"How did you feel about coming back to school today?" The raven-haired woman's voice was soft and sympathetic, strangely in contrast to the detached look in her eyes, and the aloof, regal manner in which she sat facing the young girl in her office. To outward appearances, she was an attentive and compassionate listener, yet a careful (or angelic) observer would detect no more emotional involvement with her subject than with the pen tucked behind her ear.
The middle school had called in a grief counselor after the tragedy, and she had insisted on seeing every student individually. Even the students who'd been absent the day of the shooting, she said, would be adversely affected by the psychological trauma, and it was vitally important that each person have an opportunity to come to terms with their grief.
The girl she was talking to had been sitting stiffly in her seat, wearing a brave mask, but suddenly, as if someone had pulled a string, she doubled over and buried her face in her hands. Sobs racked her body, and she shuddered uncontrollably for several long minutes before she could even choke out a reply. Throughout this display, the counselor merely stared at her. The girl's head was bowed, her long blonde hair draped across her face, and no one else was in the room, so no one could see the older woman's slight, cold smile.
"I...I was standing.... right....right next to her...." the girl gasped. The counselor nodded, her expression cool and serene as the girl looked up with red-rimmed eyes. "Jane's head just....exploded, while she was turning to say something to me..." The girl's voice caught again, then she moaned "OH GOD! Her blood ... and her brains .... all over me! I don't know why it was her and not me! She was my best friend! It should have been me!!!" She collapsed again, wailing inconsolably and rocking back and forth hugging herself, untouched and uncomforted by the strangely dispassionate counselor.
Yes, it should have, thought the demon. You're the one I was aiming at.
Karniah is an example of how Elohite cold-bloodedness can lead even a Word-bound angel to Fall. From his perspective, he's doing the same thing now that he did when he was the Angel of Gun Control, a Servitor of Judgment. While he may be working toward the same results, his methods have altered drastically.
Gun control, like most laws pertaining to human society, isn't a hot topic among celestials - most of them see such laws only in terms of how much or how little inconvenience they generate. To angels and demons alike, guns are like all human tools, as good or as evil as the human wielding them.
Dominic has never issued a mandate to his Servitors concerning the use of firearms. He does, however, desire an orderly and safe society. Some orderly and safe societies have been very well-armed; the United States in the late 20th century is suffering from the growing disparity between law-abiding citizens who find it increasingly difficult to own a firearm, and the lawless ones who find it easy to acquire them. The situation as it stands is unstable, but the solution is unclear. A return to law and order, say some of Dominic's Servitors, would return firearms to their proper status as weapons of hunting and self-defense for the law-abiding majority, while others insist that law and order has deteriorated too much in the U.S., and only a thorough crackdown that removes guns from circulation entirely has a hope of bringing back some safety and sanity.
Dominic appointed an Elohite to study the matter. In due time, Kiriel offered his considered and objective opinion that a wholesale attempt to disarm the U.S. population would be both impractical, and detrimental to a society which held individual rights to be paramount. On the other hand, there were reasonable and practical measures that might reduce the number of weapons in circulation, and keep them out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them. Not with 100% effectiveness, but within what Kiriel called "an acceptable range given America's balancing of individual liberty against individual safety."
Kiriel's careful, moderate opinion eventually led to his promotion to the Angel of Gun Control. He never sought to have guns totally outlawed, but he sought middle ground in the debate. This is perhaps what led him to trip, as modern American politics does not allow much of a middle ground in any such emotionally-charged issue. Mortal gun control advocates (and angels of Flowers) refused to settle for what they called half-hearted measures, when the real goal should be to outlaw guns entirely. Diehard gun rights advocates (including angels of War) drew a line in the sand at the slightest attempt to limit unrestricted access to heavy firepower.
And Kiriel started to get frustrated.
It was a long, slow process that led the Elohite to one day decide that drastic measures were needed in order to open some peoples' eyes. He staged what he considered to be an effective demonstration of the need for tightened legislation, in a state where the NRA was balking every attempt at reforms. His demonstration left six people dead and a small town in shock. To Kiriel's dismay, however, the response was not a careful bill that would prevent a similar tragedy from being repeated without infringing on the 2nd Amendment; instead, the politicians reacted with hysteria, and simply banned every model of firearm that happened to resemble the weapon used to commit the crime in question. It was a silly law that accomplished nothing and was ultimately struck down by the Supreme Court. Gun control advocates continued to scream that it didn't go far enough, while gun owners bleated that it was infringing on their rights. Nothing was solved. Kiriel picked another state, and tried again.
