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  #1876  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:06 PM
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Enoch

Enoch glances dutifully through the pictures, uploading each to Empy silently as he browses, tilts the phone so Kali can see as well. The news that Natalia can identify a possessed individual by consuming a small organic sample is quite welcome. The fact that he's impressed shows plainly on his face. Yeah. That's useful on several fronts. Watch out if you get a hit of silicon, could be an Ivan clone. And maybe if we catch up to an Oscar they'll have similar... Umm... Flavor? As well.
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  #1877  
Old 11-25-2019, 05:40 PM
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Wither, Enoch, Kodama, Sapphire, and Wraith
The rest of the base's menagerie comes trudging in, Cat bringing up the rear with Daisy in tow, the latter holding a plate of mixed nuts and root vegetables, picking and choosing from among them as she's led to the corner. Just as they finish entering, Samael does, ducking his head and folding his wings as he squeezes through the doorway, even smaller for him than for the giants sitting on the floor on the far side. He moves to sit beside where Azath stands.

Inka pops into appearance beside Sapphire, holding a cup of beer nuts and two halves of a pomegranate on a plate as she sits down.

Azath clears his throat. "I believe that is everybody." A photo of the Archbasilica appears on screen, the light captured quite a ways above the ceiling. "For those who do not know, a fallen angel named Nathanael led an attack on the meeting between Dracula and the Pope. It appears that he intended to frame New Arcadia, and Dracula specifically, for the attack. Several members of the Catholic hierarchy died in the initial attack, and the Pope died shortly after Nathanael possessed him."

"Shortly before," Samael corrects. "La'anah killed him on the request of Rham and I when it became clear what was happening; we did not expect Nathanael to be able to continue with his corpse."

"...indeed." Azath is quiet for a moment as he processes this. "The Pope Leo is dead. Nathanael possessed his body to make it appear as if he had resurrected, and somehow brought the other cardinals back to life."

"They are now dead as well," Samael adds. "Death confirmed their spirits had been brought to him in the initial attack, and had never returned; at my request, the reapers killed their counterfeits as I cast out Nathanael. The fallen angel is dead, as are his minions."

"So it appears that the Catholic hierarchy is much damaged, but does not contain any agents planted to work against us," Azath adds at last. "I do not have a good idea of what transpired in that room between Nathanael's appearance and Samael's departure. Sapphire, I believe you were there."
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  #1878  
Old 11-25-2019, 05:57 PM
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Sapphire was about to toss a beer nut into her mouth, but instead paused when all eyes went to her. She waved her other hand over the beer nut and
Dice Sleight of hand:
1d20+14 (5)+14 Total = 19
Some might see it roll down the back of her hand and into her sleeve if your perception or whatever beats a 19. Still not an easy trick to pull off.
it disappeared.

"Didn't know there was gonna be a test. But... He shows up, saying he's Nathanael, and tells the Pope he has been chosen to crush the head of the Serpent. He has some kind of... presence attack thing going on it felt like, and clearly it worked on most in there.
Then, the Pope accepts, Nathanael points a finger at him, the Pope grabs his heart and falls down, looking to be dead.
Nathanael fades away as the Pope's body wakes and and begins acting all kinds of shady and then wanting to leave the room.
He easily ported past Blue's shield I threw up, and even one of my new attack portals.
Guess we slowed him down enough, cuz that's when Samael showed up and took him away in a blink.
Didn't know until now that the others were... possessed or whatever too. Is... Father Alexander in the clear?"
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Last edited by Drachenspirit; 11-25-2019 at 05:59 PM.
  #1879  
Old 11-25-2019, 06:10 PM
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Wither, Enoch, Kodama, Sapphire, and Wraith
"Certainly confused, but yes, I believe he is 'in the clear'," Azath confirms. "Nathanael did not leave, but rather entered the Pope's body and began operating it. Enoch, Wraith, what did you notice from outside the building?"
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  #1880  
Old 11-25-2019, 07:02 PM
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"There were at least two surveillance teams, dressed as vampires. I think they were here for us. Two men of them fled. I killed one. His partner fled and was caught by Gunther. One man tried to shoot down a helicopter. It was sheer luck he missed as I happened to drop a noise grenade, and the sound of that threw off his aim. Inka got him. Inka believes, and I agree, they weren't vampires. I think this was a trap for us as well as Dracula. They wanted to get us on camera."
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  #1881  
Old 11-25-2019, 08:06 PM
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Enoch

