The Salvation War: Pantheocide Epilogue Up

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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by von Neufeld » 2010-08-12 01:43pm

That was handled very well. Excellent chapter. I had my suspicions about Ehlmas, because you did reveal that he was more than a stoner just before the nuke, but you let his return last so long than I had written him off.

Was this the last chapter?

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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Kodiak » 2010-08-12 01:44pm

I wonder what sort of population growth we can expect from the Angels now? It'll be interesting to see how things are a few years down the road when there's open travel between all the bubble 'verses.

One question stuck in my mind: when Michael is talking about raising Angels he comments
So the power to raise others has come to me, perhaps from those beyond the gates.
Is he referring to the denizens of heaven themselves, or to a source outside the bubble universe?
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Two Up

Post by darksoul » 2010-08-12 01:46pm

Deebles wrote:
darksoul wrote:I believe the story had shown and told, both. there are several instances of that interspersed in the text. The overall effect for me was simple: When the ass kicking started, it sounded easy, but after the early allusions to shortage of supplies, it became a permanent feature of every action taken. So even if not told, the factor was present. then again that`s just me.
There are instances of telling in Exposition mode, (granted, quite a few), some could be removed and some are well justified in story (briefings in Yamantau and the War Room, for example, or soldier taking HEAT rounds from returing tanks in the Hellmouth), and there are instances of showing (the opening scene in Pantheoncide, with the family having to use their whole month ration of fuel to go to Hell, or the arc of old people being struck by the sand storms, which shows this a lot without actually and plainly stated it, IIRC).
Hmm... what do people do in fuel shortages? Examples could be given of ordinary people walking, bicycling, riding horses, using horse-drawn carriages and taking more of those silly tricycle-rickshaws for want of petrol; boardrooms looking into the possibilities of kite ships, freight trains and other fuel-saving measures for larger-scale hauling; some tank crew getting chewed out for driving in a less than fuel-efficient way; vehicles being jettisoned for want of the fuel to power them; shortages of goods that require air-freight (pre commercial portals, anyway). However, when we're following the movements of generals etc., such factors are obviously going to come into it less.

How to show ammunition shortages I'll leave to people who know more of military matters than myself.
Yes, of course. In the sand storm segment I mentioned, there is a paragraph stating that the elders needed to walk more, and they felt good about living in a small town (not sure about the specifics, that`s the idea). Also, in the segment where the police arrest Lemuel, the roads are clearly shown empty, as well as in several other instances in Armageddon in England. Actually, there is too much emphasis on that, now that I think about it.

Now your point about the scarcity of imported goods is expressed in one fragment, where Obama regrets having to cut back down the rations of the population due to some storm destroying a crop of rice or something like that. May be is too feeble to register, so it might be good to expand on that in other instances.

Military briefing including a necessity for saving fuel on patrol, deployment and other non combat activities should be presented, agreed.
Problem with the ammunition supply it`s tricky. Kind of hard too say to a soldier confronting a towering and ferocious beast to save bullets. likewise, to artillery men, tanks, and specially air figthers. I believe the control on that is better shown in briefings and in the factories that need to be open to mass produce the bullets
There is some talk of controlling help to New Rome on those grounds, but I don`t remember if it was more politics than reality.

All in all, the fact that the war is more economy concerned that actual military concerned for the people back on Earth is the best expression of the shortages faced.

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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Stuart » 2010-08-12 01:49pm

von Neufeld wrote: Was this the last chapter?
Two more to go but we are tying up loose ends now and rounding things off ready for the next book.
Kodiak wrote:Is he referring to the denizens of heaven themselves, or to a source outside the bubble universe?
"Beyond the gates (notice plural)" is an expression to suggest "powers from above or beyond" - like our "heaven-sent"
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2010-08-12 02:12pm

Stuart wrote:"Beyond the gates (notice plural)" is an expression to suggest "powers from above or beyond" - like our "heaven-sent"
That was an interesting bit, about how Michael-Lan had become "empowered" after Yahweh died. It makes you wonder what the Others in Universe-Three are playing at.
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by UnderAGreySky » 2010-08-12 02:59pm

Pelranius wrote:Applause, thunderous applause, Stuart.

Ellmas's last try a few hundred years ago, would that be Martin Luther or the Sikh gurus? Sounds a bit too early for Joseph P. Smith (of course, that depends on how you define a few hundred years).
It was a few hundred years after Christ. So.... Mohammed?
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Gil Hamilton » 2010-08-12 03:28pm

Elhmas probably should have been foreshadowed. Him just showing up, infodumping, and then getting stoned seems awfully forced. I'm not sure I like how easily Lemuel was convinced by Michael either, though Michael did pull the age old trick of forcing Lemuel to feel responsible enough for what happened (and carefully omitting his own role in things) that Lemeul is too guilty to go further with this.
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by tortieconspiracy » 2010-08-12 03:31pm

The second attempt was a few hundred years after Yeshua, and I'm betting that was Mohammed, but he made a third attempt after that and that's what Pelranius was speculating about. I don't think it was Martin Luther. There was no new revelation in the Reformation. It was all about going back to existing scripture and cutting out the Pope as middleman. I think we're looking for a leader who claimed a new revelation. Joseph Smith fits that description. So does the founder of the Baha'i Faith. I don't know enough about Sikh gurus to comment on them.

