Spring Cleaning

By Moe Lane (moelane_1999@yahoo.com)


Before we get started, something should be made very clear: Jean never lets things pile up as badly as Vapula does. Keeping one's workstation and Cathedral clean and neat aids one's efficiency. Jean also doesn't throw out things just because he's gotten bored with them: for one thing, Jean doesn't get bored. And Jean certainly doesn?t leave potentially devastating relics around for just anyone to pick up and misuse.

However, even an Archangel needs to go through his stuff every decade or so and try to shift some of the clutter. Just because a Cathedral is infinitely extendable doesn't give one the excuse to let reorganizations slide: besides, there's all the old and obsolete equipment to get rid of. Jean would just miracle it all away, but apparently the other Archangels seem more than happy to send over Servitors to do the heavy lifting. They have ulterior motives, of course: 'obsolete' to a Servitor of Lightning usually means 'bleeding edge' to everyone else, and Lightning Tech is guaranteed to be safe, reliable and rugged. The computer hardware alone is well worth snagging, but that's just the tip of the iceberg: the pickings can be insanely profitable.

So, the PCs have been 'volunteered' (although anyone with a grain of sense would be insane not to angle for this kind of duty): they've been given an official shopping list, plus a few quiet verbal instructions on especially nice pretties to keep an eye out for. Presuming that there are moving vans in your Heaven (and why not? Some blessed souls like driving, so there ought to be roads and cars and stuff), they get one of those, too (with the unstated but obvious hint to bring it back packed). Needless to say, the PCs are also free to bring back personal souvenirs, as long as they don't get too greedy.

Now, neither Jean nor his Servitors are idiots, of course: they know full well that certain Archangels (coughcoughJanuscoughcoughMichaelcoughcoughZadkielcoughcough) aren't about to ask too many awkward questions about how certain relics mysteriously showed up in the aforementioned vans. So, each party of cleaners gets a helpful (and very vigilant) Servitor of Lightning to direct their efforts. Also, there's a certain tendency to make sure that all the spare papers (which annually threaten to collapse under their own mass and turn into neutronium) are removed first. It's only efficient to assign this necessary task to more - muscular - members of the Host, no?

Running this actually can be fun, if a bit combat light: after all, the PCs get to go _everywhere_ in the Halls of Progress, complete with tour guide. They also get to figure out how to grab the good stuff before the other Trash Squads do. Some Servitors of Lightning will be more than happy to do a little dealing on the side, trading stuff that isn't quite ready to be thrown away in exchange for various types of favors. Of course, some won't. It's also likely that at least one storage room full of really neat things will be mislabeled as needing to be disposed off en masse: nobody's perfect.

Interaction with the other Trash Squads can be interesting, too: if you've scored the files to a new type of fertilizer, do you trade it to the Flowerchildren with the computer disks containing detailed ways to create edible explosives, or just try to steal the latter from them? And what do you do when the Seraph of Flowers whaps you with his Choir Attunement and takes the files from your unresisting hands?

Of course, some GMs may have players who do not enjoy roleplaying going to a swap meet, incomprehensible as that might sound to any sensible entity. If that happens, just have some poor dupe accidentally open up the wrong door and let out a gross or so of captured Vapulan Flying Steam Automatons of Doom, or anything else that is conducive to clever maneuvering around the Pax Dei. Tracking them down (and making blessed sure that a few end up in the van) should give those players something to do.


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