Enoch shakes his head. Not much to add. I think some flavor of Oscar tried to jump Gunther in the crowd and got a bolt of Thor's Finest for his trouble. I saw the same light show everyone else did while I was scrambling recording devices with one hand and trying to coordinate communications with the other. We maybe need to look into more conventional comms... He pauses with a sigh. Or more of the externals for those that aren't on PlagueNet. Natalia had a first-hand look at some of the instigators in the Redeemer statue, and a few suspicious smoke clouds clustered near a sewer grate, as well as some footage.
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  #1882  
Old 11-25-2019, 08:45 PM
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Wither, Enoch, Kodama, Sapphire, and Wraith
"And can you repeat what you witnessed in Rio, Natalia?" Azath asks patiently.
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  #1883  
Old 11-25-2019, 09:38 PM
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Natalia still hasn't seen everyone in the base, and has to spend some time just looking the others over as they come inside the meeting room. Samael in particular she hasn't seen, nor even heard anything about, looking over to him with an expression that clearly wonders why she's here at all, even more so than usual. She listens to the news with a grim expression, this is the first she's actually heard of it other than vague hints. She knows all too well what it will mean, mobs never listen to rational facts. When Azath calls to her she spends a moment looking around as if confirming that he's even talking to her before she says anything. "Well... I was in Rio helping my family move when te news interrupted te TV. I watched until te cameras went out, I was talking to Enoch at te time. I had a bad feeling about everyting, whenever tere's a crisis of faith people tend to flock to te statue. Tere's a small chapel tere even. I started heading over tere, thought I could maybe help calm some people down. Along te way I saw some... black mist? Smoke? Someting floating in te air against te wind. Got a few pictures when tey got too close to a street light," she begins, sliding the phone with the pictures on the screen over to Azath.

"Tey were going into a storm drain, at least three or four I'd guess? Probably more before and after I found tem. I saw a man in a suit with a small entourage heading for te statue, he was carrying a megaphone. Knew tat was trouble. He started yelling about te wicked ones, purify te unclean, stand in te Lord's defense, all tat stuff. He seemed to have te crowd entralled, felt unnatural to me. I tried to take te megaphone away and run but one of tem got in my way. Said it was fated to happen, spit on me during her ranting. Tat's why I tink tey're demons, no human's spit has tat much sulfur in it. I can tell,"
she says to Azath, not really thinking of any other details to add.

Last edited by PalladiaMors; 11-25-2019 at 09:38 PM.
  #1884  
Old 11-25-2019, 11:00 PM
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Wither, Enoch, Kodama, Sapphire, and Wraith
Azath nods. "It was a coordinated effort," he muses aloud. "Dirk, Daisy, what did you experience here? I heard there was some trouble."

"Minding my own business, felt like something was trying to claw its way out of my stomach in a hurry," Dirk summarizes. "Puked for a couple minutes, then it left. Demon on my shoulder thought it was hilarious."

"I felt yucky," Daisy adds in a rough chirr. "So I went to bed."

"It was most likely some sort of signal," Azath muses. "One neither of you understood, evidently. I am willing to wager that Natalia's protesters began moving contemporaneously with the sickness you felt."

He sighs. "Gunther, what became of your captive?"

"He's in Valhalla," Gunther replies.

"Ask Thor to strip everything of importance from his mind and send him to Death," Azath requests. "Who he's working for, what their motives are, where they're located, et cetera. We don't have time to interrogate."

"Uhm... alright."

"Good. How were Dracula, Ciarda, and Dzu behaving?"

"Drac shielded Ciarda from the blast, Dzu was checking something out. Drac went off with Ciarda once the angel arrived, then Dzu left after it looked like it had gone." Inka crunches on a nut. "Drac ordered Dzu to make sure they weren't getting framed; who wants to take bets that at LEAST one of 'em was wearing a wire, prolly Dzu?"

