Bataan Death March Road Tether (Flowers)

By Moe Lane


Yes, Flowers. Surprised?

Saminga will be, too (presuming that he ever gets its new status through his head). Well, 'surprised' is the wrong concept. Try 'incandescently furious', instead: Bataan is a textbook case of what happens when you don't guard your Tethers against Word-shift.

It started so well, though (at least from the point of view of the Prince of the War): a combination of a surrendered garrison, an occupying army from a nation that never signed the Geneva Convention and tropical weather resulted in thousands of deaths. By the standards of World War II, this wasn't an extremely bloody action, but the sheer indifference of the Japanese Army for the lives of their Filipino and American captives sparked the formation of a small Tether to Death. Saminga, naturally, stabilized it right away (he expects that these kinds of atrocities will result in Tethers, and can never understand why they usually don't) and appointed one of his Djinn (Krastai) as Seneschal.

Needless to say, Krastai never saw her Superior again: in his special idiotic fashion, Saminga lost all interest in the Tether (it was very small, after all) after that. The Seneschal pretty soon discovered that getting any backup was pretty much a lost cause, too. To be fair, nobody ever expected that the Tether would be seriously assaulted: besides being small, it wasn't very useful - too many quirks to it. Anyway, what could happen?

Well, what could happen would be that the Bataan Death March would become a horrible example on why humanity needed a Geneva Convention in the first place. What could happen would be that the people of the Philippines would commemorate the holiday, solemnly walking along the same path that saw the deaths of so many brave men. What could happen would be that those that recreated the March would come away with a quiet determination that this sort of thing couldn't be permitted to happen ever again. In other words, what could happen would be that the Word would shift away from Death - and have the potential to shift towards either Just War or Peace.

Michael and Novalis flipped a coin for it - literally. Novalis won. Within six months, she had the Djinn Seneschal eating out of her hand. It wasn't hard: Novalis let Krastai scream for help - and would you believe that the Prince of Death ignored her even then? Faced with that kind of indifference, coupled with a growing disillusionment at the methods of Hell, the Djinn was teetering towards becoming Redemption material anyway. Having Novalis around to talk to was significant, too: it's hard to be nasty to the Archangel of Flowers. Once all of this had been settled, Novalis yelled for Michael to handle the Redemption while she put the final touches on hijacking the Tether - which is why there's a Tether to Flowers out there with a Cherub of War as the Seneschal, insane as that sounds. Apparently, it was the only way to ensure a clean transformation from Infernal to Divine (that's why they call ineffability).

Nowadays, the Tether - well, it's still small, but it's a lot easier to use. It's centered on the worst part of the carnage (although it may shift soon to the places where the ceremonial walk begins and/or ends). Its Seneschal is a lot happier, too: Novalis may have her faults, but failure to provide proper support is not one of them.

Crystal, Cherub of War

Crystal really likes being an angelic Seneschal: instead of being stuck on the side of a road in the middle of the tropics with no company, she's actually busy now. The Host is taking advantage of the new resource to increase their presence in the Philippines, and the Tether is pretty much open to any angel that needs it. Crystal maintains her Tether by helping coordinate the annual pilgrimage on it: by now, she's practically running from behind the scenes. She's even made inroads in helping the numerous ghosts associated with the Bataan Death March move on to their final rewards (something that endears her to her new Superior).

Nope, Saminga still hasn't popped in to see what went wrong. It's presumed that he's just assumed that the Tether was destroyed. Any intelligent Prince would at least have checked by now, of course: also of course, no one has ever accused Saminga of being smart.

Crystal keeps hoping that he'll show up someday, though: knowing the Prince of Death, he'll probably think that he'll be dealing with a Flower-child, and will thus get the shock of his life when a grinning Archangel of War comes down to answer the call for help...

Bataan Death March Road Tether: Average (7 Word-Forces, standard Flow, Celestial Harbor, Friendly).


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