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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Pelranius » 2010-08-12 03:43pm

tortieconspiracy wrote:The second attempt was a few hundred years after Yeshua, and I'm betting that was Mohammed, but he made a third attempt after that and that's what Pelranius was speculating about. I don't think it was Martin Luther. There was no new revelation in the Reformation. It was all about going back to existing scripture and cutting out the Pope as middleman. I think we're looking for a leader who claimed a new revelation. Joseph Smith fits that description. So does the founder of the Baha'i Faith. I don't know enough about Sikh gurus to comment on them.
It's just that Baha'i and Joseph Smith were about 200 to 150 years ago, to that doesn't seem like a few hundred (of course, that's a matter of semantics so I might be wrong on that one).

And wasn't Muhammed Gabriel's project?

I think Ellmas's several hundred years after Jesus was Constantine. Wonder if he had a hand with Joan of Arc?
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Two Up

Post by MysteriousDarkLordv3 » 2010-08-12 04:01pm

Lovely. And I didn't think that this was all over yet. Of course, with Elhmas actually being a covert supporter of the New Order, it seems unlikely that any purely super-power-based counter-revolution will succeed. So any worthwhile threat will have to be based on asymmetric warfare of some variety. A terrorist organization using disaffected demons and angels would have a lot of striking power but wouldn't really qualify unless they had clever organization. So since the first BBEG was Satan, and the second was Yahweh, I'm betting that the third will be a human, probably Second-Lifer. The history books are full of potential candidates.
Stuart wrote:But, an angelic baby? That's a once-in-a-millenium event. Then Michael thought carefully. What if angelic infertility was a by-product of Yahweh's obsession with people's private habits. What if now he was gone, there would be more angels born? Interesting.
Angels are almost immortal. It's something of a truism that long-lived species have a low birthrate. Any angelic Baby Boom may just be because of the war. Otherwise, the natural population growth - aggravated by the low death rate - would have turned Heaven into a low-tech Coruscant millennia ago
"You see Michael, I recognized how dangerous humans were long before you did. So, I thought I would try and steer them into nice, peaceful ways. There was once this Jewish carpenter, Jeshua was his name. I possessed him and filled him up with nice-sounding ideas and had him go around preaching them. It worked quite well too, only the occupying powers got upset and they crucified him. I had to leave him there. I can still hear his screams while he was begging to know why I had abandoned him. Then some nut called Paul took everything I had had him teach, turned it on its head and inside out. What I had designed came out all wrong and caused even more trouble. A few hundred years later, I tried again and that was even worse. Centuries of slaughter and destruction and they weren't over when this blew up. I had one last shot a few hundred years after that and it got even worse. Everything I has taught turned into an excuse for wars upon wars with more wars to argue the results of the first set.
This answers a few questions. :)

The Jesus Question is answered. The second attempt is certainly Mohammed. The "one last shot a few hundred years after that" sounds to me like the Cathar Heresy of the 11th century, which encouraged critical thinking as well as pacifism and ended in the Cathar Crusade of the 13th century..
"Now, lets get stoned and talk about something pleasant. I hear female angels are starting to get pregnant. That's going to mess your nightclub up isn't it?"
Actually, it might boost the nightclub's business. :angelic: Pregnant angels being so rare might make them a popular erotic fetish for the angelic population. (Club dancers being fired for not being pregnant might aggravate the post-War Baby Boom.)

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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Kodiak » 2010-08-12 05:01pm

Pelranius wrote:t's just that Baha'i and Joseph Smith were about 200 to 150 years ago, to that doesn't seem like a few hundred (of course, that's a matter of semantics so I might be wrong on that one).

And wasn't Muhammed Gabriel's project?

I think Ellmas's several hundred years after Jesus was Constantine. Wonder if he had a hand with Joan of Arc?
I was thinking Joseph Smith as well (though being a Mormon, I tend to read it in), but his revelation didn't fit Ehlmas statement:
Ehlmas wrote:A few hundred years later, I tried again and that was even worse. Centuries of slaughter and destruction and they weren't over when this blew up.
I'm thinking he's referring to Constantine/the Holy Roman Empire and the crusades. It'd be interesting to find that a lot of the visionaries of the last thousand years or so were beholden to visitations from either Demons or Angels in disguise.
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by The Vortex Empire » 2010-08-12 05:09pm

Oh shit! I didn't see that one coming, bravo Stuart! Something tells me Elhmas had better keep one hell of a low profile, since I think we humans might have a couple "questions" for him.

