You thought that this would be something that Novalis
would be behind, right?
Well ... you'd be correct, sort of. There are Servitors and Soldiers of Flowers scattered throughout the National Arbor Day Foundation, but they're hardly the only members of the Host represented there. They aren't even the majority: a plurality, true, but not the majority. There are just as many Servitors of Revelations and War. Yes, I said "Revelations and War". Litheroy and Michael love this holiday.
Why? Simple, really. When people are worried about whether they're being overheard, they have quite a few clever ways to ensure their privacy, and one of the classic methods is to go outside. Once outside, they'll go to some trouble to make sure that no humans or recording devices are around.
But almost nobody ever looks at the trees.
Basically, Michael and Litheroy have been using the holiday to 'seed' (pardon the pun) sentient listening posts throughout the United States. Some of the trees planted every year (usually the ones to be planted in cities) are instead tree vessels, complete with a reliever of War or Revelations inside. Said relievers spend up to a decade listening and observing everything that goes on around them: eventually they get relieved (gee, the puns just keep coming, huh?) and someone else gets the vessel. It'd be boring work for a human, of course, but relievers find it a useful way to get used to the corporeal plane.
The intelligence thus gathered may not be immediately useful, but it does keep Marc's statisticians happy. It can also function as an early warning system of sorts (again, not often, but enough times to help make the whole project cost-effective). It can make a dandy punishment detail, too: Servitors who can't learn restraint just might get Bound into a tree vessel for a year, in the hopes that they'll get the point.
Incidentally, Novalis goes along with this because: a, this is hardly violent activity (the relievers are supposed to watch and report in, not shoot out laser beams at fleeing demons); and b, she figures that having Servitors of War with training in patience and restraint can't be a bad thing. Besides, the tree vessels are sometimes handy resources for her own Kyriotates. Besides, the idea of Michael cheerfully doing something that serves her Word amuses.
Needless to say, Hell knows about this little operation, but short of burning down every tree that they see, there's not much that they can do. Some demons do just that, but they tend to have exciting lives as a result of all the disturbance that they cause. More sensible demons just avoid talking in front of plants, which is one reason why the Demon of Parking Lots has so many friends...
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