A few more demonstrations later, Kiriel realized that only tragedies of greater proportion would wake up the ignorant fools that balked his attempts to save them from their idiocy. Humanity could only learn from bloodshed; mere reason was insufficient, because the selfish gun nuts and the hysterical gun control advocates alike were all just so much irrational cattle, reacting in kneejerk Pavlovian fashion to every media event.
Asmodeus welcomed Karniah into his ranks, and had no trouble persuading Lucifer of the savage irony in granting the new Habbalite the same Word he had held before.
Corporeal Forces -- 3
Strength 5 Agility 7 Ethereal Forces -- 5
Intelligence 8 Precision 12 Celestial Forces -- 5
Will 10 Perception 10
Word Forces: 6
Vessels: Human/2 (Adult male), Human/2 (Adult female), both vessels have Charisma +1
Roles: Gun Control Lobbyist/4, Status 4 (Ebenezer Locke), Grief Counselor/3, Status 3 (Constance Ash)
Songs: Attraction (Corporeal/4, Ethereal/3, Celestial/3), Charm (Celestial/2), Form (Ethereal/4, Celestial/3), Possession/5, Shields (Corporeal/3)
Skills: Driving/2, Emote/4, Fast-Talk/4, Knowledge (Firearms/4, Gun Control Laws/6, Psychology/3), Ranged Weapon (Pistol/2, Rifle/3), Savoir-Faire/4
Attunements: Habbalite of the Game, Humanity, Knight of Judgment, Demon of Gun Control
Special Attunement: As the Demon of Gun Control, Karniah is automatically successful at using his resonance, Songs or any social skills against anyone who is carrying or holding a firearm (roll anyway, for the check digit and Interventions -- and the subject still gets a resistance roll where applicable).
Special Rites: Karniah receives a point of Essence for each person in which he succeeds in instilling an irrational fear and loathing of firearms (as opposed to instilling a healthy amount of caution). He can perform this Rite multiple times per day, or multiple times at once.... He also receives a point of Essence for engineering any incident which provokes a national debate on gun control.
Karniah is now a staunch supporter of gun control, any gun control. He doesn't really care what laws are passed or whether they actually have an effect on gun violence, but if he can push the public into supporting more restrictions on gun ownership, he has successfully exerted his will upon humanity, and more importantly, made it more difficult for humans to defend themselves -- mortals shouldn't be carrying around weapons with which they might be able to take out their betters...
Although he maintains one high-profile Role as a gun control lobbyist (who specializes in histrionic appeals to emotion), Karniah recently took on a new role, that of a "grief counselor." Previously, he would simply use his Habbalite resonance to push somebody unstable into gunning down a bunch of people, after making sure his victim had gotten his hands on a really big, ugly gun. Occasionally he possessed someone and went on a shooting spree himself, when he wanted to kill someone in particular (or at the behest of Asmodeus, since blowing away an angel or a Renegade in a highly public manner is a good way to kill two birds with one Song). Now, however, he's increasingly targeting schools and other gathering places for children, and then moving in afterwards to maximize the post-traumatic stress as Constance Ash.
Asmodeus likes Karniah's work because he's encouraging irrational and arbitrary legislation, exactly the kind that makes a mockery of the legal system, and frustrates angels of Judgment no end. Gun control laws also tend to inconvenience angels more than demons, since angels have marginally more respect for human laws... or at least are more likely to maintain Roles that can't be seen committing felonies. Most demons favor gun control - a disarmed populace is easier prey. It's not as if Baal's Servitors will ever have trouble arming their Soldiers...
Not all of Hell's Princes appreciate Karniah's work. Saminga, with his usual poor grasp of subtlety, likes the bloodbaths but doesn't understand why Karniah is trying to restrict gun ownership. Guns don't kill, people do, but people with guns kill better - Saminga thinks it would be much better if everyone had guns. And Vapula also would like fewer restrictions....a society that allowed private ownership of everything up to and including nuclear weapons would give him a magnificent testing ground. Most of Hell, however, is happy to jump on the gun control bandwagon.