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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Bayonet » 2010-08-12 05:31pm

Not much to say, other than Bravo Zulu.

Somehow, Michael-Lan reminds me of Goering.
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Gogyra » 2010-08-12 05:42pm

I'm not really sure Ehlmas really has much to worry about from humans. Other than being one of heaven's generals, he hasn't done anything to warrant retaliation. In fact, given that he was mostly just laying low for the entire war, and will garner a great deal of sympathy for being the commander of an army that was nuked, he'd probably get off even lighter than Michael et. al. if found.

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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Edward Yee » 2010-08-12 06:13pm

Bayonet wrote:Somehow, Michael-Lan reminds me of Goering.
Without considering this a "rip-off" of Goering... are you surprised, considering what Stuart has previously said about Goering?
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by PaperJack » 2010-08-12 07:11pm

is the next book going to be posted on this forum too, or it's going to be only on paperback ?
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Cecelia5578 » 2010-08-12 08:21pm

Kodiak wrote:
Pelranius wrote:t's just that Baha'i and Joseph Smith were about 200 to 150 years ago, to that doesn't seem like a few hundred (of course, that's a matter of semantics so I might be wrong on that one).

And wasn't Muhammed Gabriel's project?

I think Ellmas's several hundred years after Jesus was Constantine. Wonder if he had a hand with Joan of Arc?
I was thinking Joseph Smith as well (though being a Mormon, I tend to read it in), but his revelation didn't fit Ehlmas statement:
Ehlmas wrote:A few hundred years later, I tried again and that was even worse. Centuries of slaughter and destruction and they weren't over when this blew up.
I'm thinking he's referring to Constantine/the Holy Roman Empire and the crusades. It'd be interesting to find that a lot of the visionaries of the last thousand years or so were beholden to visitations from either Demons or Angels in disguise.
The founding of the HRE occurred 500 years after Constantine I had his vision, and to the best of my knowledge involved to supernatural visions or anything of the sort. Since the flourishing of Catharism was several hundred years after Mohammed, I'd guess, if we're taking "couple hundred" to mean pretty close to 200-300ish years, probably the forerunners of the Cathars-the Byzantine/Balkan Paulicians and Bogomils.
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Werrf » 2010-08-12 08:23pm

Hmm.

Anyone else wonder if Leilah's growing size and power might be purely psychosomatic? We already know that angels as a species are perfectly able to regrow massive injuries, I'd imagine gaining size and power would be a perfectly explicable response to a perceived rise in stature like promotion to the Chayot-ha-kodesh, which would suggest that Michael's new power to promote was nothing more than the rush and the euphoria of victory over Yahweh, and that Leilah's growth is nothing more than her body responding to what her mind expects.

Which, in turn, shows that for all his scheming, all his "understanding" of how things work, Michael's thinking really hasn't changed all that much. He may be the most cosmopolitan and forward-looking of all the angels, but when something odd happens, he still looks for magic power-granting skybeyond-the-gates-pixies to explain it. He thinks he's learned the "human" way of doing things, when he's really still tied to the past.

And that, in its turn, makes me think that Ehlmas represents the future of the Angelic race. He's spent longer working more closely and intimately with humans than Michael, and apparently understands us better than Michael does. His appearance here at the end of Pantheocide also reflects Michael's appearance, at the end of Armageddon, suggesting that Ehlmas will be a much larger presence in TLW.

[/Wild mass guessing]

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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by DKeith2011 » 2010-08-12 08:35pm

Holy Crap! Did not see that coming.

Have to say I'm a little disappointed Michael wasn't squished like a bug though.

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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by impatrick4life » 2010-08-12 08:48pm

Stuart, I will tell you right now, the reemergence of Elhmas was perfectly timed and executed. We had all given up hope that he had remained alive. Where the hell did you learn to write like that?! I've read your other stuff (those reports and informational papers and whatnot; they were necessarily dry, but informative), and I have to say, where in General Dynamics Land Systems' name did you get these incredible skills?

Sir, on behalf of the Internet, I award you a lifetime supply of e-cookies for that plot twist.