"If Dzu was wearing a wire, the recorded information needs to be distributed immediately," Azath notes. "We find ourselves at war with an undefined enemy, and I do not wish for them to gain the entire world as acolytes."

"Not the whole world; only the monotheists," Samael corrects.
"Yes. Only the 4.3 billion monotheists," Azath agrees with a hint of sarcasm. "And the rest of the world who joins their cause. Epirus, you have already openly committed to the vampires; you may be an important spokesperson, or you may be viewed as an impotent puppet; be charming and sincere in your public appearances."

He looks around the room. "There is an obvious counter to this attack," he says at last. "Convince the world that their deities do not wish for them to kill the vampires. I can think of two immediate ways to do this, and one of them died with a shard of salt in his heart. The other is for Nosferatu to consume enough blood to drown a small country, and for Anima, Empyrean, and Enoch to provide a broadcasting base large enough for a substantial portion of the world population to hear a message. However, there is first the question of Hell; they have either seized on Ivan's disruption or they have joined him. The man Gunther captured was human; either a patsy or an Oscar, but human. They are gathering allies, and it is my belief that they mean to overturn the world's order; perhaps not that instituted by man, but that instituted by the Arbiters themselves."
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  #1885  
Old 11-25-2019, 11:36 PM
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Enoch

Enoch follows along, nodding at certain places as he hears information new to him. Azath makes his final pronouncement quite succinctly, but it takes a few moments for the gravity, the implication, to fully set in. He squeezes Kali's hand, takes a look in that direction as his mind begins to churn with possibilities. The angels probably saw no fine line between vampire, demon, or chaos demon. Enlisting their aid might be one thing, but preventing them from waging war against the weakened vampires after and if they defeated the forces of Hell might be another thing entirely.

When the prospect of opposing demons came up, around the time they had taken his family hostage, Marcel had admitted that the majority of vampires stacked up against demons fairly poorly. And the demons would have known, or been able to guess, what was going on because the vampires had initially contracted with them to build the arena in Mongolia. But all of this was speculation. The real question was...

All right. So... What... Actionable things can we do to... Head this off, limit it, affect it at all? I mean... I doubt the vampires are keen on repeating the ritual they used to resurrect Dracula, and I don't know how that volume of blood compares to what would be needed. We also have Manny, but I don't think we can really trust him given where his power comes from... Unless we think we can outfox that system.
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  #1886  
Old 11-25-2019, 11:44 PM
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Natalia listens to Azath explain things and listens to the others give their own reactions. One the one hand she doesn't feel she shouldn't be saying anything, but on the other, doesn't feel like she should considering what's at stake. Especially since there are quite a few things they seem to be overlooking. "It won't just be monoteists. Once a ball like tis gets rolling, it will turn into an us vs. tem matter. And most of te countries wit a sizable military are monoteistic. Even if tey won't admit it. I tink te only ting tat will turn te world against being against te vampires is a bigger problem," she offers, looking to the others for any signs that she should just shut up. She does let out one question before getting any response though, one that's either completely obvious or not, she isn't sure which. "One question though - why can't we just... resurrect te pope? For real? I mean... can you do tat?" she asks, looking primarily to Samael.
  #1887  
Old 11-26-2019, 01:29 AM
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Wither, Enoch, Kodama, Sapphire, and Wraith
"In actions against the demons, consider Manny a last resort," Azath directs. "I doubt Mephisto would be so principled as to deny a payment, given that the demons are hardly standing in solidarity, but it would likely be exorbitant."

"In terms of action items, the need to locate all replicating Ivans increases," Samael directs. "We must also begin hunting the most powerful of the demons before they can organize further and amass armies. Kali, John, the three of us will be leading that effort. Dirk, I believe we can rely on Agares' bloodlust against its own kind to serve us, but you are not to be outside without myself, Gunther, or Inka escorting you."

Dirk grunts. Kali perks up a little at the mention of her name, looking from Azath to Matt. 'We... might have to work separately.'

"We will decide team organization later. Once the chaos elementals have been located, Rham or Azath will be needed to aid with their disposal. Us and Azath have created a spell that should force them into a form belonging to this plane; we chose the form of a pile of gritty muck, because there was no reason to bother with forcing them into another form they could make use of. Kodama, Inka, Fathom, Virtue, the four of you are the others capable of learning and performing these spells at the moment. We will not be asking King Oberon to join us in battle."

