November 2007 Archives
Deus Ex Aleatorium
The Professor's Death
By Douglas E. Gogerty
Ashley's elders warned her that her target was old. Potentially, he was extremely old. That would mean that he would have time to gather allies. Her target would not be an easy mark.
He was a professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota. He taught history and specialized in the Renaissance. Many students joked that he had been around since then, but that may not be too far off.
He had worked at the university for 45 years, and records indicated that he was 80. Ashley knew he was much older than that, but she also knew that his facade was artificial. His actual appearance could be much younger, and he probably stopped aging at 35. That is how it usually worked. They would start a job at their "death age," and artificially age afterwards. Usually, they did not stay at a single job that long.
It was the end of the semester, and it was time for her to strike her target. During his 45 years of service, he had only one residence. He lived in a large Victorian house in Saint Paul. There were several on this road, so Ashley had to make sure she had the correct one.
It was an overcast 3 o'clock in the morning. The streetlights did their best to illuminate the darkness with a little success. Ashley was wearing a long gray overcoat, but underneath she was wearing black leotard. She had her purse full of supplies that she would need to break into the house. She had a black balaclava in her pocket. It was a brisk spring Minnesota day, so she did not look out of place.
The street number matched, so she snuck around to the back. She put her mask on, and ditched her coat in a bush. Her sword hung over her back, and she had a couple of knives on a belt around her waist. She was ready to go.
The back of the house had a second floor balcony. Like an experienced cat burglar, she scrambled up a drainpipe to the balcony. She looked around to see if anyone had spotted her. No one had. A motion detector light turned on, but she waited until it turned off before continuing. This delay also gave her eyes time to readjust to the darkness.
The interior lights of the house were all off. Ashley was hoping that the professor was sleeping in the master bedroom, which was on the other side of door where she crept. She could be in and out in a few minutes.
As silently as possible, she opened the screen door. She checked the interior door, and it was locked. The door did not have a deadbolt, so it would be an easier task getting inside. She picked the lock, but remembered that in these old houses everything squeaks. From her bag, she grabbed a small can of WD-40, and sprayed it on the hinges.
After letting the lubricant do its job, she opened the door. The occupant of the room did not stir. The bedroom door was closed, and the room was very dark. Ashley let her eyes further adjust. She decided that she would not need her night vision goggles.
The hardwood floors were her next obstacle. She stepped and slowly put her weight on that foot. She repeated this process until she reached the king-sized bed. The sole occupant of the bed was sleeping facing away from the balcony.
Ashley was at the edge of the bed when she drew her sword. In a swift downward motion, her sword took the head from the sleeping body. It rolled off the bed with a thump. It had a pasty complexion and long blond hair. Even in the darkness, Ashley could tell this was not the professor.
She sheathed her sword, and grabbed a flashlight from her bag. She switched it on and placed the severed head in the beam of the light. It was definitely a woman with chalky skin. She crawled across the bed and grabbed the head. After examining the yellow eyes, she knew that the woman was one of the professor's minions.
The minion was extremely old. The body turned to dust before Ashley's eyes, and the head disintegrated in her hands. How many more would she face? Where was the professor sleeping? Were there any mortals here? Did the sound of the head hitting the floor awaken anyone? This job had suddenly gotten much more difficult.
She sat on the trunk at the end of the bed to think. "Perhaps it was time for the night vision goggles," she thought as she returned the flashlight to her purse. She sat for a few moments when she heard someone at the door. She silently drew her sword and ducked behind the bed as the squeaky door opened.
The figure stood in the doorway backlit by a dim hall light. It was another female and she did not say anything. Ashley slid under the bed, as the woman searched the darkened room. At no point did she flip on the light, thus it appeared that she shunned the light. She also did not call out. Clearly, she was another minion.
Ashley drew her knife and rolled out from underneath the bed. With a quick flip, the knife struck the minion in the heart. Ashley was on her and had her mouth covered so she could not scream out. Quietly as possible, she let the female minion drop onto the bed.
With a wry smile and a heavy sigh, the minion died. Although she looked 30, she was another ancient minion. At this rate, this room was going to be knee deep in the dust of dead minions. Ashley needed to get out of the room fast, and it meant she was going to have to take a big chance.
Since the man was supposed to be 80, she reasoned that he would make a bedroom on the first floor. This would enforce the illusion that he was too old to climb stairs. She decided to stop trying to be silent, and walk confidently around the house.
She walked out of the room and down the hall to the back stairway. At the bottom of the stairs was a pantry. She opened the only door, and it led into the kitchen. The door to the formal dining room was open. The layout of the house was like so many of the era.
