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 Post subject: Pantheocide 57 - 60
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:41 am 
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Conference Room, The Senate, New Rome, New Roman Republic, Hell

"Every time we tried to change the design, they beat us with canes." The head of the sales delegation from Bombardier Aviation spoke with emphasized ruefulness.

"I did not think your companies treated people like that." Gaius Julius Caesar was confused by the statement which didn’t seem to match anything he'd learned recently.

"Gaius, every so often an expression enters the language and becomes widely used for a while until everybody gets bored with it. This was one, I believe it started in the Air Force and has spread everywhere. It means that a certain course of action or idea is strongly discouraged by those in authority. They don’t really get beaten with canes." Jade Kim turned her attention to the man from Bombardier. "What changes did you want to make?"

"The ones we had to make were mostly in the air intake system. The original Hawker Hunter had narrow wing-root intakes. By the time we had installed the air filters, the air flow to the engine was so reduced that it caused the Avon to be running on the verge of stalling. So we had to enlarge the air intakes to compensate. It helped that the original intakes were very inefficient by modern standards and our computer design facilities were able to clean them up a lot. All in all, even with the filters in place, we are getting good air flow to the engine and the performance penalty is much less than aircraft that had the filters added on afterwards. So, we thought by going to a thinner wing, we would get better performance. That's when they beat us.

"Once we lost that battle, we changed the underwing hard points as well. We were lucky, there were 48 Hunters in flying condition and the RAF stood up an entire wing equipped with them. So, we have plenty of flying specimens to work with and a lot of the tooling was available. Here in Canada, Bombardier got the job of setting up a production line for them. The Avon was available, Rolls-Royce was selling them for power generation until 2006 so all the equipment for the engines was available. We took the Swiss-modified Hunter FGA.9 as a baseline. That gave us two fuselage hard points, we recommend they be used for drop tanks, and six wing hardpoints. The inner pair are stressed for 2,000 pounds, the outer four are rigged for 1,000 pounds each. Total warload, 8,000 pounds plus the four 30mm cannon in the nose."

"Boeing want us to buy the A-45. What do you say about that?" Caesar was watching carefully and learning.

"The A-45 is a very good aircraft. Of course, it costs three times as much as the Bombardier Hunter, has a long waiting list of clients and doesn’t carry the warload our aircraft does. It has five hardpoints, we have eight and it has only a single 20mm gun. It's 70 miles per hour slower and only has half the rate of climb of the Hunter. What is more, as a non-American company, we can offer incentives that Boeing cannot equal. For example, we can take payment in kind. Oil for example, or minerals. Our bid includes a number of counter-trade scenarios that may interest you. Finally, Hunter spares are made in a lot of countries, you won't be tied to us as suppliers. I believe you are having trouble getting spare parts from the Americans already?"

"Spares and personnel. It's becoming much harder to recruit skilled second-life people for our armed forces." Kim paused for a second. "What's the order backlog on the Bombardier Hunter like? You're not one of the big aircraft companies."

"We're building for the Canadian Air Force only at the moment. If you sign up now, a letter of intent will do, we'll allocate you places on the production line, alternating with RCAF aircraft. First aircraft to be delivered six months after we receive the order. That's assuming you want the same avionics fit of course. A letter of intent commits you to nothing until the terms and conditions of the contract are finalized."

Caesar looked at Kim who nodded almost imperceptibly. "Very well Mr Clarkson. The New Roman Republic will issue you with a letter of intent for 42 Bombardier Hunters, 36 single-seaters and 6 twin-seat aircraft. Payment via negotiated counter-trade. Also, of course, retirement here when you die if that is your wish."

A very happy Bombardier sales team left the conference room. After they had left, there was silence for a couple of minutes before Kim broke it. "Well Gaius, which one of us is going to tell Boeing they can take their A-45 and stuff it?"

Training Camp, 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion (Demonic), Dis, Hell
"Now that is more like it." Sergeant Anderson watched the daemonic infantry raking the "enemy position" with rifle fire while the human-crewed support weapons hammered it with their mortars and cannon. Although he didn’t realize it, he was watching almost exactly the same display as had been given to Caesar a day earlier. Beside him, Aeneas and Ori watched the attack going home. The daemon infantry rose from their positions and charged while the humans continued to support them. They overran the target position and the exercise ended.

"It works." Ori seemed slightly surprised at the demonstration. "I was expecting the daemons to run into our supporting fire."

"They will." Anderson was uncompromising. "We'll get them to work on a rolling barrage next. That's when we drop a line of artillery rounds across the target area and advance it towards the enemy in small increments. The infantry go in directly behind that barrage. We'll know if they're following the shells closely enough when we start to take casualties from our own artillery fire."

"That's harsh." Aeneas didn’t like what he was hearing very much.

"Do it right and we take fewer casualties from our own fire than we would have done if there's a greater distance between the artillery and the infantry. The one thing we don’t want is the enemy recovering from the barrage before the infantry are on top of them. That happened at the Somme and it cost us 60,000 casualties.

Aeneas whistled softly. "Sixty thousand casualties in a single battle. We never had anything like that."

"No, sixty thousand on the first day of the battle. It went on for months."

There was a grim silence at that number, highlighted by the roar of diesels in the background as the armored personnel carriers picked up their infantry. Eventually, Anderson picked up the conversation.

"We're running out of time as well. The Army will be moving soon and I hear we'll be attached to the Commonwealth Army as a reserve unit. Along with Caesar's Third Legion."

"We know a way into Heaven?" Ori was surprised.

"Not yet, but we've been hit by the Seven Bowls of Wrath. The next step is the invasion. As soon as they open a portal from Heaven to Earth, we'll have our way in."

The Montmartre Club, Eternal City, Heaven.

"Is everybody clear on what they have to do?" Michael-Lan looked around the room where the ringleaders in his conspiracy had assembled. They were nodding cautiously, all too aware of the dreadful chance they were taking.

Leilah-Lan raised one hand. "Is there any particular music the bands need to play?"

"Something bouncing and martial. Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries will be good, or Holst's Mars, the Bringer of War. But, let Glenn, Benny and the rest make their pick. They're the experts. We need to get every one of us thinking in harmony, completely synchronized so I can pull in the power. You know that Yah-yah outclasses all of us individually. We have to stand together in harmony and isolate him from any support if we are going to pull this off."

"When do we go? Will they get time to practice?" Leilah was worried, badly so.

"I honestly don’t know. This is the frightening bit, the timing is out of our control. We can set the ball rolling as soon as the pieces are in place but the timing from that point onwards? I have no idea how fast the humans will react, how quickly they can get here or how they will arrive. Yet it's those factors that determine when the coup will take place. Get the bands started now on their rehearsals, tell them it's for a battle of the bands. Say the last one was so popular we're going to make it a regular feature."

"Should we tell them what is really up when we start the coup?"

