Interlude 33E – Jophiel and Elisabet

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In the middle of a mostly empty warehouse, seven strange figures sat around a large table. The dim lighting from a standing lamp set near the table revealed poker chips and cards scattered across the surface, along with ashtrays, drinks, and the remnants of food. Loud, boisterous taunting and jokes filled the air as the figures continued their intense game.

None of the figures were human, and all but two appeared to be very different species from each other. The largest was an enormous, nine-foot tall Minotaur, who dwarfed even the specially-made large chair that he lounged in at the head of the table.

Continuing around the table clockwise sat a dark-furred Rakshasa; a figure that looked like a Tolkien elf with high pointed ears and and an aristocratic bearing; another who was quite similar to that, save for possessing red skin; a shark-like humanoid who was almost as large as the Minotaur; and a figure who might have been mistaken for a vampire from any who did not know him to be one of their progenitor species, an Akharu.

Finally, on the other side of the Minotaur, opposite the Rakshasa, was a small figure who technically stood only about two feet tall. With its large eyes, enormous ears, and wide mouth that stretched across its entire face, the figure looked quite similar to the Disney character of Stitch. Except, of course, for the long, flowing, cape-like appendage that was attached to his shoulders. The ‘cape’ had razor-sharp talons lining the entirety of the far end. Talons that held a incredibly deadly, paralytic poison. It was three times as long as the creature’s main body, and strong enough to hold it fully upright so that the creature could be eye-to-eye with a six-foot tall man. The cape-appendage could be used to glide long distances, and to protect the creature itself, as it was both bulletproof, and resistant to most kinds of magic.

Though they were often referred to as ‘caped-gremlins’, the creature was actually called a Larikeken. Their use of their cape-like appendages to stand taller than they actually were had led to long confusion about whether they were actually one or two species. And more than one group of Larikeken had ambushed unsuspecting enemies by hiding several of their number under one cape.

In the midst of a particularly raucous series of betting, the heavily reinforced and magically protected door at the entrance of the warehouse abruptly crumpled inward, bending almost entirely in half before it flew off to loudly clatter its way across the floor.

The Spanish woman who walked through the opening then brought the stunned poker players to their feet even faster than the crashing door already would have.

“Heretic!” the Minotaur bellowed loudly while grabbing an enormous axe that had been laid nearby. Around him, the rest of the figures all moved to attack the intruder.

It was an assault that ended exactly as soon as it had begun. With one hand, the woman snapped her fingers. At that command, a trio of three foot thick, concrete tentacles with spikes on the end erupted from the cement floor of the warehouse. Before the figures knew what was happening, the Minotaur, Rakshasa, and shark-man were fully impaled by the cement tentacles, leaving their suddenly lifeless bodies hanging there.

At the same time, the woman waved her other hand, and a wall of intense fire, tall enough to reach the ceiling, rose up before rolling across the opposite half of the room. The remaining four Alters were caught by the flames, and their screams briefly filled the air before going silent.

A dark blue, almost black aura rose around the Spanish woman, though she didn’t even break stride as she followed her own rolling flame. As the fire faded, it left behind scorched and melted concrete, a few ashes and crumbling bones from the bodies it had picked completely clean… and two distinctly glowing shapes. While both elf-like figures had been entirely incinerated, the smaller Larikeken and the Akharu were trapped within glowing blue, semi-translucent crystals. The crystals had protected them from the fire that turned their companions to ashes, yet held them prisoner. Their own screams were rendered mute against their crystal prisons.

Would you like to take the next part? Elisabet silently inquired of her Seosten partner and lover.

Yes I believe I will, the other woman replied. Seamlessly, she took over. To the outside world, there would be no change at all. The two were so perfectly in sync with each other that one could pass control to the other in mid-step and show no delay or hesitation whatsoever.