Ashley figured that when the house was built, it probably had a parlor off the front door. This was most likely place to put a first floor bedroom. It meant she had to walk across the front foyer. If she walked as if she knew what she was doing, even if someone spotted her, this person would not think anything was amiss.
She made her way boldly across the dining room into the foyer. She saw a man in his twenties sleeping on a couch in the foyer. He was not her target, so she crossed the foyer and drew her sword. She opened the door on the far side of the foyer, entered the room, and closed the door behind her.
When she entered the room, the occupant sat up with a start. He called out, but his head was on the floor before he uttered a second syllable. She quickly exited the room, and headed for the dining room. She noticed that the young man on the couch was gone.
Suddenly the house was alive with beings. The young man emerged from the dining room with a sword. He was no minion. Minions came walking down the stairs and from every door leading to the foyer.
The young man swung his sword at Ashley. She blocked it with her sword and swept his legs out from under him with a low spin kick. She opened the front door and ran out. She grabbed her coat and disappeared into the night.
By Dwayne MacInnes
Scott's instincts took over. He swung behind him with his elbow to be rewarded with a man exhaling violently as he struck home in his assailant's stomach. As the man doubled over, Scott grabbed him around the neck and flung the man into some wooden crates. The man crashed into the boxes breaking the brittle wooden boards.
The Scout recovered in time to catch another man armed with a knife running towards him. Scott latched onto the upraised arm with the weapon and as the man continued his forward rush, Scott used this man's own momentum to flip the man onto the ground. With the wind knocked out of him the attacker just laid on the ground momentarily stunned.
Scott easily wrenched the knife out of the second man's hand. He backed up as still another man materialized out of the shadows and swung a long metal bar at Scott. The bar passed in front of Scott barely touching his denim jacket as Scott hopped back out of range.
The new attacker stepped in for another swing when with lightning reflexes Scott ran towards the man and before the attacker could ready his bar again the Scout was behind him with the knife to his throat. The assailant dropped the metal bar with a loud clang to the ground.
Scott was surprised to hear someone clapping from behind him. Scott turned towards the new sound as he tossed the third attacker from him.
"You are a very resourceful man Mr. Duncan," a strange voice addressed Scott. Scott could barely make out two shapes in the dark shadows. One he recognized as Taylor.
"The test is over," the stranger said loudly. Suddenly, some men removed a cover from above and light poured into the store's interior through a skylight in the roof.
Scott shielded his eyes from the bright blast of illumination. He watched as the three attackers slowly recovered themselves and walked over to Taylor and a thin man with short-cropped gray hair.
"Thank you gentlemen, you may return to your posts," the thin man said. The three assailants left the store.
"Mr. Duncan I am Moose Van Dyke," the thin man said as he extended his hand towards Scott.
Scott accepted the firm handshake, "So this was just another test?"
"Why yes," Moose replied. "Taylor has told me about your shooting, and from what I've just witnessed you would make a fine addition to the Anarchists.
"But please, Mr. Duncan, let's step into my office and we can talk in private. I may have a special opening available."
The two men led Scott into a large room that at one time must have been the store manager's office. A skylight let the sun's rays illuminate the room. Scott notice various maps tacked to the walls. An executive desk sat against a far wall that nearly drowned in scattered papers.
"Please have a seat Mr. Duncan," Moose offered a leather chair for Scott to recline in. Moose shifted some papers on the desk and as he sat on the corner, something fell to the ground.
No one seemed to notice the small object except Scott who only glanced at it shortly. Taylor started for the door, "I take it you will conduct this interview in private."
"No, please stay Taylor," Moose said.
"Well, sir I did make a purchase today and I would like..."
"I said stay," Moose responded in a stern commanding voice, "Your trollop can wait until we are done here."
Taylor walked back into the room like a chastised dog. He found another leather chair and pulled it up next to Scott.
"Well, now Mr. Duncan. Were you ever in the military?" Moose asked.
"I was in ROTC before the Big Bang," Scott lied.
"Hmmm, I could tell you had some combat experience that the average waster doesn't possess.
"Now, as I said before I may have special position for you," Moose continued.
Scott's eyes glanced down towards the floor again. He noticed that small object again. It appeared to be a nametag. Scott tried to decipher the letters as Moose went on talking.
"But first I must say, you kind of stepped into the middle of something. It really is regrettable. However, it looks like it may be possible for you to rectify to situation." Scott only was half listening. He almost had the nametag worked out. The last name on it was definitely Van Dyke. Obviously, it belonged to Moose.
"If you are truly interested in joining the anarchists I just need you to perform one last little test," Moose droned one.
Scott finally worked it out and his surprise at the revelation matched the timing of the point Moose was laboriously coming to. As Scott read on the nametag 'Col. Chris Van Dyke' Moose said, "I need you to kill Wade Benson."
