark.



The gunner saw the cross-hairs merge with the figure standing silhouetted against the rising sun. “On the way.”
The blast of canister took Appoloin full in the chest, hurling him backwards and tearing at his body. Incredibly, it didn’t kill him although there was no way he would have survived wounds that terrible. It was the bursts from the 25mm Bushmaster chain guns on the Bradleys that finished him off. Confused by the sudden, vicious attack and in agony from the wounds, Appoloin died in a spreading pool of white blood.

A few minutes later, Stevenson and her crew were looking down at the body, now revealed in its true form, a white humanoid with wings. “Not the same as the ones we’ve killed so far ell-tee.” Stevenson’s crew were punctilious about addressing her correctly when others were around. Inside their tank she was ‘hooters’ just as the gunner was ‘baldy’, the loader ‘crab’ and the driver ‘biker’ but, for them, using her nickname where outsiders could hear would be disrespectful.

“Not the same at all. I guess this is one of them angels. Doesn’t matter, we declared war on them as well.” She raised her voice slightly. “Did anybody see where this one came from?”

One of the village women pointed at a barn-like building. Crab went over and looked inside, then came back, his face grim and as white as the body stretched out on the ground. “You’d better take a look at this ell-tee.”

Stevenson went into the hut and looked for what seemed a long, long time. When she came back, her eyes were blank. “Well, that puts paid to any idea about them being good guys doesn’t it? We need a camera crew up here to film that.” Suddenly, she shook with rage. “Damn him. He sat there drinking tea surrounded by that horror show. Slaughtered an entire family and then drank a cup of tea.”

“Don’t sweat it ell-tee. We done good here. Nobody believed they were on the side of righteousness any more. Not after The Message.” Baldy was speaking from the barrel of the 120mm gun where he had just finished painting a white ring to match all the black ones.

Far away, in the rocky wasteland, Memnon heard the crash of the gun and crackle of gunfire and decided he’d better vacate the area. Very quickly.

Headquarters, Randi Institute of Pneumatology, The Pentagon, Arlington, VA


James Randi sighed. It sounded so good using the enormous expertise his Educational Foundation had built up in detecting fraudulent psychics and mediums to try and find the real thing. It was hard to believe that the JREF was now the front line in humanity’s fight against its enemies. Neither consideration changed the fact that the day-to-day reality of the task was boring. He had another candidate for testing, a young woman who called herself kitten. No capital he noted, important thing that. It was essential to make the interviewees comfortable. He heard the door open and glanced up. Years of expertise in self control kept his face expressionless but he knew this day at least would not be considered boring.

Two people had entered the room, one a young man dressed all in black with a vaguely military style coat that reached down below his knees. A goth, although that wasn’t what had added interest to Randi’s otherwise routine day. With him was a young woman, another goth dressed in black with her hair down around her shoulders, her long dress low cut and held by thin shoulder straps. The young man was leading her around by a dog-leash attached to a collar around her neck.

“You must be kitten?” Randi’s voice was even. “Would you like to take a seat?”

The girl paused for a second until the man with her gave a quick nod, then she sat down. “I’m kitten, yes.”

“You too Sir, please sit down.” The young man did so. “kitten, why are you here today?”

“I read your advertisement asking for people who can contact the dead to call you. I can do that, sometimes. I can also see into hell.”

“I see, what’s hell like?”

“Some parts of it aren’t too bad. Imagine a really destroyed city, one where all the buildings are smashed, the streets ruined. Like those pictures of those World War Two German cities after the Allied bombing. Freezing cold, raining all the time, people gathered around burning garbage to keep warm, the only food available, trash from skips. And no hope, everybody knowing that it’ll never be any different, never going to get any better. That’s where I’m going when I die. I’m lucky, some parts of hell are much, much worse.”

“How long have you known this kitten? Been able to see these things.”

“As long as I can remember. I’m not quite normal you see. In fact, I’m very far from normal.”

Randi’s secretary came in with a file and handed it over, being very careful to keep her face straight. Randi looked at the psychiatrist’s report. It described kitten as a paranoid schizophrenic with apocalyptic delusions but added that she was perfectly well compensated and, despite her condition, was able to function in society without medication. In fact, the shrink had concluded, functionally she was the most well-adjusted person he dealt with and that included his own staff. Randi allowed himself to smile at that. Then he flipped over to her birth certificate and he couldn’t stop the look of surprise.

