Desperate Measures

By Eric Hallstrom



"Michael. Thank you for coming."

"I presume it's important?"

"Yes. It is.

"Look at this. Tell me what is wrong with it."



"Pure political acid, to begin with.


"More than a bit of a last-ditch, as well."

"Yes, but tell me what is wrong with it."



"Not a thing that I can see. Theoretically. Some parts are really ... nasty. I approve of those, at least. In a sick and twisted way.

"But do you really see a situation arising that could reasonably justify ... this?"

"No. But I cannot see all things, no more than you can.

"And it is always best to be ... prepared. Human engineers call it having a GOTH plan."


"For use when things GO To Hell."

"Ah. Funny. But ....

"This must not reach the Council. The arguments between David and Novalis alone would paralyze all business for months, if not years."


"But this brings us to a problem.

"Specifically, we must be certain that the techniques involved do, in fact, produce the specified results. But, to this point, they have only been tested in simulation.

"They must be rigourously tested under real-world conditions.

"And I cannot do that here, in Heaven.

"And I do not have enough researchers who I can trust to keep this secret that can effectively dissapear for sufficient time to test the procedures adequately.

"Therefore, we must now discuss implementation ....

It's always dangerous to back an Engineer into a corner; you just don't know what he'll come up with.

Jean isn't backed into a corner, at the moment, but he does believe in being prepared.

And, being the cozy little space alien that he is, he has noticed an Interesting Thing.

Basically speaking; when a human soul becomes discarnate it can do one of four things:

First, it can Ascend into Heaven, having met its Destiny,

Second, it can Reincarnate, having met both or neither of its Destiny and its Fate,

Third, having met both or neither, as above, it can Dissolve into the Symphony, poof,

Fourth, having met its Fate, it can Descend into Hell.

This, of course, is well known. What is less well known, and what Jean has noticed, is that, contrary to previously accepted tactical thought, and in the context of the War, the second option is not a draw, but rather a marginal victory for Heaven.

This is because Hell depends on the Essence on its slaves, whereas Heaven doesn't care whether a blessed soul stays around and keeps its essence, or goes up the Ladder, or trades its Essence to Marc for coffee, whichever.

Thus option Two denies a daily Essence to Hell, and allows Heaven to try again; while even option Three, as bad as it may seem, still denies Hell its Essence battery.

Jean has also noticed that a Damned Soul that was, somehow, not in Hell, if such could be manged, would be doing the Descending Lowerarchy no good at all.

Wherefore Jean, who is an Engineer, has developed the following as part of his GOTH plan:

A broad spectrum of techniques for assuring that a Human soul, upon discarnation, can only Reincarnate or Dissolve into the Symphony, regardless of its Destined or Fated status.

A broad spectrum of techniques for assuring that a living Human, for a strategically significant span of time, can achieve neither its Fate, nor its Destiny. (You cannot block one at a time; it must be both at once.)

A set of combat Artifacts and Songs that destroy discarnate Human Souls on a wide scale.

A set of combat Artifacts and Songs that send discarnate Human Souls into Limbo on a narrow or individual scale; from whence, in the natural course of events, they can only return to Earth, and then only if they can somehow form a vessel.

It is also necessary to note that these techniques, well developed though they are, have only been tested in simulations. A certain minor amount of variation from designed results may be expected in the field. Thats why they need to be field-tested in the first place, ne?

Running the PCs into these tests, on any side you can think of, would probably result in several nasty moral dilemmas on the part of the PCs. And possibly some amusing mayhem, also.

That would, of course, be cruel.

But sometimes ... how does the old song go? ... you've got to be cruel to be kind?


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