Deus Ex Aleatorium
The Son of the God of Light
By Douglas E. Gogerty
A man of long life can come and go into prominence. With the longevity come great experiences. Even if only a fraction is remembered, vast knowledge will be collected. Further, if one concentrated on gathering of wealth, they could accumulate huge stockpiles. Thus, the ancient immortals had great wisdom and wealth.
The first name given to him was Moses, but he would know many others. When the proper time came, he would "die" and take on a new identity. In this way, he would take a new identity in order to redirect the aim of the god of light.
As King Solomon, he brought great fame and wealth to the chosen people. The Kingdom of Israel found great prosperity under his wise rule. Thus, he believed it would continue when he moved on. However, the kingdom split and trouble ensued.
He united the people of many ancient civilizations, and they knew him as Alexander of Macedonia or Alexander the Great. However, his followers continued with their polytheistic ways; thus, he had influence and power, but his father gained few followers. Hence, he ended that experiment early and left it to the generals to decide what to do.
With the inadvertent inclusion of the god of darkness's lack of rules into Christianity, he decided to create yet another religion dedicated to the god of light. Thus, he gathered some desert peoples and created a third major monotheistic religion. This one too would be full of rules to follow.
After spending several years establishing this religion, he moved on. He let the religion grow and flourish. They had a set of rules to follow, and when the end of times came, the god of light could include anyone practicing this religion on the rolls.
With two religions squarely on the side of the god of light, he wandered around poking and prodding the Christian religion to move them towards more rules. However, the disciples needed a draw away from other religions. Thus, with fewer rules and regulations, it was a large drawing point.
It was clear that the influence of Judas was too strong, and Moses's meddling resulted in the first crusade. He did not want his factions fighting each other, but it seemed to happen naturally. They were all children of the god of light, yet they behaved as if they were separate groups. They believed that the rules handed to them only applied to those within their group.
With this realization and frustration, he stopped meddling and turned his attention to the arts. By this time, he had lived quite an eventful life. Many things had come and gone since his birth. He could draw on great experiences to create his works.
He studied and practiced under the tutelage of some very prominent masters. Thus, many consider his Divine Comedy a masterpiece. In an effort to make literacy more wide spread, he did not write it in Latin or Greek. He used the vernacular of the area he was living. They called him Dante Alighieri at that time.
After writing, he turned his interest to painting. Some of his family took the name of Medici and they lived in Florence. He visited them often. They were great patrons of the arts. Hence, he could study painting with several great masters.
In the Medici household, the ideas flourished. His feelings towards the religious fighting had ebbed, and he felt a great reawakening. Thus, he dabbled in many things besides painting. He designed gadgets, he studied anything he could find, and he felt like a new man. The world around him seemed to change, and he felt rejuvenated.
Thus, the fame of Leonardo the son of Piero da Vinci became world renown. His own reawakening caused a renaissance in all of Europe. His thirst for knowledge and his joy in painting combined into a very productive period.
He painted and drew and drew and painted. He had fun again. He experimented with rudimentary photographic techniques and created a sheet with his image on it. As time passed, his 14th century experiment was mistaken for his 1st century persona. However, this did not bother him much, because it was still him.
He put secrets and inside jokes into his artwork. He was enjoying his newfound freedom and was having fun with it. Thus, if someone studied his artwork carefully, he or she could possibly discover his secret. The hidden illuminati would protect the secret; however, it was there for all to see. Jesus and Leonardo da Vinci were the same person.
The thought of it made him laugh hysterically. However, he used such great subtly that he doubted anyone could ever put it all together. In fact, he infused it all with Jesus having children. He was sure that would throw anyone off the trail.
He continued as an adviser here and a leader there. He regained a zest for this world. He dabbled in various forms of art and general creation.
In the mid-eighteenth century, he realized that he had yet to be a composer. He studied music with various masters, as he had done with so many other areas of interest. He found that it was quite difficult learning a musical instrument at his age. There was so much that he did not know about music. Hence, it took him much longer than the other artistic pursuits.
However, he did finally manage to gain some renown in the late nineteenth century as Johannes Brahms. People enjoyed his waltzes and his symphonies. Thus, he had built himself a prominent name in many artistic pursuits. However, when he finished this pursuit and staged his death, he realized that the end was near.
The end of times would be less than 100 years from then, at the end of the millennium. He had so much work left to do. His joy and love of the arts had distracted him. The three "Abrahamic Religions" were quite large and powerful. However, would they be enough?
There had been inter-factional and intra-factional conflicts throughout. The one Christian religion was now several. Each group had fought with one another several times and left many dead. How would he unite them? How could he assure them a spot in the rolls of the god of light in a mere 100 years?
