The team found a place to bunk down for the night. Nico set a devil’s trap by the door in the vain hope that Gipontel would step through it. Naturally he waited until after they’d left the building the following morning before approaching them. Gipontel told Nico that the rod had once belonged to his friend and then he explained how to use it. There are five gems. A red one on either end, one green one in the middle, and one blue between those two. The user placed one of the red ends under their chin and touched the green gem (while activating it with faith) to record their current appearance. One could thus record a different appearance on each side of the rod. In order to transform one places the correct side under the chin and then presses the middle green button to effect the transformation.
Gipontel bid Nico to do just that so that she could gain a new appearance to infiltrate her old home town to stop her brother. He assured her that the demonic test won’t go off because it must have been rigged the first time as she didn't *ping* as a proper demon would.
Nico couldn’t help but feel like putting the rod beneath her chin was like putting the muzzle of a gun there. Would it open her to possession? Would it kill her? Transform her into a mass of still living gore? One could never know with demons. She just couldn’t bring herself to use it.
So Gipontel activated it for her and the change was instantaneous. Suddenly her feet didn’t fit too well in her shoes and that wasn’t the only heaps obvious change.
She was a man now and, judging by the look on Rochelle’s face, an attractive one at that.
She felt her face and found piercing holes by the eyebrows and nose. She had calluses on her hands as though she were a guitar player rather than the calluses of a scavenger. The rest of her skin was smoother than she'd ever felt before. Even some of the grit had fallen off due to the resculpting of her skin. She also had tatts now.
Johnny thought it was all rather humorous and exclaimed: “I knew it!” when Gipontel pointed out that it used to be one of his old friend’s hosts. It turned out the guise was that of a rock star called Nick Sanderson, lead singer and back up guitarist to a pre-arrival rock band (who basically played songs like the Deftones).
Nico decided to put that to one side for now and demanded to know about the strange over-sized Odin worshippers. She pointed out that she entered the warehouse that he had warned her against and nothing bad had happened to her.
Gipontel stated that just because he was a demon didn't mean he knew every supernatural in the city but he was glad that the warehouse issue hadn't become too problematic. You see, the warehouse had become one of those places where the Abyss oozed through the cracks and therefore those things that had come from the shadows on the ceiling were Abyssals. Nico vaguely recognised the term from some of the demonology textbooks - the entities from the 'walls of entropy' which demons famously despised. It made sense to her that Gipontel wouldn't like them either.
Gipontel again explained that he thought she was his friend, Shaitan. When she argued that she had never died and thus couldn't be possessed by the rules he had stated that his particular breed of demon followed, he agreed with her. Somehow Shaitan had been born as someone not quite human but close enough to it. He wasn't sure why this had happened but he was sure that it must have. She figured he was crazy and told him to stop chasing ghosts. The past was the past and it was time to move on rather than locking himself up in the vain hope that someone will come along and tell him what he should be doing. Especially since the person he was waiting for was apparently dead. Gipontel had mentioned something about Shaitan and trials and failure and rupturing in the school, after all, and he felt quite free to mention his friend's name with no expectation of a response. Rather than waiting for what would never come or latching onto someone in the desperate hope that they were the same person, maybe he should go and live his life.
Since the conversation was based on assumptions of human psychologies, she wasn't sure if it would work or what the results would be but his responses to it largely seemed human enough. She could see that he still wanted to believe but her words also seemed to be sinking in. Especially those words about being more active in stopping the world from being destroyed.