WORLD JOURNAL |
June 2008 See Our Other Issues!
FIST OF GOD SEEN OVER MICHIGAN!
Is It a Sign of the Apocalypse?
The following photo was taken in South Lansing, Michigan. The cloud formation is centered over a Baptist church which was involved in the Secret Wings controversy. (See Related Story)
Religious authorities deny any significance, but the faithful of various religions are considering it to be a sign.
Satanists are starting to become annoying. At last we know why the angels are hanging around. Hmmm, should I mention how the Fist of God was seen in the sky over my old Baptist church in Lansing? (2 Jul)
The fabled Beast of the Apocalypse is tracking California school districts where he's welcome as the leadership changes. He's moving north. (7 Jul)
- Satanists are offended that the Black Arts Competition of 2007 culminated in an invocation of the Christian Holy Mother. So they're having a counter-ceremony! For their venue they've picked San Francisco, which fits their idea of "evil city".
- Their membership is practically every kind of normal person one might consider evil. They include an Internet bully (and rival mage of mine), a middle manager who leads by tantrum, a town policeman who indulges his fits of road rage, a real estate speculator who can't be bothered with code compliance for his rental properties, a PTA mom who puts fertility above everything else, and a homeless woman who gets her Satanic power from abusing the kindness of Christians.
- The power of these particular schemers is at best second-tier. Traditionally in my Superhuman World(s), Satanists and other evil mages are just tools. For that reason, I decline to mention them by name. Names give power.
- Their sponsorship is minimal. The Earthly Masters of Evil have their own plans. Even Auge von Shaitan is mostly interested in forestalling all those other people who might manifest the Devil's body parts. But the Strategos of the former secret Lunar colony seems to be backing them. And he's got lots of mechanical Volga Boatmen robots.
- According to scholars of Apocalypse literature, there are actually two Apocalypse Beasts. One has ten heads and seven horns; this one is usually considered to be either a dynasty or a committee. These Satanists qualify for the latter role.
- The second Beast is the first one's minion. For the role of First Beast, the PTA mom volunteered her two-year-old child. As every mother knows, two years old is the perfect age to be filled with the Devil. And to back her bid for Luciferpower, she has support for her "Every Child Nurtured" self-esteem initiative throughout the hippie parts of Northern California.
- So, the kid's undergone the "Risen One" ceremony - in which he gets lots of Satan body parts, and enough Devil armor to look maybe eight years old. This is the same ceremony that my friend Karla Melhor was unwillingly subjected to, a couple of years ago. It works better with a willing recipient - or at least one that doesn't care.
I'm going out on bicycle to fight invaders. People from work and church are with me, but the latter are mostly dead. I'd better use my do-over. (11 Jul)
- There's a march of robots or something, up the side of Interstate 5. Police have come to question the leader, but when they tell him to leave the road, he just plows through the woods.
- Oregon is the logical next target when the Beast is moving north from California. It is just coincidence I'm there. But some of my friends from Lansing came out to see me, after they saw the Fist of God in the sky!
- The point of the march seems to be mystic power, because nobody can seriously expect to conquer Oregon with however many marchers. On that basis, I propose to my boss we oppose it in mystic manner. She agrees.
- My allies are my various church friends including people from Michigan, plus the sort of people from work who like to march to cure breast cancer, plus a bartender friend of mine from Michigan who's Buddhist but loves the angels and thinks a protest march against Satanists would be fun... Whatever. If you hate evil and imperfection, you get to help fight the Devil's brat.
- Most of the invaders are mechanical Volga Boatmen from the Moon. It says something about me that I actually recognize them. They're not responding to opponents in flanking positions the way they usually do, though. And they're not playing; they're ripping people limb from limb if the people are in their path.
- Okay, it's Make It Never Was time. I have that power on rare occasions, and this is one of them. On the do-over, we leave an observer moving alongside the robots. Then we get behind them, and start marching the other direction.
- Later we learn, that subtracts enough from their mystic power that the National Guard can stop them at a roadblock. Or so we can claim. At any rate, their leader was complaining about how his toys couldn't make things go Boom so well.
- Then the robots mysteriously deactivated! Their leader promptly stomped his feet, said something indistinct and probably Satanic, then sank through a hole of flame.