He began establishing treaties between the powerful nations; thus, uniting them in a common ground. They would cooperate rather than fight. They agreed to help each other in unprecedented levels. His work looked as if it would pay great dividends.
However, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria ruined his plans. These alliances forced nation against nation. They had agreed to protect their friends and neighbors. Thus, they had to enter into this world war. Hence, many of the members on the side of the god of light were killed in this great conflict. Thus, while he hoped to strengthen and increase the numbers, they actually decreased.
While the League of Nations and later the United Nations formed out of his early efforts, these institutions were going to be too little and too late. Further, the results of this first world war led to the second world war.
He thought about starting another religion, but it would be very difficult. Both gods had promised a six-month delay on requests. Thus, miracles took a long time. He could no longer impress the multitudes as he did in the past.
It appeared that everything he did to gain members to the god of light had the opposite effect. Thus, he decided to work actively for the god of darkness. He believed that by showing the people the path of chaos, they would naturally turn towards order.
He sowed discontent and terror wherever he could. He founded terrorist organizations and anarchist groups. He turned from order and beauty. If the people wanted chaos and death, he would show them the result of this.
His last act occurred shortly before the last mortal was born. It unified the people of the United States, which was his plan. While the chips may fall in a place he did not intend, the toppling of the World Trade Center would unite the Christian people.
With this act, he hoped to earn enough citizens for the god of light. However, the immortals decided not to take the chance. Thus, the fight to the death was on. As part of the agreement, he would let his children handle the affair. His "father" dispersed his molecules throughout the galaxy and he was no more.
By Dwayne MacInnes
"I'm sorry to have to involve you in some of our politics so soon," Moose continued. "But, you see Wade's accident in the waste was no accident. We tampered with his bike so that it would break down in the middle of nowhere. The muties would have been a nice touch until you inadvertently interfered."
"You see Wade asks too many questions. He doesn't fit in," Taylor added.
Moose gave Taylor a stern look and the big man shrank back into his chair.
"Sorry, sir," Taylor offered meekly.
"As my second in command has put it, Wade is a trouble maker. We cannot afford to have trouble makers in the Anarchists," Moose continued.
"So you need me to be your hit man is that it?" Scott interrupted.
"That is one way of putting," Moose replied. "You are close to Wade and if he was to have another accident or if you were to get into a fight leaving Wade dead no one would ask any questions."
Scott stood up and walked over to one of the maps on the wall as if in contemplation. "You can't dirty your hands because it would be bad for morale if you started killing off your own men. You can't use one of your own men for fear of them talking.
"But you can use me. I'm new, I'm a stranger and if I point the finger at you who would believe me anyway."
"You are very astute Mr. Duncan," Moose smiled.
"Please, call me Scott. However, I believe it would only be fair if we laid our cards on the table Colonel."
Taylor shot out of his chair and Moose looked at Scott in surprise.
"How..." Moose began.
Scott pointed towards the nametag on the floor. "I think you could use a better secretary."
Moose chuckled and motioned Taylor to resume his seat. "I guess I did not appreciate how astute you really are Mr....ah, Scott."
"Look, I used to be military, you use to be military and if I am correct Taylor used to be military," Scott said. "So we belong to an order few out there can still claim."
"Captain Barry Taylor," Moose nodded towards Taylor, "and I belonged to Ellsworth Air Force Base before the Big Bang. We were there when everything hit the fan.
"The best scenario we could figure out was that nut job in North Korea smuggled a mobile missile launcher into China. They launched on Russia and before anyone knew what was going on, everyone's automated defense system kicked in. Nuclear, dirty, chemical and biological bombs are flying across the globe.
"Fortunately, Ellsworth was untouched. We lived in those underground bunkers for as long as our food held out. What was it Captain, six months?"
Taylor nodded in affirmation.
"When we popped up to see what was left there were only fifty-three of us alive. We didn't have much trouble establishing our own little empire here in Sturgis. We had the weapons, we had the vehicles and we had the tactics.
"Sure by the time we finished establishing the Anarchists and had established our borders across North and South Dakota there was only me the Captain and five other soldiers left. You fought three of them today."
Scott pointed towards the maps on the walls. "It looks like the restoration of the United States could really put a damper on your empire building."
Taylor nodded again, "Yes, they could. That is why we are digging out the Minuteman..."
"Captain!" roared Moose.
Scott nodded his head, "That is why you are digging out a nuclear warhead."
Deus Ex Aleatorium
To Be or Not to Be
By Douglas E. Gogerty
Tyler awoke when there was a thump on the floor above him. However, he did not think much of it. The house was full of people, and he would not get any sleep if he investigated every bump in the night.
He began to drift off when he thought he heard some sort of scuffle. Again, he did not think anything of it. Most minions are active during the night. They are sensitive to the light, so they avoid it. Thus, restless minions were nothing new.