Michael thought carefully. "Yes. They have a right to know. They don’t have much of a choice in going along but Yah-yah won’t see it that way. If this all goes wrong, they'll be torn apart with the rest of us. So, yeah, tell them what we're doing and why. But only when we're starting, no need to give them time to think."

The group looked nervously at each other. This coup had been in the planning and preparation stage for centuries but now, what had once seemed an abstract and distant possibility, stared them in the face.

"Once the humans arrive, Jesus takes Yah-yah's personal guard into the attack right? What about the human levies." Rafael-Lan was trying to match Michael in running through the available permutations of events.

Michael smiled wryly. "I slipped up there, thankfully Yah-yah didn’t notice. I ordered the preparation of the human levies almost by instinct. I forgot that doing so was telling Yah-yah that the fighting would take place here in Heaven. The human levies can't fight on Earth. That was a bad mistake, but he missed it, I think. Jesus will take the Guard and the levies in. This attack has got to look good. I just hope the humans bring their artillery and aircraft in with them. We need one of their clean sweeps badly. Jesus has to die and I want that guard torn apart. The defeat of the Guard and its levies has got to be stunning and we need the humans to fatten our casualty list."

"What if the humans lose?" Rafael-Lan was right, Michael reflected, this was one of the key turning points in the plan. So much depended on the humans winning this battle, winning it decisively and in the right place.

"Then we're all dead. All of us, the whole Angelic Host. The humans will pull out all the stops and use every weapon they have. Believe me on this, they have some doozies they've only just started to deploy. But, it's unlikely they will lose, very unlikely indeed. Raffie, part of your job is to make sure Jesus is really beautifully misinformed. He's got to go in dumb. Don't let him be clever."

Rafael-Lan nodded. Michael looked around the room again. "Anything else?"

Charmeine-Lan hesitantly put her hand up. "Maion, she told me that she will be going out to Lemuel's tomorrow night."

"Then we have our starting point. I'll make sure I'm over at Lemuel's palace tomorrow. I can find some League of Holy Court business that will keep me there."

"You will move quickly for her?" Charmeine-Lan was upset at her part in this, She knew it was necessary but she didn't like it at all. "She's a nice girl underneath it all. Don’t leave her longer than you have to."

Michael-Lan nodded. "I'll get it sorted as fast as possible. Until then. . . . ."

DIMO(N) Briefing Room, Pentagon, Arlington V.A.
"The invasion is coming?" The question from Defense Secretary Warner was dead neutral, without inflexion. The long-awaited invasion from Heaven had to be due soon and when it came it would be a perfect example of the cliched mixture of problems and opportunities. It would mean a major battle on Earth but would also be the way the route into Heaven could be opened.

"Oh yes, its coming." Norman Baines was firm on that point. In some ways, this would be the culmination of his life's work. The end of days, the final battle. The millennium. It had lots of names and he'd studied all of them for years. Now, he was going to see them. A truly unexpected privilege. "We've had all seven bowls, we've seen off the Leopard Beast and the Scarlet Beast. Now, it’s the Lamb Beast, the Dragon and the invasion. Not necessarily in that order."

"I don't suppose the ancient mythologies say where?" Warner thought that was probably too much to hope for.

"Well, Sir, yes they do. The plains of Megiddo, Armageddon. But, Abigor's host tried that and they walked into the best army we had fielded. But, all these prophecies are centered around the Middle East. If it isn’t one part, it'll be another."

"Doesn't matter anyway. Dave Petraeus has the HEA waiting in Hell. As soon as the Heavenly Host portals in, he's going to portal three army groups in all around it. It's going to be a slaughterhouse." General Bannistre was as non-committal as everybody else.

"General, Sir, I must warn you. The Heavenly Host is a lot more powerful than Abigor's Army was." Baines cranked some numbers quickly in his head. It's likely to have more than twenty million angels in its combat formations."

General Bannistre grinned sympathetically. "Don’t sweat it son. Dave blasted his way into Hell and stormed it with 30 divisions. We're landing three hundred and eighty divisions around the Angelic Host. We'll only be outnumbered four to one. And there'll be no holding back this time, we'll be hitting them with nukes, gas, whatever floats our boat. We weren't ready for Abigor, but we've had a year, 18 months nearly, to get ready for the Host."

"And they'll pay for lying to us, deceiving us, betraying us." President Obama's voice from the end of the briefing table was calm and measured. "Our ammunition stocks are adequate?"

"They are indeed Mister President. We're back to where we were in 2007 at last. Adequate, not over-generous but the production lines are rolling fast. We won’t need so long to replace this lot after we've fired it all off."

The laughter than ran around the room had a vicious edge to it. "And so we should, with a 1.6 trillion dollar defense budget." That put a sad note into Obama's voice, There was so much he had wanted to do, so many changes he wanted to make. Instead, he was presiding over the biggest defense budget in American history, one that was likely to cripple the economy for decades to come. All his plans had come to nothing and he was all too sure he would go down in American history as a wartime leader only.

"Why haven't we seen the Lamb Beast or the Dragon yet Baines?" General Bannistre was worried about that.

"I don’t know Sir. But I have an odd theory. We've been assuming that they were giant monsters like the Scarlet Beast and the Leopard Beast. But suppose they're not. Suppose, just for one, Revelation is allegorical on this one point. The Lamb Beast speaks like a lamb but breathes fire when it has to. Doesn't that sound like Jesus? The lamb of God and all that. And the Dragon Beast, of omnipotent power, could well be Yahweh himself. It's only a theory of course but it would explain why they haven't turned up yet."

"What happens if Yahweh doesn’t invade? Do we have a plan B?" Secretary of State Clinton put the question that was on the back of everybody's mind.

"We do Madam Secretary but we don't like it. It involves punching portals at random until we get lucky. Of course, we could run into something we can't handle very easily that way. That's why we've avoided doing so up to now."

Hillary Clinton nodded. "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."

Norman Baines made a comic play of going faint and grabbing a chair for support. "Madam Secretary don't ever say that. HE might hear you."

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 Post subject: Re: Pantheocide 57 - 60
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:42 am 
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The Montmartre Club, Eternal City, Heaven

It had been a long time since Maion-Lan-Lemuel had been outside the Club. At first, she had wanted to leave, she had even half-heartedly planned to escape, but the opportunity had never really presented itself. So, she had resigned herself to her new life and tried to adapt to it as best she could. In the process, she had learned of its advantages and they were not just restricted to the supply of white powder that she needed so badly. As her familiarity with her new life had grown, she had come to enjoy being the center of attraction and desire. Then of course, the lessons she had been patiently taught by Charmeine-Lan and the other angels who worked at the club. Lessons that she had used to catch Lemuel and persuade him to become her patron. She knew very well that Lemuel's patronage of her was part of some larger scheme Michael was concocting but to her that didn't matter. All that she cared about was that she had a much better life now than anything she could have hoped for earlier. It hadn't seemed so at the time but Michael-Lan had done her a great service.

