1965-07-01 - Brother Demon 2
Summary: Don't piss off Israelis.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
michael lucifer 

Two Bridges isn't a terribly nice neighbourhood in southeastern Manhattan. The East River forms a sluggish barrier with the trouble-riddled dockyards and vacant warehouses of Brooklyn. Not a nice place to live in the Forties, it's worse now. Beyond the hard-scrabble fringes of East Village, it teems with degeneracy and ne'er-do-wells drawn by the cheap rent, the flophouses, the drugs. In short, the perfect place for a pair of falcons to drop out of the blue.

Rats and horrors dwell down there. That, and demonic spirits preying on the degenerate, the dispossessed, the downtrodden. Angels might protect some of them. Really, in this case, it's the thought that counts. Demons out of line still irk the Firstborn, and Michael happens to be a terrifying cherry on the sundae. Bleeding walls cause trouble for the unfortunates living in the area. Faces in the walls, eyes on fingertips, the sort of nastiness that generally signals a middling haunting of infernal horrors are all part and parcel.

Should be.

But the brothers flying aloft in the grim darkness might taste the oily hue of the taint, and smell something wrong on the air. Something that feels like it was belched out of a smokestack, and spoken words from within a circle distill a wrongness.

Mem Yod Kaf Alef Lamed

Princips militiae caelestis

One drop of blood, and a hot gush follow, calling.

Only a morsel, compared to the great feasts of the war in Heaven. Nevermind that they were, at one point, opponents facing one another across the field. Tonight they are in concert, two edges of the same blade. The one foolish enough to dare such syllables is in for an unpleasant surprise. It's like stepping out on to the back porch and calling a kitten, only to find the father of all tigers coming in answer, eyes aglow.

A handful of demonic spirits without vessels to embody probably don't amount to much. They irritate the locals and depress property values. Who wants to take a bus down the street where the bricks show bones of victims of death and murder? Criminals profit, and the locals cower behind their paper-thin doors, muttering in a slew of languages. It's a place without hope, indisposed with a vacant church doing nothing to turn faith back on the darkest souls.

Not that it ever worked for Lucifer, but he's another matter altogether.

Michael, on the other hand…

That beckons whispers across the air, invoking his name another time in the Latinate and Hebrew-based tongues of the Tetragrammaton. Damn the classical magicians for putting that out there. The second time pulls like a hook in the stomach, hauling on him, dragging him flat down, down within a circle especially prepared.

Mem Yod Kaf Alef Lamed

And the third time, as they say, is the charm…

He appears in the circle, already smoldering with anger. Literally - his wings are out and spread, and the red light runs along the plumes like fire. He rounds on the summoner, pinions mantled like a hawk's. "Who dares?" he demands, and rage makes his voice ring like a bronze bell.

Whatever else there's to be said, a summoning circle makes an excellent addition to the local decor. The room is dark, illuminated by candles placed at the point of a pentagram. Salt and chalk lie on the floor in a circle, braided and interlocked. Not a single hair or scuff-mark breaks the ring. Wax and blood don't make the best substances to draw with but they form the Tetragrammaton all the same. Blood of a non-human variety, the glassy-eyed lamb tossed to the side probably something to do with that.

THe room itself is a dark place, dingy, without so much as a large window. It might be the backroom of some long ago abandoned shop. The air smells musty and thick, drowned in the darkness beyond the smoking tapers, something that speaks to their cheapness. But cheap doesn't mean ineffective.

Michael's lucky the building doesn't collapse at the sound of his wrath, but the thin barrier pressing in speaks to the talent and skill of someone at least capable of drawing a protective line. And if not, well, that particular sullen man roughly about forty-five, fifty tops, carries a perfectly serviceable pistol in a holster, and another in hand. His jeans and brown coat could belong to a million men in a city of four or five times as many folks. The anger doesn't reduce him to much.

He thumbs something small and metallic in his pocket, shrugging. "So it is true. You are exiled. Convenient."

"I am not exiled," says the angel, voice still vibrant with anger. "I came freely. I have never fallen. What do you think you're doing, human?" And where is Lucifer? Surely this isn't a trap or a prank, his brother's never been much of a joker, not like that.

Lucifer is certainly not tied up in the circle; his name isn't on the floor. On the other hand, the Morningstar, however diminished, can raise unholy hell. Unfortunately that requires some effort on his part, flying in circles, and attempting the basic efforts of investigation. Where once a simple divination would have done everything, or he could cut the fabric of reality to pieces, he has to do the ground work.

Or just maybe this was a situation to trap Michael and the cultist in question serves the Morningstar's purposes. And Lucifer is off to find a certain librarian or snicker over a drink with the rest of the fallen.