He had only been staying in the house a short time. The fact that he was sleeping on a couch in the foyer was evidence of that. Tyler's benefactor had offered his home as temporary lodgings until he could find a place of his own.
After all, they were related. The professor was born several thousand years before Tyler was, but they were all of the same line. Tyler just had a lower ranking in the illuminati. The professor clearly had a high rank because of the number of minions he had. The Victorian house was full to the rafters. He had not counted, but he thought there were at least 30 people living under that roof.
Tyler rolled over on the couch as he heard someone descend the back stairs. He was suddenly motivated to find his own place. He had spent several restless nights on this couch, and the house practically came alive every night.
He heard very light footsteps crossing the foyer. Some unknown person headed towards the professor's bedroom. Curiosity grabbed him, and he opened his eyes to see who it was. He did not recognize the person. Whoever it was -- was dressed all in black.
It took Tyler a few moments to realize something was amiss. He jumped off the couch in somewhat of a daze, and tried to think where his stuff was located. He remembered that he left his bag in the dining room. Thus, he scrambled to the dining room to grab his things.
He heard the professor sit up and bed. Moments later, there was a thump on the floor. Tyler was not sure what was going on, but he drew his sword and headed to the foyer.
He saw a beautiful young woman dressed all in black emerge from the professor's room. She had her sword drawn, so Tyler challenged her. She was up to the challenge as she blocked his blow and knocked Tyler to the floor. Before he could regain his footing, she was out the door.
He considered going after her, but the entire household was awake. He thought it best to determine what was going on. Everyone else had the same thought. Tyler fought his way into the bedroom, but there was nothing but a pile of dust on the bed.
It was at this time that Tyler realized that the professor had quite the harem of minions. He had paid them no heed, until they all started wailing. They all began consoling each other. They all told their tales of how they met him and fell in love. At the time, they did not want to lose him, so they agreed to allow him to bite them. Only then, did they discover that there were others -- in some cases several others.
The professor had various jobs during the day in his lifetime, and the minions would prefer to be nocturnal. However, the professor would wish to sleep nights. Thus, he would find the company of another woman who could be out during the day. Another minion was born.
It was quickly discovered that the two oldest were missing. Their deaths added to the pain of the minions. They began demanding that Tyler end their misery. Their lives had not turned out as they had wished. They begged Tyler to kill them. They did not wish to live without the love of their lives.
He assured them that the more powerful members of the illuminati would send someone to take over the house. That person would decide what was to become of these minions. Of course, he did not know who to contact because the professor was his primary contact.
One of the minions handed Tyler the professor's secret book. It was a list of members of the illuminati. The professor had crossed off several names. He saw his father's name, his grandfather's name, and his great grandfather's name all on the list. Someone had crossed them all off. Were they all dead?
He slumped into a chair. This secret war was killing everyone he knew. Old friends that he had known for most of his life were now dead. People who he thought would always be there -- being immortal and all -- were gone.
After figuring out how the book was organized, he realized there was only a handful of his generation left. There were no left from the younger generations. All of the professor's children were dead. All of his grandchildren were also dead. It was no wonder that he did not increase security -- he wanted to die.
Tyler grabbed some things, and stuffed them into his bag. He took the book and his sword. He gave some assuring words to the minions and walked out the door. It was still predawn, but he needed to get some air.
He walked and walked. He watched the sun come up over downtown Minneapolis. He continued to walk. Eventually, he found himself on the university campus. He walked across the campus bridge to the West Bank Campus. He found an open door, and made his way toward the library. It was not open.
He walked the tunnels for a while. He found a vending machine and grabbed some snacks. He continued walking around the tunnels. He found an internet kiosk and using the professor's credentials, he logged in.
He e-mailed some people in the professor's book. He told them what happened. After several minutes on the internet, he received a reply. They gave the best guess on whom the assassin was and where to find her. Tyler logged off the kiosk, and walked to the library.
He did not know what he was looking for, but he looked anyway. He looked for people in the professor's book. He saw good things they had done, and bad things they had done. They were like everyone else. They were like the mortals -- only with more influence and wealth.
After spending several hours at the university, he decided to go to the address he was given. It was in an apartment building on the other side of the Mississippi River. He rang the buzzer and she asked who it was. He did not know what to say. He was just like her -- an assassin. She was doing what she was asked to. She was a good soldier in this secret war. Every member of the illuminati told him that all of the enemies were soulless zombies.
He told her the truth, and she let him in. It was the assassin. He would remember her beautiful face anywhere. Her black leotard on the floor was another clue. He showed her the book. He told her stories about many of the names crossed off. She told stories of people she knew that someone killed.