“Now then,” Jophiel used her partner’s mouth to announce while stopping directly in front of the two trapped figures. “Let’s play a game.” With those words, their fingers snapped once more, and the crystals shattered. The two figures that had been trapped within fell to the floor.

The Akharu was back on his feet in an instant, his incredible speed turning him into a blur of motion that would have been impossible for most beings of the planet to even hope to track.

Most beings, however, did not include a Crossroads Committee-level Seosten-Heretic pairing. Jophiel and Elisabet could have read an entire book in the time it took the man to lunge at them. Even as his feet pushed off and his fist swung wildly for their throat, Jophiel raised a single finger, holding their arm outstretched while remaining perfectly still. The incoming fist slammed into that single finger, and a shockwave of force reverberated throughout the room. The finger remained entirely motionless, as if nothing at all had happened. Meanwhile, the Akharu’s fist crumpled under the impact like a car slamming into a wall during a failed safety test. From the point of collision and spreading out to encompass the entire arm over the span of milliseconds, skin, muscle, and bone all turned to stone, which in turn crumbled to dust.

It would have required a dramatically slowed replay to actually see. Or, of course, the incredible reflexes and speed of the Akharu who experienced it. In the time that it would have taken most to register that their fist had been not just blocked, but broken by a single finger, his entire arm up to the shoulder had turned to stone and completely shattered. The remains lay scattered along the floor at their feet while he stared down incredulously, the pain drawing a belated scream.

“I said,” Jophiel started once more, her voice remaining perfectly even, “let’s play a game.” Lifting both hands, she summoned a handful of much smaller concrete coils from the floor to wrap around the now one-armed Akharu and his gremlin-like companion. The coils yanked both down and held them in place against their struggles while Jophiel stepped between them. The woman stood there, looking first to one, then the other, as though deciding which to start with.

She settled on the smaller figure. Lifting a foot, the woman settled it against his throat. “This is a very simple game. I will ask you a question. Lie to me, and you will suffer. For example…” She made a sharp gesture with one hand. In response, one of the caped-gremlin’s finger bones was torn from its socket. The bone ripped its way free, tearing through muscle and skin as it was ripped out, flying into the woman’s waiting hand.

Crushing the finger bone between two fingers while the figure literally under her boot screamed and howled, Jophiel gave him just a moment of that before pressing her foot down enough to cut off his wails so that she could speak over the sound of the resulting gurgling.

“You have many more bones to go before I would need to get… creative. So I suggest you answer my questions. And do recall that I will know if you are lying.”

With her point firmly established, she began with, “You and your… companions work for a man you know as Hades. You will tell me everything that you have done for him for the past year.”

Her foot lowered a bit more, making her point even clearer as she added, “Be… thorough.”

******

That may have been cathartic, Elisabet noted as they strode out of the warehouse some time later, but it was not all that informative as far as our actual problem goes.

You’re right, Jophiel agreed. But at the very least, we know more about some of Manakel’s side-projects. If need be, we have ammunition that can be used against him should he make a fuss or hold anything back during our upcoming personal discussion.

With that, the woman gestured. A portal appeared in the air, and they stepped through, leaving the warehouse, and the planet itself, behind.

The portal carried the joined pair to a small, tropical island. Ignoring the beauty around them, Jophiel focused instead on the cabin that, aside from the dock built along the shore, was the only bit of construction visible on the island.

Upon their arrival, Jophiel and Elisabet were met by a cough. Manakel, wearing his own currently most-used host, stepped into view. “You know,” the old Seosten announced flatly with his host’s voice, “that group was rather useful to me. They were no Seosten, of course. But they were punctual and dependable. Then you had to go throw your temper tantrum and–”

That was as far as he got before Elisabet crossed the distance between them. Her hand snapped out to lock around the throat of Manakel’s host, hoisting them from the ground before slamming the host’s back against the wall of the cabin hard enough to make it rattle from the force. “You were told,” she began in a voice that shook the air like thunder, “to leave the Moon children out of your schemes.