After it's over... I wake up early and have a mixed drink as a hotel cleans up from a convention.
- I still live in hotel, because I just now moved to my current job.
- I don't actually sleep with my boss even though we're close, so I still have my own bedroom.
- Of course I know my bartenders, so they try out drink mixes on me.
Then a boy arrives in a cardboard time box which I helped pull him into. (15 Jul)
- Hey, I recognize this kid - from Earth 2022. That death-stricken world is the second thing I made Never Was. I knew it had to be Never Was, because I went there.
- But the kid got out first. Dammit, if I'd known he wasn't just pretending to ride a time machine when we were playing live-action Teenagers from Outer Space, I could have come along.
- He's saying, 2008 is decisive - and it's not over yet. Oh joy.
- And he's right. This invasion isn't even over! But I can at least tell him the story.
- Now that I mention it, I remember him telling me that same story back in 2022. I being from 2002 at the time, it seemed like he was just inventing a rippin' good story about me. So I ignored it until now.
- What does it mean, that this boy's past has changed several times, but his future is still Earth's future? This doesn't sound good for Earth.
- And what does it mean that Earthling time-travellers like the son of Megaphone are still coming from the far future, beyond the end of the Earth? Well, that one I can answer. Aliens have been swiping Earthlings for millennia now, to put in "nature preserves".
- Speaking of aliens...
An alien conqueror has taken a hostage. He's a former sponsor of Wendie Robinson the Galactic Librarian. Her many superhuman friends won't be pleased. (22 Jul)
- The Satanists had an off-Earth sponsor who provided the robots for their ceremonial march. And here he is in Portland!
- He's a big lizard, so I know him to be an alien Gronite. I remember him as the Teknokrat! He used to sponsor the human enclave of the secret Lunar colony. The Strategos was sort of his regent.
- After I (of all people, but with a lot of help) defeated the Strategos in 1995 or thereabouts, the Teknokrat is sworn not to attack here again. And he's not so stupid as to pick a fight with the Combine or any other faction of Earthly superhumans, especially with his homeworld government watching.
- His hostage is mostly for Galactic reasons; he says that's standard procedure to start a negotiation. Yeah, right. But on to the negotiation...
- The Teknokrat just wants his robots back. He says he's done with humans using them. And he's the one who deactivated the robots. A human he knows as The Walker suggested he come check up on them. Hmmm, I suspect the hand of the Method Man.
- After a bit of heavy superhuman patrolling, and a lot of arguing over whether the whole Lunar colony counts as swiped alien tech too, the exchange goes peacefully.
- We keep the downed Lunar colony because the U.S. Air Force has it now, and it's useless anyway. The Teknokrat takes the robots because they're useless, and they're not all that special anyway. Heid-Ketzel robots are actually more impressive, because they were independently built on the same principle, and they were fine-tuned to our own planet. Theodore Ketzel invented these, and he already works for the Combine.
- Well, that explains how the Secret Masters of Evil wasted their downed Lunar robots on those silly Satanists. The robots' real owner was coming back for them anyway.
The Powernaut and I patrol a bridge and pick up a headset. But it's in a bag - and broken. I'd have to say, the Secret Masters got to it first. (23 Jul)
- My colleague Gillette Harris would usually take these field missions; he's young and eager. But he's going to community college now, to improve his language skills. And, having some wrestling experience courtesy of Hercules, he's now helping coach their women's wrestling program! Now that women are stronger than men, the lady wrestlers are the best. Our boss likes this, so she gives Gillette the night off, and I cover.
- The city of Portland is kind of nervous about having superhumans prowl their city in the aftermath of an alien battle incident. Eventually they agree to have a certified local salvage team (namely, me and my cow-orkers) look for alien debris. The world's most popular superhuman (namely, the Powernaut) is allowed to escort us.
- In my old world, the Mighty Tim was a United Nations spokesperson and was most popular. In this world, the Powernaut got here first. And he wasn't part of that old-world superhuman clique, which our new world is finding increasingly suspicious. Plus, he and his Power Patrol have a publicity agent.
- The other superhumans have a response plan, though... They're having town meetings!