They were two warriors tired of the fight, but they did not know how to stop it. After a long heartfelt discussion, they ordered a pizza and talked some more. They commiserated. They both knew how lonely it had been, and were happy to have someone who understood.
They talked for hours. It was getting late. He smiled at her and said that it was nice meeting her. She felt the same. They gave each other a polite kiss and smiled. Then they drew their swords and began fighting.
By Dwayne MacInnes
Before the Colonel could say anything, Scott broke into a smile, "Colonel, Sir I like the way you think. With an unfired nuclear warhead, you could negotiate your own country. The last thing the U.S. needs right now is another nuclear war."
Moose Van Dyke was scowling. He did not like to have his plans revealed. Scott continued to play his part.
"Colonel, you have nothing to worry about from me. I'm in. As proof of my loyalty I will 'take out' your troublemaker -- tonight."
The Colonel broke into a smile, "Please, call me Moose. I don't like to flaunt my military credentials around. It's not too wise nowadays after the Big Bang and all."
Scott smiled towards Taylor, "Moose, Taylor, it is going to be wonderful relationship. Too bad we don't have anything to celebrate with."
Taylor pulled out a metal hip flask, "It pays to be prepared."
"Captain, that wouldn't wet my whistle," Moose replied as he pulled out an old bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey from his drawer.
"I've been saving this for a special occasion and I think it has arrived," the Colonel laughed.
Taylor and Scott joined in.
Moose took a long swig from the bottle before he passed it to Taylor. Taylor followed suit. Scott took enough to make it look like he was drinking and passed the bottle back to Moose.
The three men joked and passed the bottle around until it was almost empty. The sun was starting to set when Taylor fell unconscious into the chair. Moose laughed and pointed towards the Captain.
"That is why he's only a Captain," Moose slurred. Scott laughed and pretended to stagger towards the door.
"Colonel, shir," he slurred. "I have a mission to complete."
"Very well, but pleashe call me Mooshe."
Scott gave a drunken salute and staggered out of the door and across the store. Once outside Scott gave up his drunken persona. He had little time if he wanted to get Sam and rescue his sister before Taylor came to or Moose started to have second thoughts.
Fortunately, from the time he spent at the maps, Scott learned where Taylor and the new residences lived. The sun dipped behind the horizon and Scott hurried down the street.
He soon found the building where Taylor resided. It was a two-story brick building. There were guards posted on the outside and metal bars on the windows. Scott ducked down the alley and surveyed the buildings exterior.
Fortunately, the old fire escape was still intact and the steel bars fastened to the windows from the outside. Obviously, Taylor did not want people to get out. Scott cautiously crept his way up the metal steps of the fire escape. Other than a couple of groans from his weight on the weathered stairs, Scott made little noise.
The scout peered in through every window he could. The first story ones just revealed a kitchen, dining room, and some guard barracks. The second story windows were dark except one. Scott made his way over and looked through the window.
Inside Scott noticed a large bedroom. There was a lamp burning on a stand across the room from the bed. On the bed, a figure in diaphanous clothing shook as it sobbed. Scott knew he found the room he was looking for.
Scott pulled out his Swiss Army knife and began to unscrew a couple of the bars off the window. Recently installed, the steel bars' screws contained little rust to hinder his work. Within five minutes, Scott had the bars removed. He tried the window and it opened with ease. Taylor must have figured that locking windows would be useless when there were bars on them.
Scott stepped through the window and crept over to the sobbing girl. He knew it was Mary from her raven black hair. As quick as a cobra Scott wrapped his hand over the girl's mouth to prevent her giving alarm. The girl struggled fiercely in his arms.
"I came with Sam, we are here to rescue you," Scott whispered in her ear.
Mary suddenly became limp and she looked into Scott's face. She saw the kind and sincere look he gave and nodded that she understood. Scott pulled off his denim jacket and gave it to the shivering woman. Mary quickly pulled it on as she studied the scout in his black leather pants and his grimy white t-shirt.
Scott ushered Mary out the window and step through again into the night onto the fire escape when he suddenly heard the unmistakable sound of a cocking revolver behind his head.
"That's as far as you go Scout," a voice hissed behind him.
Deus Ex Aleatorium
The Son of the God of Darkness
By Douglas E. Gogerty
The sons of the god of light and darkness, stayed close by each other after the reconfiguration. This is how the "golden rule" crept into Christianity. Because of that incident, the two men had a great fight. They decided to separate. The god of light's son headed west, and the god of darkness's son headed east.
Unlike his friendly rival, Judas was not content to stay in one place for long stretches. Thus, he had many names throughout his lifetime. Not only were the names numerous, but their reputations were quite varied.
Further, since he was the son of the god of darkness, many westerners believed that he was evil. That is, he was the Prince of Darkness. With his accomplishments filtered through the illuminati, his reputation was usually brutal.