She closed her eyes briefly and then checked herself in the great mirrors that marked the entry to the Club. She checked her hair to make sure that it was styled to perfection in a manner that Lemuel found particularly becoming. Her make-up was perfectly in place and that alone was a mark of how far she had come for few female angels used it. Her robe was new, perfect and draped around her just so. She checked her jewelry to make sure it was all items that Lemuel had given her. A quick turn showed that her wing feathers had been groomed and arranged to perfection. She nodded, she was looking as near-perfect as she could be and was that meant she was honoring Lemuel properly.

"Don’t worry, you look fine." The voice came from behind her and she turned carefully to face the speaker. Leilah-Lan-Charmeine was standing there, complete in what Maion thought of as her professional outfit. It was as different from the traditional Angelic robes as was possible, all of it black leather with dress and spiked boots glistening with metal buckles. Her wing feathers had been dyed black as well and the general effect was intimidating. Which was its purpose of course.

"So do you, you look . . . . different." Maion stumbled, looking for the right word for she knew that Leilah was one of Michael's close associates.

Leilah giggled. "I know what you mean. Still, its what my particular clients like." Then she got very serious, very quickly. "Be careful Maion, things have changed in Heaven since you were outside the club last. There was another bombing last night, at a the Temple of Enduring Adulation. Eight angels and a lot of humans killed." And one of the angels was a major-league Yahweh supporter. One of many killed in the bombing campaign that is rocking The Eternal City. The League of Holy Court still hasn't worked out that mixed in with the miscellaneous dead are all of the most prominent Yahweh loyalists. But then they wouldn’t, not with their chief investigator besotted with you.

"Oh no." Maion put her hand to her mouth.

"So be careful. Where are you going?"

"My patron Lemuel has asked me to his palace for our evening meal and to listen to reverential music."

Yeah right little one. And the music in question will you be going ohhh-ohhh-ohhh. "That is a great honor. You have done well Maion. Now, I have one of my patrons waiting and he has been a bad, bad archangel. Enjoy your evening."

Maion watched Leilah disappear into the main body of the Club, stopping only to speak quickly with one of the messengers. Then, she took a deep breath, put her hand on one of the walls of the maze as she had been taught and started to walk out. All she had to do was to keep that hand on that wall until she came to the landmark when she would put the other hand on the other wall. And that would lead her out. As indeed it did.

The clear white light on the street was much brighter than she remembered from before her days in the Club. It hurt her eyes and she was afraid that it would make them water and that would spoil her makeup. Still, she was out of the Club, walking on the streets in a way she had thought she never would again. Once she had blamed Michael for what had happened to her but no more. It was her fault that she had been inside for so long, if she had worked harder in the club and been more agreeable in her earlier days, she would have found her patron sooner. She had brought her problems on herself, she understood that now. Michael-Lan had been kind to stand by her, just as she knew he always would.

She paused quickly to orientate herself and set off down the Boulevard that would take her to Lemuel's palace. She had briefly contemplated taking a chariot to carry her there but her mind, still not quite used to her new status, had rebelled at the expense. It wasn't as if the distance was very great or that one got dirty walking on the streets of the Eternal City. In any case, the walk would be good exercise and she appreciated the chance to look around. One thing that struck her was the way the other female angels on the street looked at her. Curiously, as if she was some strange creature. Some with envy, some with jealousy, a few with outright hate. Stealthily, she stole another glance into a great sheet of precious stone that reflected the street scene in front of it. She couldn’t see why she was the object of interest, she was more attractive than the other female angels, but that was due to her makeup, not any fineness of features or symmetry of face. She was a bit better dressed than most and her jewelry was better, that was all. So jealousy and dislike? Quite inexplicable.

Maion became aware of something else as she walked down the street. There was an air of fear around. That wasn't quite right, it wasn't fear so much as tension, perhaps apprehension. People were on their guard, ready to take cover if there should be a sudden blast. But, there was more to it than that. With a degree of shock Maion realized that they were also watching each other, wondering if the angel next to them was the informer whose word could cause them to be whisked away to an unknown fate. As her appreciation of the situation sank in, Maion found herself wanting to be back in the safety of the Montmartre Club.

Ironically, it was probably the realization that the Eternal City was no longer the safe, trusting place it had once been that caused Maion to drop what little guard she had up. She started to hurry along the street, passing the ruin that had once been a temple before it had been bombed. Very conveniently bombed because that was where the ambush came. It was swift, sure and certain. Maion felt a heavy cloth being thrown over her head and strong arms wrapped around her waist. The attack was so unexpected and so unprecedented that her first reaction was to think that her hairstyle would be ruined and her make-up smeared. By the time she realized that she was genuinely in serious danger, her arms and wings were pinned and she was being dragged into the ruined temple. She felt herself smothering in the heavy folds of the cloth and tried to fight her way clear but the grip holding her was too strong. Then, she felt the gentle temperate warmth of Heaven replaced by a bitter, piercing cold. Even choking in the folds of the hood over her head, the icy cold took her breath away but it only lasted for an instant before she could feel herself back in Heaven.

Maion tried to kick out but a heavy blow to her stomach left her gasping and another to the back of her neck sent her sprawling to the floor. Then, she was dragged along a stone-floored passageway and thrown through a door. The cloth over her head was pulled away but before she could look around, the door was slammed behind her. She was in a tiny room, one so small she couldn't even stretch her wings out fully. It was painted white but the only light was a single dim patch in the ceiling. Even as she watched, something was drawn across it so she was left in complete darkness.

Slums, The Eternal City, Heaven

"We have got her, Mighty Lord. Just a few minutes ago as you ordered. She was picked up on the road to the Palace of Lemuel and taken to a holding place in another part of the city, by way of the staging place in Antarctica, just as you ordered. Now, she is secure in one of our cells there." Qaphsiel-Lan-Shekinah sounded inordinately proud of himself.

"Was she hurt?" Michael-Lan asked the question tersely. The plot was under way and there was now no turning back. Uneasily, he remembered that long, long ago, another of Yahweh's primary Lieutenants, his own brother in fact, had also tried to stage a coup. And failed. But we were different people then. Yahweh wasn't the power-mad fool he is today, Satan was still alive and I was still bedazzled by the wonders Yahweh had created. And we did not have the humans to teach us how to stage coups properly.

"A little, Mighty Lord. She fought us when we got back from Antarctica so my men struck her in the stomach and again on the back of the head. Hard enough to subdue her. Now she is locked away, in complete darkness and silence. Like Onniel."

"Darkness and silence will be adequate for Onniel. They will make her pliant. But Maion is to be well-treated. Allow her light and let those guarding her speak with her. Feed her well, ask her what food she would like and if possible get it for her. She must remember she was violently abducted but well-treated once in your hands. Above all though, she is to see the faces of nobody else."

"Your words are our commands, Mighty Lord. All will be as you say."

They had damned well better be "Where are the prisoners being held?"