That was why Jophiel and Elisabet were furious beyond measure. The idea, the thought, that Manakel had disregarded Jophiel’s orders to keep his hands away from the children of Sariel, enraged both of them to the point that it required actual effort not to burn him and his host to the ground right where they stood. The time and work that the two of them had put into maintaining Vanessa Moon’s safety, in preventing her from ending up out in Kushiel’s torture lab, only for the girl and her brother to disappear without a trace? It positively stank of Manakel’s doing.

“And,” Manakel announced in his own voice then, having stepped out of his host after taking the time to leave the figure in question unconscious, “I’ve done precisely that. I had nothing to do with Sariel’s spawn going wherever it is that they went. A fact that I could have told you without your unnecessary… visit to my employees.”

“Why,” Elisabet asked for the two of them, “should we believe a word that comes from your mouth on this subject? You already tried to go behind my back once when I denied your petition to take the boy when he first reappeared.” She released Manakel’s slumbering host, letting the figure drop to the ground. “An insult, I remind you, that I have not forgotten. Nor will it go unanswered in its time, I assure you.”  

Briefly, Jophiel pondered how the proud Seosten would react to the knowledge that it was Elisabet, the human, and not her who was currently threatening him. It was, she had to admit, a rather amusing thought.

“Jophiel,” Manakel started with his trademark faux joviality and camaraderie. “Please. I’ve already admitted that that was a… an overzealous mistake. Please. Listen, I know we have had our… disagreements, of late. But I promise you, I know nothing about the disappearances of Sariel’s hybrid children. Now, I won’t pretend that I don’t still want them. But in this case, I’m as in the dark as you. A fact that you in particular could have ascertained even from my employees without using such violent means. Good help is hard enough to find without my own allies killing them. Especially an ally whose gift makes such permanent measures entirely unnecessary.”

He was referring, of course, to Jophiel’s Olympian gift, the power that she had gained from her own enhancements. In her case, that allowed her to look at anyone she could see and apply any particular emotional feeling they felt for any other person to herself. She could make a person love her as much as they loved their own wife, or their mother. It made acquiring information much easier at times.

But in this case, the disappearance of the twins had left both of them as angry as they had ever been. They had not been in the mood to make things easy.

Allow me, Jophiel gently advised her partner.  Stepping away from the man’s host, she gave the figure a pointed look before returning her gaze to him. “Somehow, I think you may know more than you’re saying. The twins did, after all, disappear from Crossroads grounds.”

“And yet,” Manakel easily replied, “what I said holds true. You know everything that I do about what happened to those children. Unless Sinclaire is holding her cards particularly close to her chest, everyone there is equally clueless. It seems that no one on either side has the faintest idea where Sariel’s spawn have scampered off to. It–” He chuckled a little. “It’s really almost amusing, if you stop and think about it. Here we’ve all been fighting over the two of them almost since their existence was revealed, and now… poof. They’ve disappeared.”

“I’m not laughing,” Jophiel informed the man flatly. “If what you’re saying is true… then who took them? That implies that some other force has the ability to pluck people straight from Crossroads without our being able to either stop them, or find any trace afterward. Speaking plainly, I would prefer that it be you stepping out of line.”

Accepting that with a faint nod, Manakel offered, “Have you tried speaking with Amitiel on the subject? He could know more.”

Despite the situation, Jophiel found herself giving the man a tight-lipped smile. “This wouldn’t be your way of sniffing for clues to Amitiel’s current host or mission, would it?”

Amitiel, known to the ancient Greek humans as Hermes, and to the Romans as Mercury, was one of the most stealth-minded Seosten among all of the Olympians. His ability to remain undetected despite intensive efforts to locate him surpassed even Sariel when she had been loyal, and he often engaged in long-term undercover assignments that could take him out of contact for years, or even decades in certain situations.