For instance, he united the Hunnic Empire in 434. His people had great reverence for their great king. However, western powers only know of Attila the Hun's brutality. Although, he was no more brutal than any Roman Emperor was.
Attila could have destroyed Constantinople and Rome, but he refrained because of his reverence for the cities. However, his abilities on the battlefield rather than his compassion are what the civilized west concentrated upon.
Further, Attila only ruled for 18 years. Thus, he did quite a bit in a very short time. He did not use long stretches to accomplish his goals. He showed that everyone could live prosperous lives even with the chaos that is the universe.
After playing the scourge of god, he moved east again. There he aided in the construction of the Longmen Grottoes. Like the son of the god of light, he dabbled in the arts. He would return to this project whenever he needed a change of pace.
While he would not stay in one place for very long, he would return many times. For instance, as Shapur I, he founded the city of Gondeshapur in 271. To the west, this city may not mean anything, but it was a center of learning while the west was experiencing their "dark ages". In fact, it had a university, library and a teaching hospital.
Not only was he Shapur I of the Sassannid dynasty, he also was Khusraw. During his reign as this king, he brought many philosophers to his city. He translated many texts and established a great center of learning. However, western influences squelched any knowledge of this great Middle Eastern city.
As you may have heard, the Vikings were great spreaders of chaos. They openly battled civilizations. They robbed churches and other centers of wealth. It should come to no surprise that Judas was a Viking on many occasions.
However, he spent more time as an explorer than a raider. In fact, as one of Leif Ericson's chief advisors, he landed in North America in the eleventh century. He lived on the continent for a while in hopes to return some day.
His Viking name was overshadowed by Leif Ericson's renown; however, everyone in the west has heard of another one of Judas's personas. He was also Genghis Kahn. As the great Mongolian leader, he established the largest contiguous empire the world has ever known. He united disparate peoples under his rule.
The west hears of a brutal killer, but he treated everyone fairly. If you were dishonest or treated his protected people unfairly, he would punish you. If you lived peacefully and fairly, he would let you continue living in that manner. Once again, he united a large and diverse population. He did things no one else accomplished.
Part of the reason some people can become so powerful is by reputation. Philip of Macedon only needed three battles to conquer all of Greece -- and he lost two of them. It was his reputation that allowed him to accomplish this. Thus, in part, some of the brutal nature of Judas's personas played into his favor.
The reason the followers of Judas are known as Vampires is because of a book written by one of the illuminati. In this greatly exaggerated work, it turned a prince of Wallachia into a monster, which was the goal of the work in the first place.
Prince Vlad III managed to fight for his people against Ottoman expansion. However, his rule was not noteworthy in any particular fashion. Vlad's preferred method of carrying out a death sentence was impaling. Hence, he earned the name Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler. However, his true name was Vlad III Dracul, but Bram Stoker turned him into Count Dracula. Hence, all of the children and minions of Judas and the god of darkness have been called vampires from this point on.
The west never caught on that those rising from the dead, which was common on both sides, are known as zombies. Thus, since one side called the other group vampires, the vampires called the children and minions of the son of light zombies.
The biting to become minions translated on both sides. Many of the concepts found in the literature were in fact correct. However, a wooden stake in the heard would only incapacitate a vampire and not kill him or her. Only the removal of the head would kill a vampire. They got that correct in the zombie lore.
However, many of the things they did get wrong. Minions while they dislike light greatly, they are not killed by it. Vampires, in general, do not shrink from the cross. It is a sign of their enemy, as it were, but it was not fatal to them. They do appear in mirrors. Many of the fallacies were created to make them more of a monster than their illuminati brethren.
This is why the ruthless nature of many of Judas's identities is emphasized in the west. The illuminati are happy to include Christopher Columbus in their numbers, but he was not. After his time as Dracula, Judas decided to infiltrate the illuminati. He was successful, and returned to North America after a long absence.
This had some unintended consequences. He thought the natives would continue with their relatively lawless society without interference by the rule makers. However, it opened the continent to the western powers and soon much of the continent would be Christianized.
Judas continued to have influence over the western powers of the god of light. His one rule concept was still creeping throughout Christianity. However, some of the Christians augmented the rules. Thus, it was difficult to determine who would be counted for whom during the end of times.
When he was Napoleon, he became widely known. However, this exposed his nature. Before they could do anything, he had managed to remove huge numbers of rule followers off the rolls of the god of light. Naturally, this aided the numbers for the god of darkness.
He had learned from his other conquests that to kill vast numbers, it is best to pit them against themselves. This was a great strategy he had learned between his life as Columbus and then. He had fueled animosity between such great powers of the time like the Spanish, English, and French, which resulted in much bloodshed but mostly among rule followers.