“Um, your birth certificate has you listed as male?”

“I was born in the wrong body. I’m having it put right surgically. I’ve had these,” she waved at her chest,” done already. We’re saving up for the big operation now.”

“Well, if you do well here, my government will pay for that operation for you.” Behind them, General Asanee had entered the room, as silently as always. Randi found it perturbing how she could move with so little disturbance. “We have the best surgeons in the world for that type of operation and my Army will see you get the best of the best.”

“Quite. Obviously if your claims are proved, you will be very important to us.” Randi hesitated, not quite certain how to address kitten.

“Please use either ‘she’ or ‘it’ when referring to me. I don’t want to be called ‘he’ ever.” Kitten spoke firmly and decisively on that point. Randi nodded, he could respect somebody who stuck to their guns regardless of public opinion.

“That’s fine with us kitten. Now, did you sell your vision services to people, to contact their relatives, that sort of thing?”

Kitten shook her head. “How could I tell people what had happened to their friends, their family? It would be cruel. I’ve told close friends that I could see into hell but that’s all.”

“That’s very good. Right, kitten, we are going to carry out some tests on you. We think we’ve detected how people can communicate across the dimensional barrier and we can measure it. So we’re going to see what happens when you try and look into hell. Sir.” Randi switched to kitten’s friend. “We have a very comfortable waiting room or, if you like, one of the guides can give you the Pentagon tour.”

“Sir,” kitten spoke deferentially. “I do this much better if I’m comfortable and I’ll be much more at ease if Dani is with me and holding my leash. So can he come in please?”

“If that’s what you wish, of course.” Randi dug into another file. “We’re going to ask you to try and contact these people, they are the crews of some helicopters that were lost in Iraq almost a fortnight ago. If you’d like to study these pictures, perhaps you can get through to them.” He handed the pictures over. They were of Lieutenant Jade “Broomstick” Kim and the rest of the crews of Tango-One-Five.

(Note of appreciation to Stravo who wrote the first half of the first part and to Her Grace, the Dutchess of Zeon who kindly told me about kitten)

Posted: 2008-02-16 05:12pm
by The Duchess of Zeon
Oh, that was brilliant, Stu, particularly since I never even mentioned any of her friends and yet you managed to describe Stenny perfectly. I've had such charmingly crazy roommates.

Posted: 2008-02-16 05:18pm
by Sidewinder
So Heaven might attack humans directly? Did the Angels keep a closer eye on humanity than the Baldricks, i.e., do they have a better idea of the brutality humans are capable of?

Poor Appoloin, getting blamed for Memnon's actions. I wonder if this'll trouble relations between Heaven and Hell?

Posted: 2008-02-16 05:42pm
by Junghalli
Funny, I was just doing some thinking on what the Angels might look like this morning, I came up with a few ideas.

Angels are sometimes described as having flaming swords, and this gave me an idea. If Heaven is a crystal environment (i.e. streets of jade, walls of sapphire) then their technology would probably be based on that. A flaming sword probably refers to some kind of reflective crystal, maybe a huge cut and sharpened diamond.

I'm thinking if diamond is readily available in their environment they might use it as armor too. I'm thinking scale-mail armor made out of diamonds. Probably a kind of long-sleeved skirt of diamond scale-mail, with leggings made of the same, and possibly a huge diamond cut into a bowl shape for a helmet. The whole thing would be quite eye-wateringly bright in the sun, and look suitably impressive to primitives. It should also be pretty effective against Demons. It'd be pretty hard to get through with a bronze trident, you'd have to go for the face or maybe try to pin the Angel down and work the points of the trident between the scales.