Jophiel and Elisabet knew who he was, as part of the Seosten woman’s position as head of Crossroads operations. As did her counterpart who had been embedded in Eden’s Garden, Cahethal/Demeter. Yet, Jophiel was fairly certain that they were the only ones on Earth who were aware of his current host and what he was doing. And that list didn’t get much longer even when the rest of the universe was brought in.

Manakel’s smile was unabashed. “You can hardly blame me for trying, can you? He is, after all, insufferable about his little secrets. It would be nice to put one over on him for once.”

“You’ll have to play your games on your own time,” Jophiel informed him. “Or, you could find out where Sariel’s children are so that I don’t rip your heart from your chest and force you to use it as your next culinary experiment.”

“I assure you,” Manakel replied, “if I come across any information as to their whereabouts, I will be very certain to inform you immediately.”

“See that you do.” Pausing after that, Jophiel looked to the man. “And as far as Kushiel and Puriel’s child goes, have you found her yet?”

Manakel’s head shook once, the annoyance that he had to answer that in the negative as well clear in his expression before he masked it. “No. And you know that they hate it when you call her that.”

“She does,” Jophiel corrected him. “Puriel is the only reason the girl isn’t still in one of her mother’s labs. Or that her existence is known to us at all.”

Manakel chuckled, his voice dark. “You’re not suggesting that the old captain actually cares for a Lie?”

“I am suggesting,” Jophiel retorted, “no more or less than I have outright stated. Without Puriel’s personal intervention, the Lie would not have been made available for this mission. And speaking of this mission, you seem to be presenting more problems than you are solutions since your arrival. Your spy, the Isaac monster, has gone dark. You lost the pixie. You lost the Lie. And now Sariel’s children have vanished. Tell me, Lord of the Underworld, what have you accomplished here, precisely? Do feel free to embellish. I’d like a reason not to spend my afternoon explaining to Metatron why it was necessary to remove you from your position.”

“You want to know everything I’ve been doing,” Manakel guessed, lifting his chin. “That’s why you went to one of my mercenary groups, to double-check what I’m about to tell you.”

Jophiel gave him a humorless smile. “The only thing you’re wrong about is the assumption that I only went to one of your mercenary bands. News of the others simply hasn’t reached you yet. And, it won’t. I’d prefer you not know which lies are safe to keep and which I already know about.”

With a simple wave, she summoned two comfortable chairs, perching herself in one before reaching down. By the time her hand was low enough, there was already a small table there with a glass of iced tea waiting.

“So please, start at the beginning. Perhaps we’ll find out if any of your manipulations could have led to the Moon children disappearing.”

She continued in a tone that was no less dangerous than it had been upon on her arrival, her disdain for the man patently obvious. “And if I might offer you the same advice I gave to one of your people back there…

“Be thorough.”

******

And that was no more helpful than anything else we’ve done today, Jophiel noted later, as the joined pair stood at the edge of a waterfall somewhere deep in the middle of the Crossroads Island jungle. Their fist tightened. If something happened to those children…

It wasn’t just about their long-running, subtle efforts to convince their leadership of the benefits behind a true Seosten-Human partnership. They had also grown to genuinely care for Vanessa Moon in the time that they had been secretly protecting her from being abducted for testing, even if the girl herself remained completely unaware of their existence. They were proud of her accomplishments, despite the fact that she would have seen them as enemies of her and her family. The thought that she and her twin might be under the ‘care’ of that unhinged…

Elisabet interrupted her thoughts. You know what we must check next, my beautiful sianame.

Groaning inwardly, Jophiel lamented, I have no desire to see that place again.

You and I both, Elisabet agreed. But if she has ignored higher orders and taken them anyway…

With a sigh, Jophiel agreed. Turning their hand intangible, she reached into their body to retrieve the key from its place on their rib cage. With a wave of their hand, she created a simple door there in front of them. Activating the key, she used it and they stepped through.