In the end, he grew tired of the bloodshed. He decided that his days as a general were through. The end of times was growing closer, and commanders would study his military careers for centuries. He was also tired of the negative way the west portrayed his identities. Thus, he headed east.
He was going to fade into history, when he saw what the followers of the god of light had been doing with some of the eastern locations. He had neglected the Far East for too long. He decided on a non-violent strategy to show the English the error of their ways.
He did not realize that such tactics would have so much power. Soon, everyone in the west had heard of Mohandas Gandhi. In the past, to attain such notoriety he had to win several military battles. He did not kill a single person and he brought the British Empire to its knees.
He tried this tactic in other locations to push out the rule-followers, but the illuminati had inflicted the culture so that non-violent resistance seemed like a crazy idea. The Palestinians would have none of it, nor would the Catholics in Northern Ireland.
However, in the biggest coup of his life, he became the 264th pope. As John Paul II, he attempted to reassert that there was only one essential rule. To do unto others, as you would have them do unto you was the only important rule. He would attempt to unite people under this one concept until the end of times came.
Like the son of the god of light, he had no say in how the winner would be determined. Thus, when the end of times game he was briefly reunited with the god of darkness before his atoms were spread across the universe.
By Dwayne MacInnes
Scott could feel the cool metal of the pistol pressed into his skull and the warm breath of his assailant as he hoarsely whispered into Scott's ear. Scott could not see the man with the gun as he stood behind the scout.
"Well, Scout what brought you here in the first place?" the voice grunted. Scott looked over to Mary the young woman just stood there clutching the jacket to her small frame. Her face frozen with horror and drained of blood appeared luminously pale in the moonlight.
Scott found himself in a perilous situation. In a fraction of second, the debate in his head took two forms. He knew he could tell the truth, but there was no telling if his captor would believe it. On the other hand, he could lie, but again there was no telling if the man with the gun to his head would buy it. Either way he could wind up dead.
Scott gambled and determined to tell the truth. It was just implausible enough to be plausible.
"I came to rescue the boy's sister over there," Scott said with a forced steady voice. Anyone who ever said that they did not feel fear when a gun was to their head was either a liar or insane. Scott was neither and it took every ounce of reserve to keep the quiver out of his voice.
"So the boy isn't your son after all?"
Scott slowly shook his head. He tried to steal a glance behind him but all he could make out was a dark silhouette.
"You are not here to destroy the military grade materiel at Fort Meade's Veterans Hospital?" the voice pressed.
"I didn't know anything about until just now," Scott replied.
"Damn," the voice cursed into Scott's ear.
The gun left Scott's head and he heard with relief as the man eased the hammer back into its rest position. Scott spun around and finally received a good look at his assailant. It was none other than Wade.
"I suppose you saw Moose Van Dyke?" Wade asked.
Scott just nodded his head.
"I suppose those bastards were surprised to see me weren't they?"
Scott looked into Wade's eyes. He noticed the sadness and disappointment that registered upon his face as Scott told him about how they sabotaged his bike.
"I suppose as a test of your loyalty -- you are to finish me off, eh?" Wade asked forlornly.
"Yeah, that was the gist of it," Scott replied. "However, I'm just here for the girl and as soon as I get Sam, I'm out of here. You can join us if you wish."
"The boy is at your buggy, and I recommend that you join him ASAP. I have some unfinished business here," Wade said.
Wade stuck out his hand and grabbed Scott's in a firm handshake. "Well, pal. Thanks again for sparing my life. I hope you make it back to the States safe and sound."
Scott nodded and then quickly ushered Mary down the fire escape. As they reached the alley, Scott stole a glance up to the landing. However, Wade was now long gone.
By ducking down alleys and hiding behind derelict automobiles, the pair finally made their way back to the buggy undetected. Sam nearly yelped in surprise to see his sister safe and sound. The two siblings embraced each other and tears fell from their eyes from the reunion.
Scott allowed them a moment to themselves before he interrupted. "Okay, kids we need to get out of here and quick."
"How do we get passed the guards at the gate?" Sam asked. The boy was once again wedged between the seats and the buggies frame positioned in front of the engine.
"Mary, do you think you can operate that gun in front of you?" Scott asked as he fired up the engine.
"Yeah, if I have to. I have no love for these scum," the young woman said vehemently.
"Good," Scott said as he pulled the buggy onto the road. "We may need to shoot our way out."
Scott weaved his way through town and approached the gate that blocked the road exiting town without any opposition. However, the gate appeared closed and locked and there stood two guards with M-16s at the ready.
As Scott pulled the buggy to a stop in front of the gate, two more guards appeared from behind.
"No one leaves town after sundown," one of the guards yelled. "You better head back to town now or we will be forced to open fire."