Qaphsiel-Lan-Shekinah gave Michael the location he had chosen. Michael-Lan took mental note of it and then took the next vital step. "You must guard that location well. Move all your people there and wait for my word. It will not be long in coming. Now, I have an urgent appointment. Get to the holding area and wait."

Lemuel's Home, Eternal City, Heaven

Michael-Lan looked at Lemuel and felt distinctly guilty. Not because he knew Maion was now sitting in a prison cell, held captive by terrorists but because he hadn't arranged for his friend to throw Onniel out and be provided with a new mate earlier. Lemuel was looking almost childishly happy as he and Michael looked through the League of Holy Court intelligence on the bombings hat continued to rock the Eternal City. Every so often, he kept sneaking a look at the time, as if he was counting the minutes until Maion arrived. In the end, his looks were so obvious that Michael reached out and shielded the time from him.

"She is that good my old friend?"

"She is, Michael. She makes me feel young and wanted. She looks after me and devotes herself to me. I would have her as mate were it not for her lowly status."

"That can be changed you know. Many of the most loyal," to me of course "will see their status raised after this is all over. So many of high status have been killed or found guilty of treason there will be many promotions to take their place. You, my old friend, will become Chayot Ha Kodesh if it is in my power to grant this. And your friend Mary, she is Hashmallim?"

"Maion, Michael. And she is only Malakhim."

"No matter, in fact it would make things easier for raising a Malakhim is certainly within my power. Let me see now, an Erelim would be about right I think." Erelim meaning valiant and courageous. If, after all this is finished, anybody dare argue that title for Maion, they will have me to answer to for never will a title have been more deserved.

"Maion? An Erelim? I don’t know what to say. Michael, that would be suitable even if I became Chayot Ha Kodesh."

"There we are then. See, such problems are easily solved. I wish these bombings were so easily unraveled."

"They have the League at a loss Michael-Lan. Every time we think we see a pattern forming, it dissolves before my eyes."

Of course it does Lemuel. The information is brought to me and I make sure the next wave of attacks contradicts that pattern. It really does help when those charged with countering a plot are those who are behind it. "This is most confusing, I will tell you Lemuel, there is a powerful mind behind this, one who has seen human tactics at work and adapted them to our environment here in Heaven. A powerful mind indeed."

"Could it be . . . Azrael?" Lemuel's voice was hushed, even as an Ophanim it was a major thing to name one of the Chayot Ha Kodesh has the mind behind the outbreak of terrorism in the Eternal City.

"Personally, I wouldn’t have thought him equal to this and he did well in the attack on New York. It needs a greater mind somehow . . . . . . " Come on, old friend, take the bait.

"But there is only one mind greater than a Chayot Ha Kodesh. That would be . .. . .. . . " The immensity of the blasphemy he had been about to commit struck Lemuel dumb.

"You are right of course. Anything else is unimaginable. It must be Azrael, Perhaps we will get the evidence we need soon."

As they spoke, Michael watched the shadows of evening lengthen and Lemuel get agitated. He passed from excitement at her coming through irritation at her lateness and then to worry about her safety. Eventually he decided it was time to act. "Lemuel, old friend, something is seriously wrong isn't it?"

"Maion is never late. If she says a time she is there on the beat. Never a second late."

I know, Charmeine spoke highly of her qualities of punctuality. "Then we had better go looking for her. If she arrives here, your staff will look after her well I am sure. We will go out to meet her. Perhaps her work held her up." Which is why, the first thing I am going to do is get telephones installed in Heaven. I'd love to have my Iphone work up here. All those apps.

"Zahuliel-Lan-Lemuel? Hear me. The Mighty Lord Michael-Lan and I are going out to look for the lady Maion. If she arrives here, make her welcome until we will return."

"I hear and obey, Most Noble Ophanim."

Michael and Lemuel inflated their flight sacs and took off, flying slowly down the main street away from Lemuel's Palace."

"Which way will she be coming old friend?"

"Along this street, I am sure."

So am I. Or she was. Below them, an officer of the League of Holy Court noted the two angels flying overhead and was about to rebuke them when he recognized them. Flying inside city limits was discouraged now but such restrictions did not apply to the Mighty General Michael-Lan and anybody he chose to have with him. A little further down the street, Lemuel saw a group of people clustered by a temple, one of those destroyed by a bombing. He waved for Michael's attention and back-winged to land by the group.

"What happened here?" As a chief investigator for the League of Holy Court, his word was law and his questions were answered. Instantly. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Michael-Lan staying back and letting him do the questioning.

"Some men grabbed a young female angel and pulled her into the ruins and then vanished."

"And you did nothing to aid her?" Lemuel was furious, in his mind it was obvious who the victim had been.

"Most Noble Ophanim, we thought it was business of the League. There have been so many arrests.. . ."

"You fools. The League does not arrest that way." He pulled a small painting of Maion from a pocket of his robes. "Was this her?"

"It was, Most Noble Ophanim."

"We'd better get back to your palace Lemuel." Michael spoke quietly. "There may be word there. This could all be a foolish misunderstanding or an error of identity. We had better get to work clearing it up."

The flight back was fast and Lemuel tore through his palace, in case Maion had arrived. But Zahuliel-Lan-Lemuel told him that nothing had been heard of her. By the time he got back, Michael-Lan was holding a scroll in his hands. "This was on your steps Lemuel. Perhaps you had better see what it is." Because I already know.

Lemuel tore the scroll open. Two bloodstained white wing feathers fell out as he read the terse note within.

"What does it say old friend?"

"It is from The League of Divine Justice. They say they have taken Maion captive and unless we release all the political prisoners by noon tomorrow, they will start to send her back, piece by piece. Starting with her nose."

Lemuel was shaking, almost on the verge of tears. Michael strode over to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. "Don’t worry old friend. I won't let that happen. I have people who can work miracles in this sort of situation and they'll find Maion for us."

"Who can work miracles beyond those of the Chayot Ha Kodesh Michael?"

"Humans."

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There are 550 million firearms in the world, enough for one person in twelve of the world's population. The moral dilemma that faces us is how to arm the other eleven.


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 Post subject: Re: Pantheocide 57 - 60
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:43 am 
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Lemuel's Home, Eternal City, Heaven

"Is there any word of Maion yet." Lemuel paced backwards and forwards, marking the hours as they crawled by. "Time is running out."

"Don't sweat it old friend. I told you that I would allow nothing to happen to your beloved."

"But we have no idea where she is. How can we rescue her when we don’t know where she is."

Because I do know exactly where she is, dummy. The only real problem is that I can't tell you that I know where she is so we're going to have to find out another way. Of course, knowing the answer always helps to solve any problem.

"We find out. We've used up all our resources and got nowhere. So, we call on people whose abilities are far beyond ours and who never stop asking questions. As I told you, humans. In particular, somebody who does work for me. Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss."

"He is a great warrior?" Lemuel didn’t sound that hopeful.

"No, he keeps my household books in order."

"A book-keeper. Michael, we don't have time for your jokes."