*******

Even for someone as powerful and connected as Jophiel was, gaining access to Kushiel’s lab was no simple matter. There were politics involved, and layers of secrets as to its location. Days came and went while she and Elisabet alternated between Earth and Seosten space working their way through everything necessary for them to get there for what she called an inspection. And each day that went by convinced them more and more that Kushiel had somehow bypassed the chain of command to take those children.

Finally, after Jophiel and Elisabet had long-since passed the point of patience, their request was granted. Going through a series of at least seven portals and various security measures, they eventually  found themselves standing in a banquet room with three figures waiting.

“Kushiel,” Jophiel started while focusing on the lone female figure, who sat at the head of the table. “Was there a reunion that I was not invited to?“

Kushiel’s companions both looked to one another. Radueriel, who had been Hephaestus on Earth, stood. His voice was amicable. “Reunion is perhaps a most apt word for it, my lovely fake wife.”

“Yup,” Abbadon/Ares confirmed. Radueriel’s own true lover, despite Lucifer’s stories, rose alongside his husband. The tallest and most physically imposing of the Olympians, Abbadon stood a solid seven feet, two inches tall. His body was solid muscle that would have made the most roided up bodybuilder back on Earth weep from inadequacy. “One great big reunion.”

Watching the three of them carefully, Jophiel asked, “What, precisely, does that mean?”

Even as she asked that, an alarm began to blare from nearby, while a voice from an intercom spoke of arriving unknown spaceships. In response to that, a shark-like smile spread across Kushiel’s face.

“It means, my dear, that you should stick around for awhile.

“Our company has arrived.”

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31 comments

  1. There we go, guys, a nice little bonus chapter, courtesy of the donator who wanted to see this interlude option from the list so much that they actually paid to get it written! 😀 How cool is that? All thanks to them, and to you guys for reading my scribblings. Thank you all.

    Today’s tags are: Abbadon, Apollo‚ Athena‚ And Their Allies Vs Kushiel‚ Radueriel‚ Abbadon‚ And Their Allies‚ With Jophiel Undecided. I Doubt This Will Be Solved By Diplomacy., Elisabet, I’m Just Going To Go Out On A Limb Here And Say That Annoying A Committee-Level Seosten-Heretic Bonded Pair Seems Like A Bad Idea., Jophiel, Kushiel, Manakel, Radueriel

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, so…

    -Manakel tried to grab Tristan (but not Vanessa) at one point and I’m curious about when and why.
    – Of all people, it was Puriel who got Theia away from Kushiel. I definitely did not see that coming. What the hell happened to him after he got banished? Maybe…
    – Kushiel is ready for the attack, and I look forward to learning how she found out. Or if Radueriel just figured out his quarry’s next target and went there to head them off.
    -And J&E are at the lab, as I hoped they would be. Now I suppose it’s time for them to learn about their example.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One quick thing. In this paragraph, Manakel’s host is dropped to the ground:

      “Why,” Elisabet asked for the two of them, “should we believe a word that comes from your mouth on this subject? You already tried to go behind my back once when I denied your petition to take the boy when he first reappeared.” She released Manakel’s slumbering host, letting the figure drop to the ground. “An insult, I remind you, that I have not forgotten. Nor will it go unanswered in its time, I assure you.”  

      But then in five paragraphs later, the host is released again.

      Allow me, Jophiel gently advised her partner. Releasing the man’s host, she gave the figure a pointed look before returning her gaze to him. “Somehow, I think you may know more than you’re saying. The twins did, after all, disappear from Crossroads grounds.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm, I think it actually could be solved by diplomacy.

    In the sense that if someone talks J&E into going loud with their defection midfight the situation would be solved when they clean the floor with several of the defending Olympians.

    —-

    Now, how the hell did Kushiel know this was going down?

    Or did she call in the reinforcements in case J&E decided to kick her around?