Well done.
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Cecelia5578 » 2010-08-12 09:24pm

Gil Hamilton wrote:Elhmas probably should have been foreshadowed. Him just showing up, infodumping, and then getting stoned seems awfully forced. I'm not sure I like how easily Lemuel was convinced by Michael either, though Michael did pull the age old trick of forcing Lemuel to feel responsible enough for what happened (and carefully omitting his own role in things) that Lemeul is too guilty to go further with this.
I enjoyed the fact that Elhmas showed up while Michael was stoned, and thus really got caught with his pants down; also, Michael may be a tough and smart bastard, but he can't handle his weed :)
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Werrf » 2010-08-12 09:28pm

Gil Hamilton wrote:Elhmas probably should have been foreshadowed. Him just showing up, infodumping, and then getting stoned seems awfully forced.
It was foreshadowed - in the literary structure, where he was set up as an important, powerful, interesting character and then apparently killed after his first appearance, and in the fight with Yahweh (which I called, BTW :D), when Michael thought he felt Ehlmas answering. His reappearance here was perfect :)

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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by ANTIcarrot » 2010-08-12 10:37pm

I wonder if Elhmas will put in a few 'appearances' with certain select individuals over the next few years. I could certainly see him reading the riot act to the pope...

Also, now that we're nearing the end of combat operations, and are close to Mission Acomplished! I wonder how much longer the HEA is going to last? Most alliances that survive a major war do not survive the peace afterwards. China still has an appalling human rights record and doesn't really care who knows it, and still has the clout to demand 'respect' for its leaders in this world or the next. That's going to stick in the craw of a number of people the world over for reasons which are entirely non religious. Peace in the midddle east might stutter when Israel insists on keeping it's rather strict/pragmatic border policies.

Place your bets please!

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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Gil Hamilton » 2010-08-12 10:54pm

Werrf wrote:It was foreshadowed - in the literary structure, where he was set up as an important, powerful, interesting character and then apparently killed after his first appearance, and in the fight with Yahweh (which I called, BTW :D), when Michael thought he felt Ehlmas answering. His reappearance here was perfect :)
Stuart doesn't seem have a problem blowing away even important characters, even during their first actual appearance. Besides, it's weird that the Angels who survived the nuke seemed to think that Elhmas was under the nuke too.

Particularly given this
"Like hell man. Raphael and Michael are good people but they just don’t know humans the way I do. We throw in an assault at the point he suggested sure, but it'll be a feint. The humans will have to respond to it, they have hordes of human civilians helping out at the hell-hole My Auspicious Father created. They'll want to protect them, so they'll pull in units from all around to stop us. Enatenael-Lan, take one cohort of the Incomparable Legion and its human levies. That'll give you 10,000 angels and five times that number of levies. Keep pushing at the forces the humans throw at you. Once they've stripped the rest of their perimeter to stop you, I'll lead the other nine Cohorts and their levies in. They'll punch right through the thinned-out human lines. It'll be rough on you and your Cohort but it'll cost us less overall."
Remember, the thing that was nuked was the nine cohorts that Enatenael (whom Elhmas later claimed was the big angel that was mistaken as him) WASN'T leading. It really isn't clear or hinted at that Elhmas had peaced out before the nuke hit. That probably should have been foreshadowed.
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Re: The Salvation War: Pantheocide Part Eighty Three Up

Post by Simon_Jester » 2010-08-12 11:06pm

Gil Hamilton wrote:Elhmas probably should have been foreshadowed. Him just showing up, infodumping, and then getting stoned seems awfully forced. I'm not sure I like how easily Lemuel was convinced by Michael either, though Michael did pull the age old trick of forcing Lemuel to feel responsible enough for what happened (and carefully omitting his own role in things) that Lemeul is too guilty to go further with this.
Seconded. Ehlmas is too good a character to get only two appearances, especially since he's the second or third (fourth, at the least) most important being in Heaven's prewar power structure.

Uriel gets chapters and chapters; Michael's practically the protagonist of the book. Ehlmas deserves a bit more screen time to establish himself as a credible player.
Gil Hamilton wrote:
"Like hell man. Raphael and Michael are good people but they just don’t know humans the way I do. We throw in an assault at the point he suggested sure, but it'll be a feint. The humans will have to respond to it, they have hordes of human civilians helping out at the hell-hole My Auspicious Father created. They'll want to protect them, so they'll pull in units from all around to stop us. Enatenael-Lan, take one cohort of the Incomparable Legion and its human levies. That'll give you 10,000 angels and five times that number of levies. Keep pushing at the forces the humans throw at you. Once they've stripped the rest of their perimeter to stop you, I'll lead the other nine Cohorts and their levies in. They'll punch right through the thinned-out human lines. It'll be rough on you and your Cohort but it'll cost us less overall."
Remember, the thing that was nuked was the nine cohorts that Enatenael (whom Elhmas later claimed was the big angel that was mistaken as him) WASN'T leading. It really isn't clear or hinted at that Elhmas had peaced out before the nuke hit. That probably should have been foreshadowed.
Agreed. The first foreshadowing we get is during the battle with Yahweh, and even that is vague. The idea that Elhmas is savvy enough to out-trick Michael (who we spend much of the book building up as the Magnificent Bastard to beat all Magnificent Bastards) should itself be built up.
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