"Yes, my book-keeper and arguably the greatest mathematician who ever lived. That's what we need now." Michael-Lan stopped and raised his voice. "Johann? Have you got all the information you need."

The human who came in was an inoffensive-looking man struggling with a great pile of scrolls. He barely made it to a table before losing his grip on them and sending them cascading over the floor. Looking at the chaos he sighed, muttered some words under his breath and started to gather them all up again. Watching the display, Lemuel nearly burst into tears. Then, the human peered owlishly at Michael. "I have everything I need, yes. All these maps, the Eternal City is so much larger than I thought. But I have them all."

"So, where is Maion likely to be held?" Michael-Lan was entranced, he'd always thought Gauss was a humorless old stick but the man was putting on a spectacular display of eccentricity.

"Maion. Maion? Oh yes, the angel who disappeared." He started scrambling through the scrolls again. "Here we are, she vanished from here did she not? Ah yes, the sight of an earlier bombing, that is very important. It allows us to use recursive analysis you see, with an asymptotic expansion to truncate the series. Now, any real number is said to be computable when there is a computable sequence converges effectively to it. So, with the abduction taking place at the same point as the bombing, we have our convergence point. This is very fortunate for a coincidence of position between these two coordinates allows us to modulate any desired level of accuracy. You follow me so far?"

Michael-Lan kept quiet, but Lemuel charged in with colors flying. "I follow you, yes."

"Well, you will understand than that a recursive natural number has an inherent error function that indicates exactly how far through the sequence of data we must progress in order to guarantee that the sequence has converged with the desired level of precision. Now, all the bombings over the last few weeks give us an exemplary data set. I assume that you realize that any real number which happens to be rational is, on this definition, straightforwardly computable, but not every computable real need be rational? And from this it follows naturally that by plotting the positions of the bombings, we can calculate the convergence point at which the command facility must be located."

"Of course." Lemuel tried to stop his eyes rotating in circles while the mathematical theory flowed around him.
"Very well then. Intuitively, a real number is computable if it can be approximated to an arbitrary degree of accuracy by an algorithmic method. By doing so, we create a series of paralexic synchronizations that define the intersection of the calculus and geometry of the statistical universe. Within those amphibolic subluxations, the set of all computable real and definable locations are intimately related to a set of rational conclusions that are, of course only denumerably infinite, while the set of all real locations is uncountably infinite. Since all real locations are either computable or noncomputable, this means that 'most' locations are noncomputable and can therefore be discarded from the calculations. Thus eliminating the noncomputable from the denumerably infinite we are left with only the computably rational. In fact, as is always the case with such non-metachorindal data sets, there is only one possible location that fits both the statistical universe and the paralexic homeomorphism. The young angel must, mathematically, be here." Gauss put his finger decisively on one of the scrolls, exactly where Michael had told him to put it.

"Right, now we can get moving. Lemuel, go to the Headquarters of the League of Holy Court and assemble a strike team." Michael watched Lemuel-Lan vanish through the doors on his mission of mercy. Then he turned to Gauss who was picking up the scrolls. "Johan, I've got to ask. How much of that little speech made any kind of sense?"

Gauss's eyes twinkled. "Michael-Lan, it wasn't just nonsense, it was demented nonsense. It sounded good though, yes?"

"Very good. I owe you for this."

"No, Michael-Lan, It is still I who owe you a great debt. It was you who made it possible for me to make peace with my estranged son."

Outside the Headquarters of The League of Divine Justice, Eternal City, Heaven

"Does everybody know what to do?" Lemuel passed word around the group in a theatrical whisper.

At this point Michael-Lan really wished he could have brought a human SWAT team up for this job, working with professionals made everything so much easier. Still he was stuck with angels and it just had to be that way. This was what made the whole plan so risky, there were so many points where things were the way they were because that was how they had to be. It was why he had to place himself at the center of things, time after time. Angels were unimaginative, set in their ways. Our enduring assumption that we are right because we are angels and angels are always right is probably our greatest single weakness. We just couldn’t adapt easily to changing circumstances. Thank you for that Yah-Yah, thanks to your assumption of infallibility, I doubt if we can adapt to the coming defeat as well as the daemons down in hell did.

The focussed trumpet blast from the assembled angelic assault group shattered the wall that surrounded the old temple that the League of Divine Justice used as its headquarters. The one I told them to use as their headquarters anway Michael thought to himself. He sensed the angels around him had already gathered their power and shaded his eyes as a blinding glare of the purest white light shone from them. Then, while the guards in the ruined temple were still disorientated by the trumpet blast and blinded by the glare, they stormed across the narrow gap and climbed the destroyed wall.

Michael-Lan quickly assessed the situation and came to the conclusion it was safe to do so before heroically hurling himself into the fray. Lemuel was engaged in a sword fight with a half-blinded member of the group. Michael recognized him as Qaphsiel-Lan-Shekinah and concluded he had probably been checking the guard when the attack had started. Worse luck for him although any chance that he might survive this night was already on the outer edges of utterly implausible. Qaphsiel caught sight of Michael and managed to gasp out "Mighty General. . . ." before Michael's sword, fully charged with all the energy he could muster sliced deep into him. As it did so, the sword discharged and Qaphsiel glowed briefly with the intense white light that was characteristic of the Angelic Host before he died.

"Come on, old friend, you must be slipping. Made a bit heavy weather of that one didn’t you?" Michael caught Lemuel by the arm and made a great show of quickly steadying him. "This is just like old times isn’t it?" Michael made sure his voice was a properly enthusiastic roar while he quietly thought to himself I always made a point of being at the head of the charge back then. How could I have been so stupid?

Another of the late Qaphsiel's men was trying to escape through the shattered gates. Michael ran over to him and struck him a mighty blow that severed his body from the neck to the groin. No need for a charged sword on that one. Edged steel was perfectly adequate. He took a look around him and saw that the assault team was already penetrating the inner sanctum of the ruined temple. It was time to encourage them onwards so he followed them over, hanging back just long enough to make sure that the last of the angels outside the building was cut down and killed before he reached the front ranks. The door was shuddering under the blows. It caved in and Michael, this time, really did lead the charge inside. There are times to lead and times to follow he thought to himself and now it really is time to lead the charge. A hashmallim angel was in his way and Michael parried his thrust, the sparks showering from his fully-charged sword as it clashed with his opponents. The parry was strong beyond the hashmallim's ability to counter and his sword went flying across the room. Michael struck him down, feeling the steel edge bite deep and the energy flow from the sword into his victim's body. With his recuperation system shocked and disrupted by the energy influx, the hashmallim fell and died.

