By Jonathan Walton


Vapula refuses to even acknowledge rumors about The Scorched Earth. After all, everyone knows Vapula refuses to allow Calabim into his ranks. The Habbalite Prince announces his hatred of Destroyers to anyone who will listen to him. Put in terms of an analogy, "Vapula : Calabim :: Maurice : Belial". In fact, speaking of Belial, the only one of the Freaks that the Prince of Technology can stand to be around, the difference in attitude is likely thanks to Baal's influence on the Prince of Fire. Even the blazing inferno can be tempered with time, it seems.

However, Vapula's toleration of a fellow Demon Prince and co-worker should not, by any means, be taken as him warming up to the Destroyers. No, Technology's Media Relations Office (founded by Nybbas before his rise to Princedom) is quick to rebut any rumors that imply a chance in policy. Vapula, they insist, hates Calabim. Utterly. Despises the sorry SOBs. Yes, he always has. Why? They're indiscriminately destructive. Next question.

Oh, sure, from time to time you may see a Calabite hanging around the edges of Tartarus, but those are just Servitors of Fire who happen to be in the area. Vapula and Belial maintain close relations. What do you expect, for the Prince of Technology to say "Sorry, Fiery One, but your bandmates aren't allowed to set foot in my domain"? That would go down well. You'd lose a servitor just delivering the message.

Yes, indeed, sometimes these "bystanders" are allowed to participate in certain aspects of device testing, especially of explosives and other weapons of mass destruction. Their expertise in these areas is invaluable in the developmental process. No, they have no other responsibilities. No, there has never been a Calabite even on temporary loan to Technology's service, though some Destroyers serving Fire and the War do appear to hold relative positions in Vapula's hierarchy. These are just the misconceptions of those unfamiliar with the way our organization works.

Yes, it is possible that Word-bound of Fire or the War working alongside Technology could have any number of Calabim servitors. I'm afraid the Prince has no control over the employment practices of his fellow Superiors. No, these definitely do not receive assignments from any servitor of Technology, much less Vapula himself. That's absurd.

Yes, I am perfectly aware of my Superior's dissonance conditions. What is your point? I don't see the connection. Yes, again it is possible for a demon to accept the dissonance from mishandling VapuTech devices and information, choosing not to attempt a timely recovery. However, the Prince would be very, very displeased with such servitors. I'm sure you would not be hearing from them any time soon.

Your questions are becoming more and more hypothetical and unlikely. Again, yes, I grant the possibility that mishandled materials might be left on any one of the three planes, in danger of being misused by whoever stumbled across them. Yes, Vapula does indeed have contingency plans for making sure such problems, if they occur at all, never worsen. Yes, in most cases this involves destruction of the materials in question, along with any remain evidence of their existence.

Yes, I said "destruction."

No, servitors of other Words would never be considered for such operations.

I'm afraid that's not even a remote possibility. How could we trust them when our own people had already mishandled the materials? Yes, any operatives would most definitely occupy a special elite position within the structure of Technology's forces. No, I'm afraid I'm not authorized to divulge any information on any elite units within Vapula's command hierarchy. That does not come under my jurisdiction. Yes, such "containment" units would probably require the utmost secrecy and security, so as to be most effective in their work.

No, I'm afraid I don't pay attention to rumors. Sorry. No, I'm sorry, any rumors regarding any elite units that Technology may or may not have are unverifiable at this point. Yes, this is the official policy put down from Vapula himself. I'm afraid there's really nothing I can do abou-

The Scorched Earth? I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about.

This press conference is over.



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