Another Lanceolate Sequel

By William J. Keith


Two Lilim, a Balseraph, and a Shedite riding some hobo had arrived. Helltongue bounced around the room, harsh syllables cutting the warm air. Rose looked about. The Balseraph was typical of his kind -- well-dressed, snide mien. The Lilim were dressed as streetwalkers, but nevertheless managed to hold their sensual graces. Rose got up, and motioned to the Soldier to follow. Reggie looked up. "Where are you going, halo? Siddown!"

"Or you'll what?" Rose asked calmly. Nothing, of course. "Try not to kill each other while I'm in the kitchen...." Rose headed for the kitchen, the Soldier following her.

"Oh God, Oh God," mumbled the Soldier. "They're gonna do it...."

"No, they won't. Reggie won't, at any rate. Nightmares is more about threats than following through," said Rose. "Pass me the kettle, will you?"

"Tea?! You're making tea for those...!" shouted the Soldier. Loud enough to be heard, and laughed at, by the demons in the living room.

"Yes, tea. We could hardly fight off the lot of them, not that that would help anyway." Rose pulled out the tin of tea leaves, started water on boiling, and looked into the room. "Put that knife somewhere else, will you?" she called out. The Shedite looked over at the Lilim that had been toying with a stiletto, and Reggie got the idea she'd wanted him to get. The longer she stayed in this kitchen, the longer they were without her protection. She took her time about adding a bit of lemon, and this and that. Reggie was satisfyingly relieved when she walked back into the room.

She took the opportunity to walk back in, soothing the tensions that had sprung up while she was gone. She passed out teacups and biscuits, playing to the Balseraph's vanity and the Lilims' sense of style -- even Reggie and the Shedite took one, gently persuaded by her soft air, although the Shedite gulped his down messily.

Rose sat down in her chair again as the demons continued to plot and plan, sipping their tea and eating her homemade biscuits. It wasn't long before, as she'd suspected he would, the Shedite nodded off. Gluttony had taken its toll, and the Shedite had gotten a much larger dose of the soporific into his system.

Reggie and the other three figured it out quickly, of course, but it was already too late. In a few minutes, all five of them were passed out on her living room floor.

"You see, Bob?" said Rose, flipping through their belongings and eyeing an interesting ruby pendant one of the Lilim was wearing, a possible artifact. "Quite impotent, when the proper precautions are taken. Now, what shall we do with them?"


Rose listened carefully to everything the demons said, and waited patiently until they had left. She did her best to calm down Bob, then made a phone call to the nearest Tether of Destiny, and waited at her desk. A few hours later, her request arrived.


She looked down. There on her desk, in neat handwriting, was the translation of everything she had heard. There was also a note from her friend.

"Rose, glad to be of service. Ever since you helped Redeem me, I've been having a blast. Being a Kyriotate's ever so much better than being a Shedite, and Yves is the best. If the demons are going to make this a regular thing at your house, let me know and I'll drop by afterwards to rummage through your memories again.

Love, Yrtl.

P.S.: Bob'll relax. Just trust his natural instincts."


Reggie looked down at the bleeding hole that had just appeared in his chest.

"Oh dear," said Rose, knitting in the corner. "Thierry does so like his sniper rifle. Laurentians can be quite hasty, at times. We were recently assigned to work together, did you know?" Another silenced shot thwipped through the apartment, and a Lilim sported a chest wound as Reggie slumped over and the others fled. "Bob can fix that if you like, dear, he knows the Song of Healing. It won't cost much -- that's a pretty little reliquary you're wearing...."


The demons were mostly leaving. Rose looked up. "Wait, Reggie. Can we talk? Alone?"

Reggie snickered. "What for -- bargaining for your litle Soldier's dreams?"

"I'd very much like to protect them, yes." The other demons left.

"Well, tough. He can spend tonight screaming, and maybe one of my colleagues will find him and have a litle fun." Reggie looked over at the Soldier. "Rose can't follow you into the Marches, you know."

Rose sighed. Stall him a bit longer, anything to get the other demons further away. "Surely there can be something else you'd rather have. You know I consider humans more important than myself..." She left it open, to bait him into filling the blank.

It worked. A few minutes later, she dropped the stall and quickly sang a Celestial Song of Charm, powered with as much Essence as she dared spend. "Now, then, Reggie. Your plans, the ones you were laying tonight. Wouldn't I be ever so frightened if I actually knew what they were? Wouldn't your deviousness and cruelty just terrify me? Why don't you tell me what all you were planning?"

She signaled, and Bob whipped out his notebook. Very useful, Bob was.


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