I’ve had an interesting past few days.
Chamiel transported us to the previous site of my manor and engaged Raziel. As I stood there, at the back of a four-person team, I wished that I’d had the foresight to install secret entrances to my basement. Alas, it felt too Bond Villain-y to do at the time. There were better uses for investment capital.
As I thought that, the earth caved in and I landed, unharmed, on the floor of my basement. The mantel to my fireplace upstairs, and Lanzettenblatt, had fallen right next to my big sink and bucket. Lanzettenblatt’s wards were still active.
I breathed deeply, and felt that this was my home. Despite the strain of the past few hours, a wave of perfect calm enveloped me, ruffled only by what I knew about the Devil’s Device that I planned to take up and use. A wise man fears a weapon for what he might do with it. I am not wise, but even fools fear Lanzettenblatt. I took it up, then mixed a saline solution in hopes that I could enhance the conductivity of a target by splashing them with the salt solution. Then I renounced my worship of Raziel, just to make it explicit.
He appeared before me. My heart stopped. At that moment, I could feel Lanzettenblatt’s own baleful will push against my mind, grasping for dominance.
And then the smug bastard restarted my ticker. I spat an insult at him and brandished Lanzettenblatt, but he’d already returned to the battle against Chamiel. I gave chase up the ladder, but I’d forgotten the timeline I’d been working with. The others had already slain the Messiah, and Raziel was gone.
Screw it, I thought, and returned to my basement, sealing the roof above me. I briefly considered returning upstairs to hex the Cultist’s weaponry, but finally, I decided that it was not my problem. I kept Lanzettenblatt close, fighting its demoniac pull, and waited.
Eventually, the Warden found me. I’ll abbreviate: For now, I’ve gotten away with simply a cheesy Hollywood Hero monologue about what will happen if I ever endanger her Seattle ever again. Her speech struck my heart, so reminiscent of my own protection of Dresden’s citizenship. She may one day know what I do, that not all risks can be mitigated. I’d never thought I might represent that risk to another Wizard.
Of lesser importance, a karmic trade. I yielded the Engelnetz Lore to Rashid, the Gatekeeper. In return, the Universe granted me a low-stress look at the Ordo Malleus’ data on Angels. I offloaded them into ALAREC, under the Engelnetz project, just prior to writing this entry, with no intention of using the knowledge in the next century or three.
Oh yeah, I also got to go to a party featuring Queen Titania herself as an honored guest. I did my best to be nice, but I was tired, and probably not at my best. I was also paranoid about my own assumptions. Sixty-five years of country clubs, school board meetings, opera, publisher’s parties, investor’s banquets, and so on, should have prepared me for the Hidden World’s social scene as something other than the White Council’s Dog of War.
In mortal affairs, one presumes benignity. In the hidden world, one must presume malignity. I, foolishly, believed in a parity between mortal social affairs and the occult, and innocents paid. I find myself personally culpable for the damages Raziel has done, and will do. Those lives bow my shoulders.
I’ve returned to my basement. Instant coffee’s steaming in the cup as I snack on a microwaved Hot Pocket and model the Cathedral above me with CAD. It’s time for it to go. Leaving it be is letting that bastard angel win. Besides, what is the purpose of my power, if I am unable to strike a blow against those who would impose their will upon humanity?
If I pull out the core of each wall so that only the outer inch remains, it’ll give the police the illusion that a ‘true cathedral’ never stood here. It should dovetail nicely with Gabriel’s spin doctors’ story. The remainder, I’ll have trucked away. Mundane reconstruction of my manor will keep prying eyes off the site. Or at least so I hope.
Are Elsa and Sam alright? My texts may as well be flying out into the ether! I am not a quarter of the Wizard without their logistical aid.
And without their aid, maybe I should trust my judgment less! But who do I consult? Not the Warden, surely. Never ask a cop. Maybe Gabriel? No. Might as well just tell the Warden at that point.
Perhaps Manny. Manny can be discreet. And he’d let me know if what I propose is a madman’s plan.
Manny it is.