Played on September 10, 2006: as written by the hands of Joss
August 20, 2005
Last week we left Joss as he and his fellow Angels were in the midst of a conversation with Nolian...
Turns out Nolian wants us for the Vatican secret police. Even though Isabel was still muttering, most of us saw this as an excellent way to get closer to the Pope. We gladly accepted the trappings of the trade (viz. a nice office, security clearance and some access cards). Our first assignment was to take a look at a decree the Pope had made. Nolian is very unsure about it.
We find decree on our computer in our office and sure enough, it's fishy. The relevant bit amongst all the legalese was pointed out to me and it read:
...verordonneren Wij dat alle Katholieke martelaren die de Glorie van de Katholieke Kerk op welke wijze dan ook aan ongelovigen overbrengen, Heilig tot in den eeuwigheid zullen zijn...
I looked upon it with a certain admiration (after all, it's very inspirational) but I was quickly pointed towards the fact that this could lead to a certain religious zeal that would lead to massacres and genocide. A definite no-no!
The plot thickens as we also find a list of about 20 fundamentalist, Catholic Christians on the PC. They come from all walks of life (but include some CEOs) and are all in Rome itself.
We brought our findings to Nolian to affirm his unease, but the guy didn't want to talk to us in his office. Apparently there's all kinds of spyware in his office, so we made an appointment after working hours. He did tell us that he wrote up the whole decree himself, as "[he] has no choice in this matter": when he deviates from his expected behaviour he would just be replaced.
That evening we made a plan: we would chance the decree in a relatively subtle way so that it would make no sense at all. Unfortunately, we would have to change the original text before it was to be read at 11 o'clock the following morning.
Wes tried to hack into the system, but to no avail. Back to plan B, wherein Omniel did his possession thingy Song and used the knowledge of the ICT Helpdesk guy. (I'm still not sure on the use of possession... it kinda takes away free will, after all.) This would be done tomorrow morning.
August 21, 2005
All the techtalk bored me to tears so I decided to talk to the employees of the Vatican. They're a spirited bunch, firmly believing in the good of their work and cause. I liked that, I liked that a lot, shocked as I was by the implications of yesterdays goingson. (I mean, secret police in a church? zealotry? idiocy?)
Anyway, Omniel changed the file but he found out that Nolian is the one to manually transfer the decree to a laptop on the oratory balcony. Somehow he forgot to mention that... (Isabel and Wes stormed to Nolian but of course he didn't really explain himself. I have my suspicions regarding this guy...) Quickly plans C and D were devised: Wes would do his I-am-become-lightning trick while Isabel intimidates and browbeats everybody into doing her will. Strangely enough, both plans are executed, and both actually work out. Lots of mayhem ensued but in the end the edited text was on the laptop and the Pope issued our decree.
The majority of the public didn't get it and is applauding anyway (scary!). I try to follow the Pope after the pronouncement but I don't get any more clues, but I did pick some additional Disturbance from him.
We did a rendez-vous at Nolian's office where he is charged with being clumsy. Nolian didn't really defend himself but he had news: the Pope is a servant of Khalid, Archangel of Faith. (We all know that Khalid has been missing for a while. I picked up in the Halls of Fire that Gabriel likes him good enough, with the founding of Islam and all. Vice versa, Khalid can can drink Laurence's blood, not that he has any. Khalid isn't really a political savvy guy, and most of us Angels think he's a bit too focussed on, well, Faith and the Islam in particular. After all, all religions are but versions (all equally false) of the Symphony.)