    Like

    1. Gah, clicked post to fast: Meant to add: And then detected the incoming ships before the alarm somehow and got catty?

      Or does Athena have a leak somewhere?

      Like

    2. My first thought was that it’s more Radueriel – he’s smart enough to guess what their ultimate destination will be and head there to meet them rather than try to track them down.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jophiel on her own is probably powerful then add that to a committee level person….OP. How would they fare against Kushiel?

    Yassss I’m so here for this Hephaestus/Ares ship (although I’m still cheering for the other side so now I’m conflicted)

    Tbh because of the heretic ability I have this power up fantasy of one of Flick or her friends somehow pulling off a high-tier Olympian kill and then gaining a ridiculous ability (even more so than the one Flick already got lol)

    So hype for the upcoming fight!

    Like

  5. I don’t understand why commentators are happy about this development. This is really bad. Not only is Kushiel prepared for the attack (already really bad for our group), Elizabet is probably powerful enough on her own to guarantee hard and heavy losses for our hero group. If she defects here then the hero group loses not only a committee member but also their high ranking Seosten administrator that’s been protecting them so much.

    I can’t possibly see a way through this that doesn’t lead to some very bad outcomes.

    Like

    1. Because it’s going to be entertaining as hell. That’s why we’re happy.

      Also, they only lose that if she defects and anyone is able to contradict her version of events. Which is a problem Apollo can resolve.

      WoG is that Apollo’s ability is to make people believe whatever he tells them … even if their eyes say he’s wrong. That’s right, he can LITERALLY do a “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes” and have people believe him.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. We’re excited because it’s exciting, and will be entertaining. And part of the reason it’s exciting is because Jophiel and Elisabet almost certainly won’t actually want Kushiel’s side to win. Vanessa and Tristan are there and they’re dedicated to protecting them. They still want to use Athena’s faction to show the value of human-Seosten partnerships. They just confirmed that they hate the lab and Kushiel. They want Flick to free her mom. And their (commissioned) interlude had them talk about how much they need an “example” of a successful human and Seosten partnership, which I am convinced will be Flick and Tabbris, and now is the best time they’re going to learn about Tabbris so they can have that example.

      The main incentive Jophiel and Elisabet have to seriously fight for Kushiel is to maintain their cover. That’s highly important, of course. But it’s not enough to guarantee they’ll stick to it. They really are a wild card here. Personally, I think they’ll initially decide to cut their losses regarding Flick (they’ve already done that at least once) and Athena so they can get Vanessa and Tristan to safety, then start covertly sabotaging “their” side when/if they learn about Tabbris. And then I hope other things happen.

      I’m excited to find out if I’m right or wrong, so I’m excited by the end of this chapter. I’m also excited by the possibility of seeing Kushiel die, Radueriel and Abbadon in action, Abbadon vs Athena, seeing Flick and Tabbris fight together after their training, Apollo reveal himself to the enemy, Sariel getting freed…

      That’s why I’m happy about this development.

      Also, because I don’t think Apollo’s power has been explained in the story yet, here’s a link to WoG pheonix is referring to:

      https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/heretical-edge-discussion-thread.358588/page-373#post-46066060

      Liked by 2 people

      1. As a quick clarification, I’m not convinced I fully want Kushiel to die yet (part of me hopes Pace has something to do with her actual death), but I still hope to at least see her humiliated.

        Like

  6. ok… I’m going to venture a little guess
    “force you to use it as your next culinary experiment”
    would Manakel/Hades host be the cook???
    that give a whole new meaning to hell’s kitchen…

    Like

    1. Good thought, but Paschar/Cupid/Eros was actually mentioned as being the head chef on the ship. He’s the one who used the love potion on Professor Tangle and was in charge of Operation Deal With Hannah/Avalon until Manakel was brought in.

      Like

      1. Oh, lol. Right, fair enough. Sorry, I was talking to someone else about the Olympian ship positions before that, so that’s what was on my mind.

