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Generated: Apr 26, 2018 10:56 PM
Post last updated: Jul 06, 2017 8:02 PM
Heaven's worst, Hell's best
Castiel and Veron in Milliways
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Somewhere at the end of a universe, a bar sits, nearly empty.

It's a nice bar, clean and well kept, with booths and tables and a set of stairs that lead up. There's a cozy looking fireplace in one out of the way corner, surrounded by comfortable looking chairs, all looking quite at home despite themselves. A small side door leads to an outdoors area, and if someone looks carefully, they might see a lake through the door's window. The bar might even be called ordinary, but for the supernovae exploding magnificently outside of its window.

Someone sits miserably huddled in a comfortable chair by the fireplace, mug of dark liquid clutched in his hands. He seems to be quite alone.

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Castiel returns to his apartment after yet another patrol around the city, moving through the apartment towards his bedroom. He walks through, but does not come out into his sparsely decorated, mostly empty room. Instead, he enters into a warm, dim room that smells of smoke and alcohol. A fire crackles in the corner crackles, but other than that it is silent. There is only one other patron, a man slouched in a chair near the fire, facing away from Castiel.

He looks behind him, and sees his bedroom door swinging shut behind him. What is this place?

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The man slouched in the chair unslouches upon hearing the door close, and turns to poke his head over the chair to look at Castiel.

"Hi," he says, a little awkwardly.

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Castiel stares at him a moment too long before realizing that he was supposed to reply. "Hello. Do you know where we are?"

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"Milliways. It borrows doors sometimes, from lots of different places. If you go through the door you came in, you can get back to where you were just fine. No rush, though, time's paused in your home universe while you're here. It is all really weird."

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Castiel tilts his head, confused. "I've never heard of this place. It is not in any universe I know of." Castiel moves to stand closer to the fire, not wanting to leave just yet. "How do you know of it?"

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"Same as you. Wandered in a couple of hours ago. I'd never heard of it either, 'til I walked in."

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"Then who told you about it? I don't see anyone else here except us. If we all just wander in, how does anyone actually know about it?"

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"Oh, uh - that'd be Bar." He points at the bar. There is no one there. "She's a person. Talks through napkins, gives great food and drink recommendations." He sips his drink demonstrably.

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Castiel looks over, and then back at the man, confused. "There is no one there."

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"The, uh. Bar itself. Is a person. It's a very indicative name."

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"I-I'm afraid I don't understand. How can a bar be sentient?"

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The man shrugs helplessly.

"Best explanation I've got is 'magic.' Sorry."

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Castiel nods, and wonders if he would be able to speak to it. He walks over and leans down slightly. "Hello, Bar. I am Castiel."

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A napkin with tidy writing appears on the surface of the bar.

Hello, Castiel. Can I interest you in a beverage? First one's free.

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Castiel freezes in surprise, but recovers quickly enough. "I don't require drinks in this from, but thank you."

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Another napkin appears, this one reading, Certainly. Let me know if you change your mind, or have any questions I might be able to answer.

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Castiel nods his thanks and turns back to the other man. "What is your name?"

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"Veron Chandler. Pleasure to meet you."

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"Castiel, Angel of the Lord." 

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"- Angel? Like, with the holy, and the killing of evil things, and the saving the day?"

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"We smite the beings that cause harm to the universe and are threats to the order of things, yes. I was on a mission on Earth, observing a possible threat, when I came here. How did you get here?"

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"I walked through the door, it changes where it goes based on the person that opens it. Where I came from is a, uh. Longer story. You might want to sit down if you want to hear that one."

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"I have no need to sit, I do not get tired. But, very well." Castiel moves to sit in the armchair opposite Veron.

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That's kind of weird, but honestly, Veron has seen much weirder things. He makes no comment of the overly-specific standing abilities.

"Okay, so. Um. I don't actually know how much like my world your world is, but. Mine's got some problems. Of the giant monsters running around and killing people variety. Or crazy people trying to take over the world, or sacrifice victims for weird magic reasons, or - whatever. Big dangerous things, running around, causing lots of trouble for everyone."

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"I understand those things. I have seen them before, though not on the world I just came from."

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"Oh, wonderful. Congratulations to the world you just came from for not having them. Well. I have this terrible habit of tripping over trouble and landing face first in it. It's a problem. So my life's this mess of danger involving lots of killing of big monstrous things."

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"How are you able to trip over trouble? Unless you're speaking of a physical troubling thing, which I guess is likely if you've been dealing with large monsters and such."

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"... It's, uh. Idiom. Sorry, I'll try to avoid it in the future. It means I have a habit of getting into the middle of troubling situations, without going looking for it. Accidentally coming across situations where there are monsters out to eat people or take over the world or the like. Though I think I have literally tripped over something that counts as troubling, but that wasn't quite what I meant."

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"Ah, of course. How did that trouble cause you to turn up here, though?"

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"Well, I don't actually know what trouble caused me to turn up in Milliways, I think I just got lucky. But I did get into a bit of trouble where, ah." He winces. "Do you have archdevils where you come from?"