As for the Angels themselves, they're usually depicted as flying creatures, and we have that confirmed in the story. Unlike with Harpies it's probably thematically appropriate to make them somewhat more sane flying creatures, i.e. they'd be built like birds with hollow bones and lots of air sacks in their bodies. Maybe hydrogen sacks, that might be where the Demons got the idea from for their Harpies. In fact I think it's quite plausible that the Harpies were created during the "War In Heaven" superficially to counter the Angels' dominance of the air. There's possible evidence of other tech exchange to, the Angelic Heralds Stuart described sound very similar to Succubi. I think the Angels' natural form should have a sort of Vorlon-type appearance i.e. superficially quite beautiful and majestic. One idea I have is that they may be bioluminscent, so they literally glow like fireflies (hence why in later depictions they're always seen and described as radiating light). The bioluminescence might be their equivalent of facial expressions (i.e. they turn red when angry, blue when pleased etc.) This would be especially impressive in combination with the crystal armor described above. I imagine the diamond scales would catch the bioluminescence of their skin, making them look sort of like living disco balls. It would be a quite spectacular sight at night, perfect for overaweing and scaring the shit out of primitives.

The only problem I can think of is the practicality of cutting diamond into all these different shapes. Diamond scale armor should be feasible if you have a glut of available diamonds, you just need to find some that you can drill holes in. I'm less sure about big objects like swords and helmets, perhaps some lesser crystal like quartz could be used. Interestingly, Wikipedia says that there are varieties of obsidian that are nearly clear, so the Angels could use clear obsidian for blades like Aztecs did if nothing else (assuming clear obsidian is common in Heaven), although such weapons would break quite easily. Perhaps something like an Aztec "sword" where you have a club of easily shaped crystal with obsidian "teeth", or a spear with a shaft of harder crystal and an obsidian tip.

Posted: 2008-02-16 05:53pm
by Psychic_Sandwich
Interesting. I get the feeling that Heaven is traditionally the real power, and Hell basically just gets what they're finished with. The demon seemed quite intimidated once the angel kicked him about a bit. He seemed shocked that Heaven might turn Uriel loose, and there's that implied threat that things will go badly for Hell if Heaven has to intervene.
So Heaven might attack humans directly? Did the Angels keep a closer eye on humanity than the Baldricks, i.e., do they have a better idea of the brutality humans are capable of?
They seem to have had more interaction. They've sent at least one army to Earth before, which seems to have kicked the shit out of the less advanced civilisations of the time. However, one assumes they haven't had us under regular observation or anything, otherwise they would have known we would resist. Presumably, they're a bit like the Race from the World War series; they don't change much over time, so they looked at Crusade era humans, say, and concluded that that was the level we were going to stay at for the foreseeable future. Obviously, that also means they don't have to constantly check up on us. After all, how much can a civilisation change in a thousand years or so. :P

Posted: 2008-02-16 06:14pm
by Academia Nut
Great chapter as always. Have you thought of a nickname for the Angels yet? I think that carrying over the Blackadder theme would be good, perhaps calling the Angels "percys" as that would make them sound foppish and stupid in contrast to "baldricks" which sounds disgusting and stupid. Also, with the Biblical account of the serpent, I can see a sort of self appelation of "adders" to humans, as it ties to the serpent giving humanity knowledge, sounds clever and dangerous, and has the added pun of making it sound like we're the only ones capable of math. Plus there is the line: "Baldrick, believe me... Eternity in the company of Beelzebub and all his hellish instruments of death will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil."

Also, what are Rowan Atkinson and the Blackadder gang up to? I can totally see them making a new series for morale boosting purposes with Tony Robinson dressed in a little red devil costume being a complete twit.

Also, since the angels seem to be playing the whole "don't say Jehovah (or Yawheh)" bit, it would be nice to annoy them with the whole stoning scene from Life of Brian.

Human (mockingly): "Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!"
Angel: "Stop it! You're only making things worse!"
Human: "How can it be worse? You've already damned me to Hell!"

Posted: 2008-02-16 08:09pm
by Robo Jesus
You know, I get this mental image of Yawheh being something along the lines of a mix between something from the works of Lovecraft and the C'tan from Wh40K.

Question, as you obviously have heaven looking only for the souls of the mindless and those who won't question what they're told to do, have you thought about having the Angels refer to us Humans as 'Lilim'? You know, the children of Lilith; the first woman, and the first person kicked out of Eden for 'Defiance'.

It would be funny if people started using the symbol of SEELE (Evangelion reference (SEELE's symbol is Lilith's Mask btw)) as the representation of Humanity here.