        Like

  7. Abbadon, Apollo‚ Athena‚ And Their Allies Vs Kushiel‚ Radueriel‚ Abbadon‚ And Their Allies‚ With Jophiel Undecided.

    Wait, Abbadon is on both sides now? (On mobile, so I can’t tell if that’s in the actual tags too or just the ones in the comment.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, sorry. Abbadon there should just be a separate tag. I noticed that it looked like that afterward and tried to edit the joke tag a bit to move it away from Abbadon’s tag to avoid the confusion, but wordpress refuses to update the tags. I’ve tried five times to cut out that tag and add the new one, but it won’t take. Sorry again.

      Like

  8. Hm. I don’t exactly share the feeling of joy some others have, since this is going to be a mess of a fight where any number of things could go south, never mind the fact that the primary objectives- free Sariel and the other prisoners- are going to be extremely difficult to achieve.

    Like

  9. ““Why,” Elisabet asked for the two of them, “should we believe a word that comes from your mouth on this subject?” — Should “we” believe? I wonder if Manakel noticed the word choice, and if so, what he thought of it.

    Honestly, I’m on Manakel’s side here. Elisabet and Jophiel were really unprofessional. (That said, maybe he deserves it for trying to go behind their back before.) And I’m still really curious how exactly Jophielisabet were able to convince the leadership to let Vanessa (and Tristan) remain free.

    Nice to finally get information about Amitiel. We now know he’s at least nominally a loyal Seosten.

    “your next culinary experiment.” – And now you’re trying to convince us that Manakel is possessing Chef Escalan.

    Interesting that Puriel apparently was responsible for Theia being assigned to Earth. I wonder what’s up with him.

    Well shit. I guess we know what Athena’s going to be doing — fighting Abbadon, since she’s the only one there with any real hope of standing up to him (given certain WoG’s). Fortunately she’s also the goddess of wisdom, so hopefully her tactical planning skills will allow the rest of her forces to outfight the enemy. As for ideal matchups…Apollo could probably beat Radueriel in a fight. I have no idea how they’re going to beat Kushiel when assassination seems off the table. Honestly, having the adult Heretics handle her might be for the best, since their wide variety of powers gives them more options. And Jophielisabet are a major wildcard. For one thing, since Jophiel refuses to stop possessing Elisabet, she can’t engage unless she’s absolutely sure none of the good guys are going to escape and get a message to Earth. I’m guessing she’ll use that as a reason to avoid engaging for a while. And it’s looking quite likely that Hendy’s “Jophielisabet co-opting Flick to their plans, using magic to ensure her silence” idea is actually going to happen.

    Of course, battle is chaotic, so ideal matchups are really unlikely. And in fact, I’d find it much more interesting if we get asymmetric matchups in favor of both sides at different times. Haiden and Larissa trying not to get totally pwned by Abbadon, for instance, or Radueriel having to try to occupy Athena as best he can.

    Like

    1. And it’s looking quite likely that Hendy’s “Jophielisabet co-opting Flick to their plans, using magic to ensure her silence” idea is actually going to happen.

      I’m positive Jophiel and Elisabet will find out about Tabbris in the upcoming arc. I hope they’ll also end up revealing themselves to her and Flick and then take steps to keep tabs on them, keep them alive, and prevent them from exposing Jophiel (like Manakel did with Isaac and Katarin) The idea of an adversarial, unwilling “mentorship” between J&E and F&T that the latter are forced to keep secret would be all kinds of fascinating for me.

      But in the name of caution, I hesitate to say it’s going to happen until it actually does. I hope Cerulean goes down that particular route, but if he doesn’t, he doesn’t.

      Like

  10. I just want to take a second to appreciate that all this chaos among the Seosten Infiltrators is the result of Vanessa going “sure, why not?” when Tristan suggested not resisting the weird feelings he was getting.

    Liked by 1 person

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