Triad 314

By Michael Cleveland


The three celestials sitting in the back of the van kept shifting their weight nervously, anxiously awaiting the opportunity to move around. Their seats were uncomfortable, the shocks absorbers had long since given out, and the air conditioner blew hot air straight from the engine that smelled of oil and exhaust. They all knew that they were in trouble - they'd been told to not look anywhere but at the back of the seat in front of them and to not say a word until they had stopped. The van shifted suddenly, taking a corner very quickly and throwing the members of the Triad around the inside of the van.

Muriel glared up at the front of the van and started to make a comment, until she remembered that it wasn't an Ofanite in the driver's seat. Looking into the rear-view mirror, she could see the eyes of their driver shimmering with barely supressed anger and swallowed down any thoughts of protesting. The others had already come to the same conclusion, but looked at the Seraph as if to say 'What now?' She shrugged as she picked herself up and moved back to the seat. Shifting her body slightly, she hid the motions of her hands from the driver - HE'S NOT USUALLY THIS BAD A DRIVER.

Jack shook his head as well, and motioned back - THIS WILL NOT BE PLEASANT - before instantly snapping his head back towards the seat. The van was stopping, and that could only mean that they were where they were to be stationed. The three of them snapped to attention as the driver of the van turned around to look at them. He locked eyes with each of them, and then looked at the Cherub. "Jack, you have something to say about your next assignment?" He swallowed quickly. "No, Most... Nothing of consequence, Most Holy."

"Good. Now, look out the window on your left. That is a Capital Tether of Fate. Your assignment is to watch this Tether of Fate until I relieve you of this duty. You are to take pictures of those who enter and leave. You are to take pictures of their vehicles. You are to note any symphonic disturbances that you hear, and what time they occur. You are to stay within sight of this Tether of Fate at all times except for on Thursdays, when agents of The Game run a security sweep, during which time you are free to move about. You are to ignore any other celestial operations unless they intersect this investigation. Do you understand what I've said so far?"

The three answered in unison. "Yes, Most Holy."

"Good. Now, let me just lay a few minor ground rules for you all. All of these relate to this Tether of Fate, and how I expect you to conduct your investigation." Dominic pulled out a notepad and flipped through several pages, rattling things off. "You will not attack the Tether. You will not shoot at the people from the Tether first. You will not goad the people from the Tether into shooting at you. You will not pick fights with the people from the Tether. You will not flirt with the people from the Tether. You will not walk into the Tether with a bomb strapped to your Vessel. You will not convince any other angel to walk into the Tether with a bomb. You will not put the sigil of Judgment on the Tether's wall as graffiti. You will not gamble using Judgment's funds. And under no circumstances are you to tar and feather the local Game representatives."

The three looked down into their laps. "Yes, Most Holy."

Dominic looked at the third member of the Triad. "Laris, I expect you to behave yourself this time. I will not have you bailed out if you get caught by the local authorities taking a stolen vehicle at twice the speed limit or higher. Ofanite or not, I expect you to restrain your impulses."

The wiry teenager looked up at Dominic. "But the Ofanim of Janus..."

"Still get prosecuted by Judgment, and they only manage to get away with it only because their Archangel approves of their actions. Yours does not. Don't push your luck. Now, are their any questions?"

"What if we -"


"Ok, well, what if they -"

"They won't."

"But -"


"What if they start -"

"Then shoot back."

"But -"

"Don't miss."

"Ok, but what about -"

"Asmodeus is not going to come after you."

"But -"

"Then run away."

"But he -"

"Then drive faster."

"Ok, but what if we -"

"Leave them alone."

"But -"

"No hassling the Creationers. I mean it."

"Yes, Sir. But what if Armagedd -"

"Then I'll come get you, but until then you stay in sight of that Tether of Fate. Now, get to work."