Onniel's Prison Cell, The Headquarters of The League of Divine Justice, Eternal City, Heaven

Onniel had no idea of how many days she had been held prisoner in the awful place. She had been snatched from the street while she had been searching for somewhere to live. Then all her possessions had been taken from her and she had been thrown naked into the terrible cell. She had sat there in absolute darkness and complete silence, alone and apparently forgotten by everybody. After a while the silence had appeared to vanish and she started to hear quiet, gentle noises. A rushing sound, the beating of a drum, a strange creaking that would never quite end. After a while, to her horror, she realized that she was hearing the sounds of her own body, the noise of her breathing, the beating of her own heart and the creaking of her bones and joints. As she sat in the silent blackness of her cell, her mind shrank away from the nightmare that had engulfed her and retreated deep inside herself.

There, it remained when the silence was broken by crashes and the screams of the dying. Without any warning, the door to her cell was thrown open and a brilliant light flooded the darkness. Amongst other things, it completely blinded her. Eyes that had spent days in total darkness couldn't accommodate even the diffuse light of a heavenly night. Onniel found herself being picked up, dragged to her feet and a robe draped around her. From its feel, it was of the finest quality, smooth, soft and light. A voice whispered in her ear, it was a whisper although to ears accustomed to complete silence, it was a deafening boom. "When I prod you, just say. 'That's her, that's the bitch, by the command of He Who Must Be Obeyed, take her away for punishment.' That and no more." The whisper ended and Onniel was dragged from her cell.

Maion's Prison Cell, The Headquarters of The League of Divine Justice, Eternal City, Heaven

Maion's terror had subsided during the hours she had been held in her cell. The blackness had lasted for only a few moments before light was restored. After that, whoever had snatched her from the street had been very nice to her. They had spoken to her through the door, when she had asked for water they had brought her some. They had even asked her what she would like to eat and they had brought what she had chosen. She guessed she was being held as some kind of hostage and rationalized that she was being well-treated so her value would be greater.

Then, the sounds of fighting had erupted outside and she had moved away from the door. That had proved to be a wise decision for the door had exploded open, fragments from its wood lancing across the room. Two angels, Erelim she guessed, were standing there. "The Lady Maion-Lan-Lemuel-Lan-Michael?" The question was obvious.

"I am. Have you come to rescue me?" Maion was secretly pleased by the respectful address.

"By order of Lemuel-Lan-Michael and the Great General Michael-Lan himself, we are. I am Ephom-Lan-Sezotah. Please come with us."

"Thank you, just, thank you." The Erelim smiled at her and led her from the cell. "Are Michael and Lemuel here?"

"They are, but they are involved in mopping up the last shreds of resistance. Michael-Lan himself led the charge into this building you know." The Erelim's voice was full of respect for Heaven's great general whose gallantry was known to all just as his generosity with human contraband was known to comparatively few.

Then around the corner came a group of Erelim, clustered around a woman, one finely dressed and obviously of great importance by the way they appeared to defer to her. To Maion's horror she recognized Onniel, ex-Wife of Lemuel-Lan. Onniel strode imperiously amongst her guard, then stopped and gasped. "'That's her, that's the bitch, by the command of He Who Must Be Obeyed, take her away for punishment."

One of the Erelim escorting Onniel moved forward. "I am Abszin-Lan-Azrael. By Order of the Great Father Of Us All, I command you to yield Maion to our custody."

"I am sorry Lady Maion. Ordered in the name of The Most High, I have no option but to obey. Please go with them but be sure, I will tell Michael of this and he will see to your safety."

Maion stepped forward and the guards seized her, hustling her and Onniel out of the building. Behind her, Ephom shook his head sadly and went to find Michael and Lemuel.

He met them coming the other way down the corridor. Both were stained with the white and silver blood of the angels who had been in the building. There were no survivors from the League of Divine Justice, Michael's private orders had been very specific on that point. Ephom knew that the members of the League here had been told that if they didn’t fight too hard, they would simply be detained and released. But, they had all committed a capital crime, they knew too much and since they were not part of the core conspiracy, they would have to go. By the time they had realized they were fighting for their lives, they had already lost them.

"Ephom-Lan." Michael's voice was tired but exultant. "have we found Maion yet?"

"Yes, Mighty General. Maion was safe and well. But a group of The One Above All's guards arrived with Onniel. She ordered them to take Maion into custody and they did so, in the Name of He Who Must Be Obeyed. Onniel was dressed in fine robes and ornate with jewelry. When she spoke, the guards treated her with great deference and obeyed her in every respect."

"Why did they take her away?" Lemuel's voice was agonized.

"They did not say. Only Onniel spoke and she said that Maion was to be punished for her crimes. I know of no such crimes, Greatest of Heaven's Generals."

"Perhaps she has committed the most serious crime of all." Michael spoke with solemn gravity. "She may have offended one upon whom The Great Father Of Us All smiles." Inside, Michael-Lan was exultant. My little play had gone off to perfection. Ephom-Lan and Abszin-Lan have performed correctly and now it seems to everybody not in on what really happened here that Onniel has caused Yahweh's guards to take Maion away for some unspecified punishment. We've even managed to get Azrael implicated and linked to Yahweh.

"Michael-Lan, was everything we have done here for nothing?"

"Of course not old friend. Maion is out of the hands of these brutal terrorists and safely in the hands of He Who Shall Not Be Named. There she will be safe for who can doubt the everlasting mercy of His Peerless Self You, for a start, by the time this game is finished. "Once we have cleared up here, we will go back home and I will inquire at The League of Holy Court. They will tell me where Maion has been taken and we will rescue her from her plight. I fear Onniel was a more spiteful and vindictive ex-wife than you realized old friend." And if she is, then it will make her fate even more deserved. By now she will be dead and her body will never be found.

Michael wrapped his wing comfortingly around Lemuel's shoulder. "Come, old friend, we can leave the final work to our comrades here. We have our wounded to care for and Maion to find. It's time for home."

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 Post subject: Re: Pantheocide 57 - 60
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:44 am 
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Headquarters, League of Holy Court, Eternal City, Heaven

"Ephom-Lan-Sezotah. You were in charge of the party charged with the rescue of Lady Maion-Lan-Lemuel?"

"I was, Mighty General. Until, as I told you, the servants of The One Above All took her from us."

"Do not be impertinent Ephom. If I require you to repeat a story for a thousand millennia, that is what you will do. Who led the servants of The Most High?"

"He did not give his name, but I believe it was Abszin-Lan-Azrael." Ephom-Lan spoke the desired sentence with just the right degree of reluctance."

"Azrael?" Lemuel-Lan gasped the name in shock. "But we know Azrael-Lan was behind the terrorist groups responsible for the bombings. Does his treachery reach so high?"

"That, we shall find out." Michael-Lan's voice was grim and foreboding. "Find Abszin-Lan-Azrael without delay and bring him here. And find out where Azrael-Lan is." You won't. I've got his badly-injured body tucked away in my private estate a long way from here.