"Me?"
"I did not misspeak." The death angel looks to Natalia. "What is dead should stay dead. I could, but will not without Death's permission, and do not intend to communicate that the vampire allies can control life and death." He looks around. "If it becomes necessary, we can call upon the reapers to counter any large demon army, but that bears consequences of its own."

He falls silent, and Azath picks up. "Yes. Oberon, we request that the fae continue to do their part to look for the chaos elementals."
"Of course."
"Thank you." Azath looks to the mortals. "We cannot guarantee that you will survive if you choose to help, nor that we will resurrect you if you fall. But I have spoken with Death, and barring a callous betrayal, we can guarantee that you will be spared eternal torment, and allowed a choice of the twelve afterlives offered by the Arbiters upon death. That includes the four of you." He looks meaningfully to John, Dirk, Brendan, and Lee.

"That's great, but I can't take that to the bank," Lee says bluntly. The room looks at him. "If you're that surprrised, I must need the word 'mercenary' tattooed on my forehead."

"I will see about-"

"Gold," Samael interrupts, drawing attention. "One-quarter talent of gold per exorcism, one-half talent of gold for each person involved in killing a chaos elemental, one talent for each person involved per incarnate demon killed." He stares disdainfully at Lee. "I will hear no more of trading currency for this service."

Lee visibly counts in his head for a moment before raising his eyebrows. "75 pounds of gold is about $1.6mGold talents. Got it."

"We also need influence on the corporations of the world. I believe we should put Mr. Li, Jean-Martin, and Troy to use; I imagine the blackmail they will soon unearth may prove quite useful in staying the hand of the private sector, particularly with the assistance of the vampires' artificial intelligence. Enoch, you may need to be ready to interrupt missile launches at any given time. Wraith, if you could consult with the mass of martial knowledge embodied by the residents of your patron's afterlife, that would be quite useful, until we can locate something best suited to your particular skillset. Cord, work with the Klausen; the condition on afterlives applies to them as well, and Kris may be a strong ally. Sapphire, it is hardly glamorous, but you are the best transport we could hope for. Gunther, I have high hopes in your ability to kill incarnate demons, of which I expect we will see many. Fathom, I have asked Lady Athena to design a monitoring system that should allow us to detect underwater Baphomet, with your assistance. Further remarks?"
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  #1888  
Old 11-26-2019, 05:22 AM
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"I intend to ask Lord Death to ask heaven to allow myself to be trained by the demon hunting angels. The boss thinks I will benefit from it." Wraith said to Azath. His eyes narrow. "Azath, was there no other way than to assassinate the pope? He might have been a foolish old man, but he was still an innocent. I don't want us to slip into the ends justify the means. That's tradesmen mentality."
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  #1889  
Old 11-26-2019, 09:45 AM
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Sapphire glances at Inka when her name is mentioned, and then takes a few beer nuts out of Inka's hand with a blank expression, pausing, then eating them before she looks back to Azath.
She's contemplating what that really might mean for Inka as they moved forward.

Then, when Azath mentioned her name, she just gave him an affirmative nod. She looked slowly around the room, letting it sink in that this was really the world's mightiest heros, or at least the only sane bunch looking after the world.
Some in this room either contained, or had access to some dangerous powers and abilities, and some were here because they had no place else to go since they stood on the side of "right."
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  #1890  
Old 11-26-2019, 10:42 AM
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Kodama blinks her eyes a few times throughout the presentation by Azath, the defacto team leader. Apparently she was going to learn a new spell, which was nice. Something she could add to the list of them. There was a little confusion as to why the ones mentioned by Samael were capable of this particular magic, the only thing to her mind that linked all four were that they were all women. Of course, she stopped pretending that things needed to make perfect sense a long time ago.

"So, uhm, Father Alexander... and the remaining Cardinals who weren't like, killed and replaced with Demons or whatever. They're in the clear but confused? Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to clear things up for them? At least enough so they can give a public accounting that's uhm... you know, against this whole false narrative."
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