By Ryan M. Roth


Shelly, a skinny 16 year old with very little business being this type of neighborhood at this hour, hugged the police blanket more tightly around her and tried to blot out the noise with her hands. It didn't help. She waited for the police to tell her she could go home. As she waited on the curb with the policemen buzzing around her, she tried to expain it all to herself. She wasn't having much luck. The night was full of sounds; harsh, glaring sounds that made the very air seem to throb in pain. It was getting quieter, slowly, but only very slowly. Shelly was sure she would be hearing things long after the sirens and commotion had stopped.

Eventually, a detective came over to her and sat down. Shelly knew he was a detective because of the cheap suit he wore. "Miss Ashton, I'm Detective Miller. Officer Benton read me the statement you gave him, and I have a few more questions for you, and then I think we'll be able to take you home. Ok?" Shelly nodded.

"Ok." The detective flipped through a notebook. "You said that, about a week ago, you got your learner's permit, and you decided to borrow your dad's car without permission tonight to practice, right?"

Shelly nodded. She didn't care that she could get in trouble for driving without an adult.

"You drove around for a while, and decided to try to handle the freeway, right?"

Shelly nodded again.

"But then you were forced to exit early because you weren't used to the freeway speeds, and found yourself in an unfamiliar area. As you tried to find your way back, all that chaos started." The detective gestured north, where several fire-gutted buildings were, less than 5 blocks away. The firemen had gotten the flames under control, and were content now to let the buildings burn themselves out.

Shelly spoke up for the first time. "What... happened?" Images of 9/11 came to her.

"It looks like it was just a really bad case of street gang warfare. Two large groups decided to try and murder each other, and at least one side had explosives with them. Was over pretty quick, though; most of them are dead or scattered. But that's not what we were talking about. The explosions started, and you lost control of the car and crashed it into a building. You got scared, so you tried to get away from the blasts you were hearing. You ran, but then this tall, fat guy stopped you. Correct?"

Shelly nodded again, shaking a little.

"I'm sorry, Miss Ashton. This won't take much longer. This guy grabbed your arm and forced you into the alley back there and said he was going to have fun with you. He got you to the rear of the alley, and tried to kiss you while you struggled to get away and called for help. And then..." The detective stopped. "And then, you 'hit' him."

Tears were flowing down her cheeks as she nodded this time.

"Miss Ashton, you must forgive me if I'm a little bit skeptical. The body we found, which matches a description of a known rapist, by the way, easily has more than a hundred and fifty pounds on you. And yet you are telling us that, with one punch, you caused this man to fly backwards more than fifteen feet, and put a huge dent in a garbage dumpster with his head. Are you sure that someone didn't help you? That you weren't a little confused? If someone did help you, they shouldn't be in any trouble if they were acting to save you."

Shelly was looking down now, at the gutter, barely controlling the sobs. "It happened like I said."

"Well, then, how did you get so strong?"

Shelly looked up, confused, afraid, and shaken to her very core. "I... don't... know..."

Most angels who don't think about it believe all Soldiers of God come to Heaven when they die. This isn't exactly true.

Soldiers don't always find their way home. This has always been true.

While being a Soldier of Hell virtually guarantees being Damned (there are, of course, a few expections), Soldiers of God get no such guarantee. They work, they fight, and eventually they die, but sometimes that soul doesn't show up at the Gates of Heaven. Some don't achieve their Destiny; some have a strong need to remain on Earth. Some just get lost. And so the Symphony sweeps them up into the reincarnation cycle. To be born again.

But we are talking about Soldiers of God here. Many of whom have more than 5 forces. Soldiers who have learned to listen to the Symphony, learned to contol their Essence reserves. Soldiers who have been taught things, like Songs. Having such connections, such awareness of the nature of the Symphony affects the soul. Affect it in ways that the reincarnation process can't undo; only conceal.

And, sometimes, when the Symphony is strongly Disturbed, the cloak that hides the past shifts aside for a moment, and a soul remembers what it could do before.


