Calabite of Lightning

By Moe Lane


As everyone knows - well, everyone who is aware of the War, at least - Vapula refuses to tolerate Calabim in his ranks. In the Genius 'Archangel's' opinion, their mere presence can be a catastrophe: the combination of their resonance, habits and general outlook on existence makes them an unacceptable risk. Considering the delicate nature of many Technological experiments and prototypes, simply having one in the same room is a short and sure recipe for disaster.

Jean is perfectly willing to acknowledge that, in this one case at least, his opposite number has a definite point.

Calabite of Lightning

Calling the procedure by the above name is discouraged among Servitors of Lightning: suggesting that the procedure by which captured, incorrigible Calabim are put to at least some use is even superficially equivalent to the solemn granting of a boon to a loyal servant of God is vaguely insulting to the latter. Much worse, it is sloppy thinking. Regrettably, the practice persists - even among angels that should really know better.

At any rate, the ... procedure ... itself is fairly straightforward. A team is sent out to locate, acquire and subdue a suitable Calabite (preferably one that is not Renegade, and certainly not one that is a potential Redemption candidate): once this is accomplished, the demon is brought to the attention of Jean himself for the adaptation process. Various low-level specialized artifacts are implanted into the Calabite's celestial form (under anesthesia, of course: this isn't about sadism). After this is done, all that remains is to excise and replace the demon's short-term memory. The Calabite will 'wake up' in a suitable place, with suitable evidence for explaining away his or her hazy recollections. Other than that, there is very little evidence that anything has actually happened: given the amount of Discord manifested by most Calabim, Jean finds that hiding the celestial scars to actually be quite easy.

However, a Calabite that has undergone this procedure will eventually discover that he or she has become extraordinarily sensitive to that class of items colloquially designated as 'Vaputech': so much so, in fact, that the demon will be able to somehow recognize said items on sight. As a side note, Jean would not be averse to gifting his Servitors with the same ability, but every method that has been worked out at this time would necessitate the grafting of an Infernally-tainted Force. Further research continues along these lines.

At any rate, the Calabite is now able to detect 'Vaputech' - and, as most sentient entities exhibit curiosity as part of their makeup, will eventually be drawn to actually handle one of the Infernal Devices. At this point the other feature of the implants activates: the Calabite must make a Will Roll at -3 to avoid immediately using his or her resonance on the device. An interesting quirk of the implants is that short-circuiting the demon's resonance in this way actually makes it easier to activate (in game terms, add the CD of a failed Will Roll to the resonance check number: if the Calabite chooses not to resist, simply add +3).

The fact that the sensation is intensely pleasurable (treat as a Highly Addictive, Tough Withdrawal drug) was at first merely a serendipitous effect - but one that was carefully enhanced, once discovered.

From there, it is merely a case of standing back and watching the steadily increasing (in every sense of the term) explosions. The combination of typical Calabite psychology and a severe positive-feedback loop almost invariably results in a severely-addicted demon personally destroying every piece of 'Vaputech' that he or she can detect ... and, sooner or later, the realization that there is an entire Principality where such items can be encountered. Often sooner. Jean has not yet received reliable intelligence about what happens when a treated Calabite appears in Tartarus, but a simple extrapolation of the corporeal evidence would suggest that the results are satisfactorily detrimental to Vapula's normal working environment, such as it is.

Also, a side effect of this procedure is that there has lately been a slight but increasing tendency for most Calabim to be more cautious around suspected Servitors of Lightning - or even avoid them altogether.

Which is as it should be.


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