Posted: 2008-02-16 08:28pm
by Junghalli
Psychic_Sandwich wrote:Interesting. I get the feeling that Heaven is traditionally the real power, and Hell basically just gets what they're finished with. The demon seemed quite intimidated once the angel kicked him about a bit. He seemed shocked that Heaven might turn Uriel loose, and there's that implied threat that things will go badly for Hell if Heaven has to intervene.
Yeah, I get the feeling Hell is the USA to Hell's USSR. Notice that according to the Biblical account the Demons lost, although of course in this universe the holy books of the Abrahamic religions are Angelic propaganda, so anything in them should be taken with a great deal of skepticism.

On the subject of the Message: I'm betting that it came with a telepathic command from Yahweh along the lines of "believe everything I'm saying". It's pretty much the only way I can think of that much of humanity isn't furiously trying to rationalize it away at this point.

Robo Jesus: the Bible refers to sheep and goats, so something along those lines is another possibility. It has the advantage of nicely expressing what they really think of us.

Posted: 2008-02-16 09:42pm
by Shroom Man 777
Poor Appoloin (or whatever). Sucks to be him. HAH! Bastard deserved it!

Posted: 2008-02-16 10:45pm
by Robo Jesus
Junghalli wrote:Robo Jesus: the Bible refers to sheep and goats, so something along those lines is another possibility. It has the advantage of nicely expressing what they really think of us.
Notice how in this latest chapter Appoloin refers to 'Hooters' as "buxom even by the standards of the daughters of Ham."

Notice how he makes reference to "the daughters of Ham."
This is what I am talking about. In the older cultures, you were refered to and described as part of a clan, tribe, or family lineage. I agree that we are seen as nothing more than food; both literal and figurative to the beings of Heaven and Hell, but at the same time, there is precedent for them culturally to refer to us 'lowly humans' as being 'lilim' in nature with how we are acting.

Speaking of Lilith, according to old mythology, Adam, Lilith, and Eve were considered different from the other beings of that time (yes, it is implied that there were others (angelic/demonic/human) on the Earth alongside those three, but they were considered of different stock than the 'original' three. Also, what sort of human lives for a millenia or longer?) What's more, there are many accounts of "Angelic and Demonic Hosts" taking women to bed (I.E. fucking them) and producing offspring. These offspring were usually known as Nephilim.

Look at the Succubus and Angels described in this story. They seem almost like different spectrums of the same thing. Human/Ethereal hybrids.

Posted: 2008-02-16 11:15pm
by The Vortex Empire
I almost feel sorry for Appoloin. Almost.

Posted: 2008-02-17 12:33am
by CaptainChewbacca
Wow... if Uriel gets involved, things will get bad VERY fast. Uriel is the Guardian of Eden, who stands tall with flaming swords and a thousand arms.

'Sons of Ham' was a biblical reference for the african nations (Egypt, Ethiopia, and Kush). It could just be that Appoloin though Keisha was 'stacked for a black chick'. If angels can TK a baldrick like that, they can probably do a lot of crap to a tank.

As for Appoloin, if Stuart is corrupting the angellic name 'Appolyon' for this story, THAT is a big deal. Appolyon is the Destroyer, the Lord over the great abyss. He is THE Angel in charge of making sure that Satan never gets out of hell, and is (was) quite a badass. Also, if Angels really HAVE been sleeping with women, that means there's a real chance of there being Nephelim.

Posted: 2008-02-17 01:39am
by Academia Nut
I can quite easily see Nephilim being the ancestors of the modern psychics, although considering the scientific basis of the story I would quite strongly wonder how exactly such interbreeding would be possible genetically, or even biochemically.

Also, I can so see Uriel being dragged before a crowd after getting his wings blown off and his flaming sword shattered and given the following speech:

"You are Uriel, the Guardian of Eden, the denier of paradise for all of humanity. According to the Bible, every indignity and cruelty suffered by man stems from our exile from paradise. We have suffered greatly, denied immortality in exchange for knowledge. But that suffering, that pain, has been worth it, for today the Guardian of the Gates lays broken before us, stripped of his strength and dignity as we were stripped. If we traded eternal life for knowledge, then today that trade has finally paid off for we have become Death, become suffering, and it is time to repay all those long millennia of deceit and pain. Your execution shall herald the begining of the reclaimation of Eden. We need no Heaven, no Hell, just this world, which we shall remake in our image into paradise. Good bye Uriel."