Dominic translated himself upward towards the Celestial Plane. Reforming inside his office, he poured himself a cup of coffee and allowed himself a few moments of relaxation. The last time he'd had them do something like this, the orgy they'd provoked had been sufficient to destabilize the Tether of The War and turn it towards Lust. Two Knights of The War and a Captain of Lust had gotten picked off in the resulting melee, and the two factions in that city hadn't spoken for months afterwards. If their track record held through, the restrictions he had put on them should make them desperate enough to find some way to destroy or destabilize the Tether so they could go about their merry way. 'Let Michael keep his professionals,' he thought to himself. 'If you want thinking done outside of the box, stuff them in so tightly that they'll do anything to get out of it...'

Triad 314 is, on the books, the worst triad to ever see duty on the corporeal plane. Their files are filled with official reprimands, convictions for destruction of property, misappropriation of funds, consorting with the fallen, overindulgence in corporeal pleasures, and direct insubordination. Assignment to this triad is assumed to mean that somehow, in some way, you have managed to irritate Dominic almost to the point of execution, but not quite. Members of Triad 314 get the absolute worst corporeal assignments, from watching Capital Tethers of The Game without getting noticed to acting as a Novalisian honor guard during the few times Novalis ventures into Michael's Groves. Being part of the 314'th is a sure sign of Dominican disfavor.


Dominic understands that there are certain people that chafe at the authoritarian nature of Judgment, yet still want to help punish the wicked and help their fellow angels find right instead of wrong. Many of these people find their way into other organizations, such as Flowers or Destiny, but some decide that they want to 'change Judgment'. Dominic doesn't always feel that he needs changing, mind you, but there's probably a reason that some of these people stick with him, and refuse to go anywhere else. This can lead to some of his best investigators, as these people are fiercely loyal to him...

This can also lead to discipline problems, as the makeup of the typical Triad does not need anything that even remotely smacks of 'treasonous thinking' to make it paranoid. Free thinkers are not welcome in many Triads, and can lead to performance problems within the group itself. Often, the members of Triad 314 are redeemed hellspawn that have not completely overcome certain attitudes about how things should and should not be done. Many people in Judgment would consider them heretics, but oddly enough, Dominic himself does not. When they chose to redeem and were brought into the light of Heaven, God Himself had the opportunity to Judge them, and He did not find them wanting.

Dominic has an image to uphold as the authoritarian, hard-nosed Judge solely devoted to rules and regulations, but he also has the capability of recognizing those who can be counted on to get a job done based solely on their own initiative. Since the standard model of Triads doesn't allow for 'free rein', Dominic has found that a slightly different approach can have appreciable results, if not the ones that were necessarily expected. Certain jobs require a streak of ingenuity that requires a more flexible mindset, and if you've got plenty of people that are 'bent' to begin with, you can get things done that will boggle the mind. Problem cases are always the ones that are the most 'hands-on' to begin with, and if you've got someone that might 'misunderstand' or 'fail to understand precisely what you wanted'...

Certain jobs are deemed impossible from the get-go, and these are the ones that Triad 314 gets assigned. Dominic has tried the traditional methods by the time that the 314'th gets there, and he's typically concluded that there is absolutely no 'logical' way of getting a job done. That's where they come in - the logic being that if you've tried every way that makes sense, start using ways that don't. Stick 314 into a position where a certain particular job has to be gotten out of the way before they can return to their 'normal duties'. This isn't hard to do, as the Triad has probably managed to get itself into trouble at some point in the recent past. Set the job up in such a way that the Triad assumes that this is punishment detail. Leave them with incredibly restrictive instructions that will reinforce the assumptions that this is punishment, but will also prevent them from making the same mistakes as previous Triads. When enough pressure and boredom has built up, the inevitable occurs - somebody starts trying to figure a way around Dominic's orders, so they can get out of this punishment and go back to doing something, anything fun.

Which was precisely what Dominic was waiting for.


Back to the INC Mainpage.
Back to the Fiction page.

Send mail to the Curator