Remembrance is the rare phenomenon where a human, who in a previous life was a Soldier of God, accidentally triggers a supernatural effect that its previous life used to know. Effects include Symphonic Awareness (the most common memory), Essence Awareness and Control, and Songs. Once triggered, the human can, with experimentation, regain complete use of the skill. Further, once the gate is opened, it becomes easier to recall other skills the soul used to know. Given enough time, a human could remember all of his previous abilities. However, the set of triggers which cause a soul's first Remembrance are only very rarely brought together, so that many potential Remembering souls go through their entire lives without recalling their former abilities. The triggers can be complex, and are dependant on what skills the former life had.

The first Remembrance trigger is always stress. The human in question must be emotionally agitated; 'fear for one's life' stress is more likely to cause a Remembrance than any other type.

Second, in reaction to that stress, the human must be trying to do something in which one of his old skills would be helpful. Fighting may cause a first Remembrance of a Song of Might. Running might trigger Corporeal Motion. If the soul didn't know an appropriate song for the activity, the soul will spontaneously dump all his remaining Essence into the activity, and gain a flash of awareness as he does so. This can result in a first Remembrance of Essence Control.

Third, the Symphony around the human must be strongly Distrubed. (The Symphony naturally acts to cloak past lives from mortal minds; when disturbed, this natural shield can crack briefly) The human needs to be in an area which has more than 30 notes of Disturbance echoing through it, or else be the target of an activity which is causing at least 10 notes of Disturbance (like being hit with a major Essence-powered Song, or being wounded by a Celestial).

When these triggers all simultaneously occur, the human gets to make a Perception-roll. Success indicates a first Remembrance. The soul immediately regains Symphonic Awareness, and the old skill (if a Song) goes off as if it were sucessfully sung at a level of 1. If, thereafter, the human tries to practice the skill and repeat what he did, he must make a Perception roll at the end of each day of practicing. If he succeeds, he regains the skill at level/1 (and the skill activates). Also, if the human is practicing a Song and has not yet learned Essence Control, a second Perception roll at the end of each day is made. Success indicates that the human has remembered how to regulate his Essence reserves (note: if the human hasn't remembered how regulate Essence, any Song he succeeds in singing will automatically use all of his remaining Essence).

Once the he has figured out how to sing the Song at level 1, he can continue to practice the song, making Perception rolls every day. Each success increases the level of the song, until it reaches the level it was orginally known at. Each success also triggers the Song; the soul may have to wait between practice sessions to allow his Essence to build back up. A Divine Intervention during practicing results in learning the skill at it's orginal level, and a dim memory of what other skills he used to have.

At this point, the mortal might try to discover what other abilities they have. This is harder, since the soul has no knowledge of what other abilities it used to know. It also requires Disturbance, but the levels are reduced from the ones needed for the first Remembrance: an area of 10 notes of Disturbance, or being the target of a 3 note disturbance (which can be caused by the soul's own Song use). Once the Disturbance requirement is met, the soul can make a Perception roll, with a -3 penalty. Success results in the Song going off at level/1, and the ability to practice it (without the -3 penalty) until it is learned at its previous level.

Final Notes

Remembrances are almost always frightening for the human afflicted with them. Suddenly having Symphonic Awareness is frightening in and of itself; in addition, the human has no idea why they can do what they did. Should they decide to practice their old skills, they will invariably start to make repeated Distrubances (and more mundane distrubances) on their own, and will have no idea that there are demons and angels out there who can hear them. It is at this point that Hell and Heaven usually locate them.

Heaven sees Remembering souls as lost comrades who must be rescued before Hell finds them. Heaven does it's best to locate them, educate them about what they are, and gives them the option of becoming Soldiers again. If a Remembering soul is given instruction, he can ignore -3 penalty for learning old skills. Since the time between the Soldier's death and his first Remembrance can span many lifetimes, sometimes souls pop up who remember very old or secret Songs. There is at least one recorded instance of a soul Remembering an Attunement as well; this was believed to be the result of a Divine Intervention.

Hell sees Remembering souls as perfect Soldier of Hell material, with the extra spice of 'you fought us once, now you will serve us for Eternity'. Demons have become very proficient at using the mortal's ignorance of the War to their advantage.

It is theorectially possible that a Soldier of an Ethereal God could undergo the Remembrance phenomenon, but to date there is no record of it ever happening.


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