In Nomine Revisited: Lockboxes.

Some of these could get fairly recondite.


Lockboxes themselves are fairly straightforward artifacts. They were created by the Archangel Jean’s Halls of Progress to serve as reasonably secure storage units for the Host.  Philosophically, however, Lockboxes represent an interesting intellectual problem — although many angels would replace the word “problem” with “game.”  Either way, they are of note to the academician.

Physically, a Lockbox is a sealable box, ranging in size from a steamer trunk to a refrigerator.  When the lid is sealed, the lock engages, and cannot be opened unless someone puts his or her hand on the door and recites a phrase (usually written on the lid itself, in Angelic).  If the Lockbox recognizes that the phrase is True – in the CD6 on a successful Seraph resonance sense (the secret of how it does this is proprietary), it opens; otherwise, it does not.  

Lockboxes are enchanted with the Unbreakable feature, which typically prevents it from being opened some other way.  The item is also shielded against anyone using their celestial form to step through, although a celestial with a Body Bag can activate their vessel and gain entrance that way.  In fact, Lockboxes are typically designed to be easily opened from the inside, without a control phrase, in order to permit angels to do just that.

That’s the physical description. The intellectual debate takes place over what might be an optimal activation phrase, or even if there really can be one in the first place.  It has so far been impossible for anyone to come up with a foolproof phrase: even the ones resistant to being folded, spindled, or mutilated can end up biting someone in an emergency.  

The classic case was the original default phrase: “It is in the best interests of Heaven for me to open this box.”  This seemed fine, until a Cherub ended up suffering from dissonance because he could not get a gun stashed inside the Lockbox (doing so would have allowed him to properly defend his attuned from a death which ultimately benefited Heaven).  While a Mercurian of Flowers later used this story as the centerpiece of a rather good philosophical treatise on the conflict of what was best for humanity versus. what was best for the War, this was still deemed a bit harsh by many. “I am a servant of Heaven who is not engaged in treason against the Host” likewise worked up until the point where a Shedite simply took possession of a Soldier and opened a box that way, and so on, and so on, and so on.  As noted, the topic is of much interest to angels, to the point where there is even a small quarterly journal dedicated to exploring it.  This interest may startle blessed souls who encounter it for the first time, but then angels are themselves often startled by the intellectual hobbies of humans.

Most Archangels who use Lockboxes either use them for specific tasks, thus making specific activation phrases less dangerous; or they instead simply accept that phrases such as “I am a Servitor of Trade who is not out of favor with Marc” (or equivalent) will keep its contents reasonably safe from prying eyes.  Some few Archangels do keep testing out new and improved phrases; there is perhaps a regrettable tendency for those interested in the topic to later test those phrases to destruction. For the greater good, of course.

Point cost: 3

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