Nov
05
2017

In Nomine Revisited: Oddities in the Lightning Organization Chart.

Jean’s Odder Groups – Google Docs

I make no apologies for stealing that one joke. I never have, and I never will.

Oddities in the Lightning Organization Chart

 

Lightning’s Lunatics

Well, in official correspondence this group is merely called the Creation Trusteeship, but nobody calls them that except Jean, Archangel of Lightning, and his stuffier peers. Aside from everything else, the name is no longer completely accurate: certain angels serving Lightning have become not-quite-official members of this not-quite-official group — usually with a not-quite-inaudible sigh of relief by everyone involved. Mavericks can be a bit of a problem in a properly-organized laboratory, after all. Letting them go to where their eccentricities are not only tolerated, but cherished makes for a serene organizational chart and cuts down on the Falling rate.

Lightning’s Lunatics are where the odd theorists (to orthodox Servitors of Jean, anyway) hang out; savants working with obscure and arcane scientific theories, engineers specializing in unusual technological pathways, and roughly half of Jean’s social scientists. They also tend to have a good number of angels who simply have difficulty fitting into Lightning’s traditional categories. Anyone who can make a successful career at thinking outside the box will find him or herself being gently but irresistibly guided to this group. Most tend not to complain, as the funding remains constant and the company congenial.

The Host has noticed this reorganization, of course. They have also noticed that Lightning’s Lunatics are somewhat more receptive towards perfectly reasonable information and/or equipment requests, which pleases both the Host and more orthodox Servitors of Lightning (who are traditionally not receptive towards anything that interrupts their collective research). Even if Lightning’s Lunatics never produced any original work, this added layer of insulation between the Halls of Progress and needless distractions would make the arrangement worthwhile. The fact that some really impressive cutting edge research is due to these semi-Outcasts is considered a beneficial side effect.

 

The Department of Biological Research

Only the most flippant of angels would stoop to calling this group ‘Von Frankenstein’s Revenge:’ true, most angels can be justifiably called flippant by Jean’s stringent standards, but the statement remains valid.

The Biological Research Department was created to handle the life sciences: after all, agriculture and animal husbandry were as worthy of Lightning’s attention as were chemistry and physics, and it only makes sense to do essential research along those lines. This was not a matter of dispute. It is also not in dispute that, theoretically speaking, it only makes sense to provide the Host with the mature, tested fruits of important research — once it has been properly assessed, of course. After all, Jean’s Servitors are as committed to the War as any other angels. They have no desire to have Heaven lose the ultimate battle because they failed to provide their side with the proper tools.

Finally, it was makes theoretical sense to utilize the aid of Servitors of germane Words in one’s research. Servitors of Divine Fire have proven useful in certain plasma physics problems, as have Servitors of Stone in geology, and Servitors of Wind in both meteorology and chaos theory. Thus, there should have been no problem in reaching out to Servitors of Animals and Flowers for collaboration in mutually interesting zoological, biochemical, and botanical studies.

Theoretically.

Biological Research has become — well, fairly odd lately. The botanical division is not so troublesome (although those who tasked with resolving the recent accidental release into Heaven of large, ill-tempered, and mobile tomatoes might disagree), but the biochemistry and zoology divisions bear constant watching. The Servitors themselves are quite enthusiastic about their work — to the point where they will sometimes incorporate particularly interesting applied biotechnology into their vessels — and have a not-quite-undeserved reputation for allowing that enthusiasm get the better of them.

There is also the minor problem that Jordi himself has recently undergone a radical shift in his opinion on Lightning/Animal joint research. While he remains somewhat unresponsive (read: ‘bitterly hostile’) towards the hard sciences, something about biological engineering has seemed to tickle his interest. Much of Biological Research’s budget has been funded by Animals’ rather rudimentary organization: this would concern Jean less if the greatest ‘funding’ by Jordi were not in the fields of genetic engineering and neurology. Unfortunately, the Archangel of Lightning is on the record as having expressed a desire for the rest of the Host to be more supportive of his mutually-beneficial research, a fact that the Archangel of Animals pointed out to him the last time the issue came up in a meeting of the Seraphim Council.

 

The Committee to Limit Infernal Technological Objectives/Resources In Society

It is a point of some pride among the Committee that it came into existence as an almost instantaneous response to Vapula’s ascension to becoming the Prince of Technology. The fact that it has not precisely kept (read: “joyfully abandoned”) its original focus is treated as a mere bagatelle: after all, the essential Truth of the human saying about consistency, hobgoblins and little minds can be ascertained by any competent Seraph.

The Committee’s current purpose is fairly simple to understand. Vapula’s creations are bad for the Symphony in general and humanity in particular, and must be neutralized. Few Servitors of Lightning would dispute this. What they would dispute (and quite often do) is that said ‘neutralization’ should involve the capture, analysis, and reverse-engineering of any Technological gadget or artifact that the Committee can beg, borrow, steal, or pry from the stiffening fingers of its previous demonic owner. Many angels serving Jean find troubling the idea that one should not discount an invention or theory, simply because it came from the organization of an insane Habbalite Prince who espouses sloppy experimentation. Many more angels are simply opposed to the idea that any part of the Halls of Progress should be allowed to explode on a semi-regular basis.

To counter this, the Committee brazenly points out that, angelic prejudices to the contrary, many of Vapula’s devices actually work. They just aren’t safe. Let the Prince of Technology suffer all the disasters that come from his stereotypical combining of lunacy, over-enthusiasm, and badly-understood physics: when the smoke clears, those items that can be appropriated and debugged will be, thus saving the Host valuable time and resources. Granted, the debugging process can be a bit, ah, robust, but that’s a small price to pay for the potential gain.

Besides, it’s not as if the explosions are very large, anyway. Most of the time they barely shatter the glass on the doors. If the Archangel of Lightning had a problem with this, most Committee members are certain that he would not be shy in saying so.

Of course, his forbearance might be a reflection of the source. It is thought impolite to note that most Committee members are Redeemed Servitors of Technology or Dark Humor. Note the use of the word ‘impolite,’ not ‘inaccurate,’ ‘an exaggeration,’ or ‘essentially unTrue.’ It is also impolite to note that the price of admission into the Committee is an especially interesting gadget created during one’s tenure in Hell. See the above clarification. The fact remains that Committee members are, one and all, extremely good researchers and engineers who make a point in never releasing a device that can harm humanity: a good manager knows when to give some slack to the talented, and Jean is assuredly a good manager.

The current head of the Committee is Dina, a Mercurian Vassal of Lightning whose other claim to fame is being the first Servitor of Technology (nee Dark Humor) to ever Redeem. It took him about fifty years to maneuver himself into the Committee chairmanship. Since then, he has almost single-handedly changed its focus from a fairly ineffectual stopgap organization to a powerful force, feared in almost equal measure by his former colleagues in Hell and the review committees of Heavenly scientific conferences. He’s also responsible for the Committee’s name change (it used to be called just the Board of Suppression). Dina swears that, upon seeing the new letterhead for the first time, Jean’s lips twitched.

He swears.

 

This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games. In Nomine is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by SJ Games. This material is used here in accordance with the SJ Games online policy.

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