Post-NaNo Update: Strangle the Sirens

No, not the mermaid relatives. Although that would probably be a sane last-ditch option if you were ever washed off shipboard and they were coming at you with shark teeth. It’s quite possible to smother something with gills, even in the water; you just have to know where to grab.

No, I’m talking about fire sirens. Most of the time I have no problem with them; they serve a purpose, and they’re supposed to be impossible to ignore for a reason.

But where I am they have a near-Christmas tradition of driving firetrucks through the neighborhoods to toss candy, blaring Christmas music, the horns… and the sirens.

I can take the first two, but the use of emergency sirens in what is not an emergency drives me right up the wall. Blows my concentration completely.

Which at least got me to thinking on characters and use of levels of force in Seeds. And yes, magic counts as levels of force, just as various verbal and physical tactics do. Myrrh tends to be very deliberate and sparing in her use of magic; it’s mostly either to make a point hard, or end fights as quick as she can. (Which can lead bad guys to seriously underestimate how much firepower is actually present.) Aidan hasn’t had a lot of time to practice, but… he’s probably going to be a bit more free with what he casts, simply because it’s more on the level of breathing. Church – well, she’s no spellcaster, but she’s likely to use items just like a cop uses radio, cuffs, and gun: try to fit the tool to the problem, and always remember it’s easier to escalate force than deescalate it.

And one of the problems that happened in the Net ‘verse is that most Hunters were trained for magical and physical force, not the verbal and political kind. Ow.

Not entirely sure where I need to go with that yet, but it’s definitely something I need to keep in mind for edits later.

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20 thoughts on “Post-NaNo Update: Strangle the Sirens

  1. And one of the problems that happened in the Net ‘verse is that most Hunters were trained for magical and physical force, not the verbal and political kind. Ow.

    Probably because the Masquerade was in effect prior to . . . don’t need much political savvy when you work outside the system because it has no idea about the Things That Go Bump In The Night . . . or much verbal skill when mostly what you tell people amounts to “What you just saw was impossible. Understand?”

    It wouldn’t surprise me if most of the Hunters and others of their ilk have a similar attitude toward their various governments, etc as Magicians and Fanalis in ‘Around do – “Avoid if possible, most of their rules are less rules than guidelines or at least crunchy and good with ketchup, pull a ninja and disappear if you have to because they will take advantage and it is always ends badly for the magician or Fanalis in question . . .and that’s if they don’t bring the pitchforks from the get-go . . .”

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      1. Myrrh is, yes; a lot of Hunters probably didn’t get as much of a shot. Also, the whole “beauty equals goodness” argument doesn’t carry as much weight these days… *G* Not that Myrrh would strip down in an open court, generally speaking.

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  2. It probably also has to do with how it’s hard to make time to use verbal and political power if you don’t already have enough magical and physical power to survive long enough. And from the sound of it, most Hunters have enough trouble just making sure they survive. Meanwhile, Steven’s got enough magical/physical power to play around with verbal/political power.

    I didn’t notice it until you mentioned it, but yeah, it’s true that we never see Myrrh using magic unless it really is the only way to deal with something. It’s like it’s something she’s really, really good at using, but not something she has to use. Aiden on the other hand… if what Myrrh says about mages is true, he needs to be around fire on a consistent basis. Never mind the complications that come with being something summoned to the moral plane and unlike, Myrrh, he doesn’t have an anchor on the mortal plane (I think).

    Speaking of fire, I was thinking about how it’s often associated with purifying remains/corpses and the like. And then I got to thinking that using it against fire demons with the intent to purify would probably be the equivalent of giving them energy drinks… unless you were using something like Holy Oil as the fuel maybe…

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    1. I imagine when it comes to fire demons and holy fires, it’s probably more about who brought more mystical oomph to the fight: the Holy or the Infernal. Once the cosmic wang-waving is taken care of, the two fires probably become one, like two wildfires meeting in nature.

      Though alternatively they could burn each other out as they compete to consume the same limited resource: fuel.

      Probably when there’s a major power disparity in how Holy/Unholy respectively the sides are it plays out the first way, while a more equal playing field has it going the second way (and someone who may or may not have much in the way of power but really knows what they’re doing with what they’ve got can get it to go whichever direction they want on the absorb v. mutual burn-out scale. Someone like oh, I dunno, Myrrh maybe).

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      1. In the old days in a lot of Christian countries, everybody relit their fires from the Easter fire, and you had Candlemas blessed candles around the house to use for various purposes, like against storms (“thunder candles”, which also ward off wolves, if you ask Polish people) or during emergencies and illnesses.

        Nowadays, not so much. But there is still a lot of that stuff around.

        I suppose one of those six hour saint votive candles in glass could be like a little mortar for Aiden, particularly if he got them blessed by a priest.

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      2. Well, I’M be worried that his half-demon nature might make him a bit allergic to such candles, but I could totally see Hunters or maybe Church using one of those blessed candles – which I think you can actually buy at some churches – as the base of a low power anti-monster tool.

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      3. And you wouldn’t usually burn blessed palms (the leaves) until it is time to make ashes for the parish Ash Wednesday; but almost everybody Catholic keeps them around the house, and they would be good fuel for a holy fire.

        (What can I say? Catholics like sacramentals, and any kind of blessing of stuff.)

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      4. Oh, and St. John’s Day is coming, when our ask the priest to bless wine (“or any other drink”), and the Von Trapps used to drink “the love of St. John” by passing wine around the table.

        Jaegermeister was invented as a medicinal drink, of course, and it is associated with St. Hubert. I forgot to mention that before!

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  3. Huh, they do the Christmas candy fire truck thing where I live too. I wanted to strangle them as well, but that’s because i was sick the day they came through and the noise wouldn’t let me sleep.

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