Lemuel watched as Michael-Lan started pacing impatiently around the main room in the League of Holy Court temple. He wished that he could do the same, but the weight of misery and fear for Maion's safety that weighed down upon him seemed to crush any effort he might make. Instead, he just sat there, watching the bright white light of Heaven and trying to pray for Maion's safety. Suddenly, he realized the sheer futility of what he was doing. Maion had been taken on Yahweh's orders, she was being held somewhere at his command. Prayers would do nothing to save her, it was Michael with his strange team of angels and humans who were his only chance of seeing her again. With anguish in his heart, Lemuel realized that he desperately wanted to be with her again.

His descending spiral of misery and despair was interrupted by the doors banging open as Ephom-Lan-Sezotah returned with Abszin-Lan-Azrael. He leapt to his feet, the cry of "Where is she?" echoing around the temple.

"Quiet Lemuel." Michael-Lan's voice was calm and controlled. "Abszin was just obeying orders from his master as was his duty. Abszin-Lan-Azrael, what happened after you took the Lady Maion-Lan-Lemuel from the temple after we freed her from her captors?"

Abszin-Lan took a deep breath, ostensibly to steady himself, actually to make sure that the story he had been given by Michael-Lan was properly presented. "We took her to the Ultimate Temple Mighty General. There, we were met by other guards who were charged with taking her to the place of her imprisonment. They left to the east and returned within an hour."

"Why was she taken? Were you told this?"

"The other guards said that she was charged with treason and associating with those committing treason against The One Above All and His most trusted followers."

"Very well Abszin-Lan-Azrael, you may go now." Michael waited until Abszin had left then turned to Lemuel. "There you are old friend, your beloved is quite safe. Half an hour to the east suggests that she is in the detention camp set up by The Great Father Of Us All for those who were conspiring against him. I think this is just an error, that nobody realized there would be innocent prisoners at the headquarters of the terrorist group. Maion is in the Ever-Merciful Hands of Our Father, all we need to do is go there, explain the situation and she will be released, I am sure."

Lemuel was both doubtful and relieved. "Then why was Onniel there to condemn her? No, Michael-Lan, there is more to this than you think. Have you ever been to this detention camp?"

"No, there is no reason why I should. It is He Who Must Be Obeyed's own project. Since Hell is no longer available as a destination for those who conspire against him, He had to find another solution. But, I know roughly where it is. We should not take too long to get there. Come, old friend, we are nearly at the end of the quest."

Belial's Concentration Camp, Heaven.

"What horror is this?" Lemuel was aghast at the sights below him. There was a giant rectangular encampment, surrounded by what appeared to be gray stone walls on which angelic guards were patrolling. Inside were angels, obviously the prisoners of this truly Hellish creation, dragging themselves around. The inside of the camp had been churned into thick mud that had spread to smear and stain everything in its path. Worse than the sights was the dreadful stench that rose into the air, it was obvious that there were no sanitary facilities within the compound and the angelic waste had blended into the mud to form a dreadful ooze. Even that failed in sheer awfulness to overcome the sounds of despairing wails and moans from the prisoners within.

"I do not know." Even Michael-Lan was genuinely shocked by the camp below. He hadn't realized how thoroughly Belial would create a fair imitation of the Hellpit here. Still, all for the best. This is the one critical part of the scheme and the worse this place is, the better. "I had no idea that Yah-Yah would create something like this." He stole a sideways glance at Lemuel but the deliberate blasphemy had been ignored, overwhelmed by disgust at the sight beneath.

"Why do the prisoners not just fly over the wall?" Lemuel was having difficulty speaking so great was his shock at the sights below.

"I do not know that either." Michael looked down and picked out the main entrance. "Lemuel, I do not know what is going on here or who is responsible for this. Just follow my lead, is that clear? I'm going to bluff our way in."

He backwinged suddenly and landed in front of an entrance flanked by two buildings. As he walked towards them, two angels, Hashmallim by the look of them, hurried out to stop them.

"You can't come in here."

"Can't?" There was a menacing level of surprise in Michael's voice. "Do you know who I am?"

"Yes, and it doesn’t matter. Nobody is allowed in here without permission from Belial or The One Above All." The hashmallim smirked at the thought that he was giving the Mighty General Michael-Lan the run-around.

Michael just stared at him and his hand moved to grasp the angel. The hashmallim was suddenly pinned against the stone wall and was choking. "I find your lack of respect . . . . disturbing." Michael's voice was still calm and dead level. I've been wanting to say that for years.

He held the grip until the Hashmallim collapsed to the ground. Then, he turned to the other angel. "Any questions?"

The Seraphim gulped and shook his head. "Good, then open that damned gate! We are looking for the Lady Maion. Where is she?"

The Seraphim shuddered at the venom behind the question. "She is a new arrival. She will be in Section Six. The guards will be breaking her in there."

Michael simply glared at the hapless Seraphim. "I will remember you." Then he stalked through the opening gate, Lemuel following close behind.

The sight inside was far worse than anything they could have gathered from the air. The stinking mud that coated the inside of the compound rose high around their feet and stung even this peerless skin. In front of them, the prisoners were moaning with anguish as they tried to move in the all-encompassing filth. Lemuel only needed one glance to understand why none had attempted to fly out of the camp, at some point, they had had their wings methodically and comprehensively broken. From the look of some, the broken bones had started to heal and had then been broken again. After repeated breaks, the wings were healing deformed and he doubted if they would allow the angels to fly again. That was assuming they got out of this place.

"Has Yahweh gone completely mad?" Lemuel's voice was numb with shock. "How could he allow this?"

"You heard him. 'All the pains of Hell', he said. We all thought he was being his usual bombastic self. We never guessed he meant it. And did you hear who is in charge here? Belial, a refugee from Hell itself I guess. Yahweh wanted to recreate Hell, and he brought in a surviving daemon lord to do it for him. We'd better find Maion fast."

Michael set off at a determined pace, looking for Section Six. Around them, the crippled angels were trying to beg for help and food. To his mounting anguish, Lemuel realized that they weren't just crippled, they were far more than half-starved as well. Fortunately, on a number of levels. Section Six was quickly located. It was barely distinguishable from the others only, to Lemuel's eyes, the prisoners hadn't been starved yet and they were in marginally better condition. Beside him, Michael was quickly scanning through the figures that surrounded them. Finally, he saw the one he was looking for.

"Maion. She's over there. Hurry up old friend, we haven't got much time." He strode off, ignoring the mud and filth that was splashing over him.

"Don’t hurt me any more. Please . . . ." Maion's voice was a pathetic whimper. To Lemuel's horrified gaze, she was bloodstained and battered, her wings savagely broken and trailing in the filth that surrounded her.

"Maion, it's us. We've come to get you out of here." Michael's voice was comforting and consoling as he knelt beside her.

"Michael? You came? I was praying for . . . "

"Maion, did I not tell you that you are one of my people now. That if you got into trouble I would come and get you? You are one of us, Maion-Lan-Lemuel-Lan-Michael, one of my people and that means if they you help, it is for me to succor you. Leaders serve their followers Maion, just as much as followers serve their leaders. And Lemuel wouldn't leave me alone until we found you and came to your aid."