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"Archdevils? No, we have the devil, and we have demons. What is an archdevil?"

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"So we have ordinary devils, which are typically evil in a... sneaky rulesy sort of way. They talk people out of their souls with binding contracts that are just so helpful, except for the fine print that damns a person for eternity. As a group, not particularly nice. An archdevil is one of those, but far more powerful, and in charge of important devily things. A Lord of a layer of Hell, if you have a Hell."

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"We do have a hell. I believe we have devils as well, but to us they are known as demons."

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"For us, devils would get really annoyed if anyone mistook them for a demon, so it might not be the same. But anyway, on to my story. Archdevils are really powerful, but they're pretty trapped in Hell. Which is good for just about everyone else, we would like them to stay in Hell. Except one of them just recently escaped." Wince. "By metaphysically switching places with me. So I'm stuck in Hell, while he's running around doing evil things."

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"Did it choose you at random? Or was there some reason it was you who was forced to trade places?

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"It was not random. I had a - metaphysical piece of him with me, that I hadn't realized was connected to him at all. He used that to do a freaky magic thing to trade places with me. It's. Sort of my fault that he's out. Not entirely, there were other people involved that were doing worse things than accidentally carry around a bit of archdevil, but. Yep."

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"Why were you attached to him? Were you in dealings with devils?"

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"No. I - can see why you'd wonder that, but no. It belonged to one of his followers. They died, then I later wandered in and found the thing and went, 'Ooo, shiny, using this won't go terribly at all!' And then it went terribly."

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Castiel nods, "What was it? The thing you found?

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"An artifact that, uh. Let me cheat death. In retrospect that should have been my first clue."

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"You were able to cheat death? For how long?"

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"Uh. Six months? Ish? I kind of kept being in places where measuring time was hard."

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"And now you're paying the price in hell? Is there any way of getting out?"

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"In a way, yeah. I guess I'm paying the price in Hell. There's a way out, but it involves hunting down someone called the Knower of Names. Who's supposedly also trapped in Hell, somewhere. I just have no idea where. Or, alternatively, I could meet someone in here that can help me while time's frozen."

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Castiel looks around, noticing that it was still only the two of them in the small bar. "Is that what you have been waiting for here? Someone who can help you escape?"

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"... I mean, yes, clearly I would like to stop being in Hell, but my priority's less about escaping and more about putting the archdevil back. So he can stop conquering my home. If it were just about me being in Hell, that'd suck, but it's not the priority here. If you want to, to - I don't know, ditch me in Cania for being too covered in evil, I won't pretend to be happy about it. But I want Mephistopheles to be stopped more than I want out. So I'm waiting here for someone that can stop an archdevil. While time's paused, because anything else would be grossly irresponsible, if nothing else he's my responsibility."

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Castiel nods, taking in this new information. "I'm not sure how much use I'd be to you as only a mid-level Seraph, especially if you're going up against something as powerful as an archdevil, but my mission and findings on Earth may be of some use. I was sent out to look into some claims of a powerful demon wreaking havoc on another world. It seems our goals may be more similar than we originally thought."

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"I would definitely appreciate help with the archdevil. Uh. As long as I'm not pointing you to your death, anyway. Do you have, I don't know. Angelic blasting powers of some description, or something?"

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"I am able to smite most low level demons, or devils in this case, by thought and touch alone, but I also have an angel blade that is capable of killing almost anything. The only things it cannot kill, in my experience, are the four archangels and my father himself. I would assume that it is capable of smiting this archdemon. If not, though, there are four archangel blades that could do it, though they'd be near impossible to acquire. 

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"Oh. Then yeah, I would happily welcome your help. If you're um. Willing to help, that is. Though, the sword might not work the same, what with the different universes and all."

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"I guess we'll have to wait to see what will work against it and what won't. But nevertheless, I am willing to help you if I can, angel blade or no."

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"Oh. Well. Thank you, I appreciate that."

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"You are welcome. If this monster isn't dealt with in your world, there is a good chance it will make its way into mine."

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"... I mean, not necessarily. There's a door to a bar in the way, and I get the impression it's touchy about who goes through it and where it appears. But yeah, granted, he might go on a multiversal rampage or something. I don't know what his plan is after conquering Toril."

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Castiel stands finally. "I can't help but wonder if I'll be needing that drink after all. I assume we'll use the door you came through to get here? Where will it deposit us?"

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"Yeah. It'll deposit us right outside a tavern in Cania. And you might want a drink first, Cania's a real piece of work. I always thought Hell would be hot."

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"Sometimes the most frigid places can be worse than the burning ones." Castiel walks up to the Bar and asks for two warm drinks for the road and offers one to Veron. "You will need warmth if we're to be travelling in Cania."

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"No kidding. Thanks." He takes the drink, sipping it and looking thoughtful. "... I'm trapped in Cania, plane shifts won't work for me. You wouldn't have that problem."