The human doesn't smile. He looks the sort who rarely does, but the nondescriptness of his expression and the short crop of his medium-brown hair are all but certain to blend into half the hemisphere's population. He thumbs the safety on the pistol, and delivers a particularly bland, unremarkable response. "I want to know the whereabouts of August Miete."

"I don't know it," Michael says, simply, bemused by the question. "That isn't given me to know and that isn't a human I remember meeting. If you're wanting to know if he's in Hell….I'm not the recorder." He shrugs, rage muted by bemusement. This is a strange conversation.

"He is not in Hell," the human says. He possesses traces of an accent, long watered down and washed away. It hints somewhere east and north, but what doesn't in this day and age? The great melting pot, New York, has a way of breaking down social and cultural barriers. Everyone comes together and loses the markers of their individual past, ever since the 17th century. Lamb's blood steams and stews on the ground, forming gelid puddles. He doesn't move from outside the circle, a still man, not the sort who fidgets. Professional then. "Curious you would not. One of your subordinates, then. Your name was invoked."

Michael regards him across the circle, tries the barrier with an easy pace forward. "I do not," he says, again. "And I…I can not help you. You may wish to try an actual demon. They are far more concerned with humans and their evils and their activities, and far more inclined to deal with humans. Let me go."

The force pressing back holds considerable weight. Pure salt, white chalk, blood: all simple enough but for seraphim, as dangerous as anything. For demons, equally as effective. A True Name written on the ground holds additional reinforcement, and even kicking at the wax doesn't change anything. The field presses down from inside the circle. "No." The man shakes his head. "Not that. You say then that your subordinates did nothing for the children of the Almighty when they cried out your name with their dying breaths? That you were deaf to their prayers spattered by their very life's blood?"

The angel peers at him. "I don't say that," he says, simply. He pauses for a long while, going still in the way that nothing truly human can. Then it dawns on him. "You're Israeli," he says, and his expression softens into something like fondness. "But what we do and where we go is not at the direction of humans. A prayer is not a….it is not like hiring an employee, or even beseeching a friend. The Presence directs, but….does not confide. Not even in me. And I am here on this world, in matter, in gravity, in limitation. You can keep me here as long as that holds," he nods at the circle. "Or until I am summoned elsewhere." He spreads his hands. "You can hurt or destroy this body, if that is what you intend. But I am no djinn, to be compelled."

The man doesn't say yes or no to the question. Short of checking his wallet, that might be hard to guess. His aquiline nose speaks to ancestors somewhere in the Caucasian fold. Anger coils around him, a long, low burn rather than a wildfire. Wildfires extinguish their fuel long before the season turns. Enduring fires, those are another thing. Some cultures prize flames that never go out, fed a steady, slow diet. He harbours something banked to last for decades. "Three hundred thousand voices ask, plead. They beg. They pray. They spoke the names and scratched them on the ground with their broken nails, in their death throes." He shakes his head only a little. He can't match Michael for holding still and would never think to try, but it's fairly impressive for a man. "You did not help them then. You cannot help them now? Either weak and diminished, or useless." A shrug lifts his shoulders. "You should hurt."

"How many voices are there in all the worlds? How many thousands in Sodom, in Gomorrah? For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth," says Michael, and hisvoice is tender. "Will you demand of the Most High? I was there. I helped - the children of Israel exist, and the land is theirs, as it was promised. Their foes are scattered and destroyed. I can go before the Throne and ask, but….as a petitioner I have no more weight than you. You misunderstand what I am."

|ROLL| Lucifer +rolls 1d20 for: 15

The response is plain and simple. He shakes his head, a truth spoken from the lips of an angel settling around him. The dingy old room burnished in the candlelight reveals nothing beautiful about it, nothing worthy of the situation. But it's easy for him to draw another circle with a piece of chalk taken from his pocket. The lamb's blood caught in a bowl is still mostly wet, a skin coagulated on the top. He stirs that up and then starts to paint letters on the ground, drawing them one after the other.

Adrammelech fills in as he draws the lines of an overlapping star, anchored at odd points. Dangerous, this, but he measures everything out by occasionally consulting scratches worked into the ground. Brush-painting is incredibly slow this way, but elegant. Finishing the Goetic seal is easy enough, and he stands back.

"I bid your presence, Chancellor of the Southern Quarter, flame-bright, the secret name of Haborym," he calls out in Hebrew, "and call you in the name of Solomon the Wise, Solomon the Magus. Adrammelech." Blood drops into the heart of the key mark. "Adrammelech."

He puts the bowl down and steps back. The pistol at his side is old, about twenty-five years or so, rather plain. Just the sort of thing guards at Treblinka would carry. Pointing at Michael, he fires twice in short order; aiming for the thigh, second for the chest. "Adrammelech, king of qliphoth of Samael. I give you your brother."

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