The words spoken by Michael cut through Lemuel's stunned consciousness. He had heard them before, from Charmeine-Lan. "Michael, you. You are the leader of the Montmartre Club."

"I am, Lemuel, and I have been trying to protect people who were at risk from Yah-Yah's growing insanity. I have been trying to save as many humans as I could from the Hellpit and give them some sort of life in Heaven. Now, I see I have failed." Michael theatrically sagged and started to weep.

Beside him, Lemuel put his arms around Maion and tried to comfort her. Instead, she screamed in renewed agony as his movements caused the jagged ends of bone in her broken wings to grate against each other. The sound clouded his mind with sheer fury. "Michael, what do we do?"

Michael gave every appearance of recovering from his breakdown and he drew himself up. "We must first get Maion out of here. That was and is our first priority. She's been very seriously hurt, her wings look so badly broken that I doubt if she will fly again unless she gets some very special care."

Maion was struggling to speak but the pain form her injuries kept breaking through. "Michael-Lan, you came just in time. One of the guards here said that Onniel had ordered my legs be broken as well. Please, help me."

"What do we do?" Lemuel was weeping uncontrollably.

"We can do nothing here. There are only one group of people who can treat injuries this severe and still allow the victim to make a full recovery."

"Humans?"

"That is right, humans. Lemuel, you must get Maion to the humans. They can cure her wounds and restore her body. We can create a portal to earth from here and you can take Maion through it." Michael turned his attention to Maion and his voice softened. "Maion, you are going to Earth for treatment. It will hurt as you go through the portal but you'll be out of here at least. Just be brave for a few minutes longer."

"What are you going to do Michael?" Lemuel had thought the situation through and saw that Michael-Lan was right. Maion's only chance lay on Earth.

"I will go to the Eternal City and confront Yah-yah. I cannot believe that he knows what goes on here. He has been mislead by bad advisors and tricked by Belial. Once he knows what is happening here, he will make things right. You, on your part, tell the humans of this. Beg for their aid in treating these wounded. Humans are very strange, they will kill without mercy yet present them with a scene like this and they will go to unimaginable lengths to aid the sick and wounded. Bring the humans here and try to save these people."

"Michael-Lan, it won’t work. The All-Seeing must know what goes on here." Suddenly all the pieces that Michael-Lan had so painstakingly crafted fitted together in Lemuel's head. "Michael-Lan, he doesn’t just know, he planned this. He knew there were those who opposed him so he used us to catch them. He used Azreal to cerate the terrorist movement so he would have an excuse for this. Michael, remember I asked if Azrael's treason went so high? Well, it didn’t, it started so high there is nowhere higher. Yahweh was behind the bombings, I am sure of it and he did it all to justify creating this place to punish those who were questioned him."

"I greatly fear you might be right." Michael-Lan put exactly the right amount of doubt and anguish into his voice. Well done Lemuel, you put it all together. Now, lets see if you can make the obvious final jump. His face settled into an expression that combined grandeur, nobility and offended honor. Michael was quite proud of the expression, it was one he practiced in front of a mirror often. "What should I do?"

Lemuel summoned up his strength and, as he looked down at Maion moaning in the mud, his mind was made up. "Michael-Lan, Yahweh knew all of this and knew it well. He is no longer fit to reign in Heaven. You, you Michael, must depose him and take over the throne. Then, you must make peace with the humans somehow. I do not know how you can do this or when you will achieve it but it is your duty to the whole of the Angelic Host to make sure that what we see around us now will never happen again."

"Lemuel, my old friend, I ought to strike you down for the words you have just said. But while my head tells me to do that, my heart says that you are right. Bring the humans, bring their armies for without them we cannot depose Yahweh. I will do what I can Lemuel, I will oppose Yahweh, I will try and prevent this atrocity from happening again. Yes, my old friend, I will attempt to remove him from power. Your words convince me of the need for this and for that I thank you." The poets were right, the power of love will achieve wonders. When used and steered properly of course. Michael gazed at Maion on the ground. "But first, we must see to your beloved. Be brave Maion, soon you will be on Earth and your wounds will be cured."

Michael and Lemuel reached down and lifted Maion, trying to disturb her shattered wings as little as possible. Once she was lifted, the two combined their power and pushed through a portal to Earth. Then, Lemuel took a firm grip on Maion and took her through the black ellipse.

Behind them, Michael-Lan watched the ellipse close behind them. Well, we are truly into the end-game now. He thought. The humans won’t just send aid although they surely will send that. They will send their armies as well and the first thing they see will be this nightmare. They'll see the angelic host as the victims here just as the dead suffering in Hell were the victims there. And that will preserve the host for they will forgive us.

Michael-Lan started to move away, to return to the Eternal City where the next stage of the complex scheme would take place. As he did, he saw the hellish conditions in the camp around him and one last thought popped into his mind. I wonder if I'll ever forgive me.

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There are 550 million firearms in the world, enough for one person in twelve of the world's population. The moral dilemma that faces us is how to arm the other eleven.


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 Post subject: Re: Pantheocide 57 - 60
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:56 pm 
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Nice work, Stu; I do wish I could say something a bit more constructive to say.

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 Post subject: Re: Pantheocide 57 - 60
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:16 pm 
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I was wondering if Cthulu would be brought up. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Pantheocide 57 - 60
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:30 am 
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Fascinating. The end of the middle and perhaps the beginning of the end, though there are sure to be twists yet.

Yet Michael needs to remember that not all plans go as they should - the enemy does not always react to script. We can be devious and cunning bastards too!

Jonathan


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 Post subject: Is Michael Austrian ?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:09 pm 
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I read the way that Austrian exiles managed to persuade the British and US governments that they were the first victims of Nazi Germany and that the allied Armies would be liberators, not conquerors. The thing was that it worked.

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 Post subject: Re: Pantheocide 57 - 60
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:54 am 
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Still reading halfway through but minor quibble the Canadian Airforce isn't the RCAF anymore since the 60's.


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 Post subject: Re: Pantheocide 57 - 60
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:07 am 
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Blayne Buradorii wrote:
Still reading halfway through but minor quibble the Canadian Airforce isn't the RCAF anymore since the 60's.


It's possible that with major expansion of the Canadian Forces the three services split again with the RCAF and RCN reappearing. Alternatively the man from Bombardier has just made a mistake, even fictional characters do that. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Pantheocide 57 - 60
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:39 pm 
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JNiemczyk1 wrote:
It's possible that with major expansion of the Canadian Forces the three services split again with the RCAF and RCN reappearing. Alternatively the man from Bombardier has just made a mistake, even fictional characters do that. ;)

They're effectively split into three services now. I don't think there would be very much interest in reversing a change made over forty years ago, but it isn't implausible..


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 Post subject: Re: Pantheocide 57 - 60
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:55 am 
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Blayne Buradorii wrote:
Still reading halfway through but minor quibble the Canadian Airforce isn't the RCAF anymore since the 60's.


It is now; reality has now caught up with fiction. :D

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