And then blam, public execution by firing squad.

But that brings up an interesting idea. What if ancient humans were much longer lived than today but the Angels infected them with something so as to increase the death rate to increase harvests. Hell, while we're at it, humans evolved for the last Ice Age and the ecosystem of most of the planet was wrecked when things started to warm up, putting pressure on species that were still trying to adapt to the new predator on the block. Biologically humanity's Eden was ten thousands of years ago in the last Ice Age and while I doubt they're capable of such a thing, I wouldn't put it past this version of Heaven being dickish enough to have altered the climate to produce something more favourable to their needs.

Posted: 2008-02-17 02:35am
by CaptainChewbacca
God arbitrarily set humanity's maximum age at 'Threescore and Ten Years' after the Flood, because he didn't want to 'strive' with us anymore. Shortening of lifespans is totally possible.

P.S. I don't think ANY archangel is going to be taken alive.

Posted: 2008-02-17 03:53am
by Junghalli
Academia Nut wrote:I can quite easily see Nephilim being the ancestors of the modern psychics, although considering the scientific basis of the story I would quite strongly wonder how exactly such interbreeding would be possible genetically, or even biochemically.
It's another thing that only makes sense if you think of the Angels and Demons as engineered lifeforms. From the start I figured the Demons we were seeing were probably created specifically as human-torturers, so they'd be designed to be as terrifying and fucked-up as possible to humans, which included putting some human DNA in them. If this is true there are probably other types of Demons similarly tailored to be terrifying to the other intelligent species they harvest (the Leviathans may be a Greater Demon of one such type).

With the Angels it's probably a good way to establish easy conduits of communication with their subjects. They probably deliberately create psychics this way so they can use then them as prophets to spread their teachings; the minor Angelic abilities they get give them cred' they otherwise wouldn't have as genuine "miracle-workers", and it's possible the more Angel DNA you have the easier it is for them to "tune in" to you. Jesus was probably such a hybrid in this universe.

The idea of the psychics beings descendants of Angels and Demons is a clever one, and nicely explains how they exist in the first place.

I personally disagree about Uriel. From the scare he apparently puts into the Demons he sounds like a real badass, I don't think he sounds like the type to get captured alive and die a pathetic death. But that's as much a matter of personal taste as anything else.

Incidentally I have to say that I loved the dialog between Memnon and Appoloin. It was very well written, and my favorite part of the story so far.

Also, if we're going to add any homages to Evangelion, I suggest their naming scheme for Angels (_____ of God). It's consistent with how it goes in the Bible and it tends to have absolutely beautiful poetic quality when translated into English. It goes with the "Vorlon" feel I think the Angels should have; they should be something that it's easy to see how people who didn't know better would worship IMO.

Posted: 2008-02-17 04:54am
by Robo Jesus
CaptainChewbacca wrote:As for Appoloin, if Stuart is corrupting the angellic name 'Appolyon' for this story, THAT is a big deal. Appolyon is the Destroyer, the Lord over the great abyss. He is THE Angel in charge of making sure that Satan never gets out of hell, and is (was) quite a badass.
This may actually force Heaven into acting sooner than they would have prefered. Heaven may have never responded to our verbal Declaration of War, but they would have no choice but to respond to us killing someone of such importance to them.

Posted: 2008-02-17 05:56am
by Psychic_Sandwich
This may actually force Heaven into acting sooner than they would have prefered. Heaven may have never responded to our verbal Declaration of War, but they would have no choice but to respond to us killing someone of such importance to them.
Might this perhaps present he opportunity for a three way battle between Heaven, Hell and Humanity? I suspect that such a thing would be rather awesome.

Posted: 2008-02-17 07:07am
by KlavoHunter
This couldn't've possibly been this great big badass angel, if he got splattered by some Canister and 25mm fire.

Appoloin described himself as, more or less, a minor herald angel, befitting his role of carrying a message from On High to a single Baldrick.

Posted: 2008-02-17 07:07am
by hongi
“Uriel?!” Memnon exclaimed.

“Last he moved upon man, the Land of Khemet wept bitter tears.
Egypt isn't it? Is he referring to the Tenth Plague?