Book 1: Chapter 6
Unable to wake up, I was forced to keep watching my vision of my friend Alan talk with his associate Teri. All this talk about Dr. Ma’bus taking over the world was a bit much.
Unfortunately He doesn’t care about what I want (as usual), therefore I had no choice but to continue to endure more of this unwanted revelation…
I watched as Alan tried to dispel Teri’s accusations. “And yet Ma’bus’ political practices have been nothing but peaceful. Hell, he’s even satisfied the Israeli’s! And did you know that the Grand Rabbi’s have invited him to enter The Great Temple at a special ceremony later this year? Furthermore, I happen to know that Dr. Ma’bus, Pope Francis, and Pope Benedict have taken strides to re-unite their faiths as well.”
“It’s is all a lie!” Teri burst out. “Francis is clueless on this issue and Benedict does so only for show. It’s a case of keeping your enemies closer. Oh, if you only knew what I know.”
“So tell me!” Alan whined.
“The Brotherhood controls the news media. Nothing negative about Ma’bus ever gets out.”
“I see — again with the conspiracies?”
“Why are you being difficult?” Teri grabbed his hand. “You KNOW this fits. Ma’bus IS the Antichrist!”
“Is that all?” Alan pulled his hand back.
Alan remained calm, yet long moments passed as he stared hard at his assistant. Finally he asked, “Teri, how do YOU know all this?”
“My father was Reverend Antonio Abbracciavento – renowned for his knowledge of one particular book…”
“Revelations,” Alan filled in the blank. “Yes, I was sorry to hear about his passing last year.”
“Thank you. He was a good man.” Teri bowed her head. Then after a pause, she admitted. “I’m not really a Professor of Antiquities.”
“I know.” Alan smiled.
“What? Why didn’t you say anything?”
“I figured Benedict has a message for me?”
“Being a Professor is just a cover; I am a member of The Vatican’s Secret Police – the Personal Attaché for Benedict. The public may think Francis is the chief now that Benedict’s retired, but I’m sure you know the truth – Benedict stepped down so that he could focus exclusively upon his life’s mission. And his mission is now my mission too — to find and stop The Antichrist.”
“I don’t envy you. That’s a tough draw.”
“Come on, Alan. You know I’ve been groomed for it since birth.” Teri said, shoulders back, chin high. Then, pulling a scroll from her baggy purse, “In any case, here is a letter from Pope Benedict XVI. As you can see, the papal seal is still intact. Even I haven’t read its contents.”
“I’m sure.” Alan smirked as he took the missive. Yet before opening it, he tested her once more, “But, why me, Teri? What can I do to help?”
“Alan, don’t play me for a fool. Who else has published the papers on ancient religions and recurring Armageddon’s than you have? I know it’s hard to believe that Ma’bus is really the Antichrist, but I tell you that Benedict IS convinced. You must talk to him.”
“I see.” Alan said, non-committedly.
“Look here. Is it possible that Benedict and I are wrong about Ma’bus? YES. Hell, Alan, we HOPE we are wrong. But, what if Ma’bus IS indeed Satan’s son? Don’t you see, we need your knowledge — you may be the only man who can stop him. That’s why Benedict specifically told me to find YOU.”
Alan remained silent for long moments, before saying, “Well it would seem that you do know quite a bit about The Antichrist. And Dr. Ma’bus. Now whether these are the same person, I cannot say.” Before Teri could interrupt, he continued, “But, it would seem that Ma’bus MIGHT fit the profile, neh? So what do you propose?”
“Read the letter. Benedict wants you to come to Rome.”
“Ah, but I thought you hadn’t read the letter?”
Teri blushed, “I was truthful when I said I didn’t read it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t guess what is says.”
Alan rolled the scroll over — it did indeed carry Benedict’s imprimatur. Breaking the seal, he proceeded to read the short message. “You are correct. Benedict requests my presence in Rome. And yet, he does NOT say anything about Ma’bus being the Antichrist.”
“You know he could never put something like that in writing under his papal seal!”
“So I am to take your word for it all then?” Alan smiled.
Teri’s jaw jutted out, “What are you going to do?”
“Do I have a choice? Of course I’m going to Rome.”
“Really?” Teri’s face lit up.
At last Alan smiled warmly again. “It was not my intention to give you a hard time, Teri. I can see that you really do believe what you say. That DOES mean something to me.”
Relaxing at last, Teri smiled, “I know it’s late, but why don’t we go to Karl’s Café and enjoy a Bugle to release all this pressure? After all, your time here in Bucharest is obviously over, so let me buy you one last drink.”
Although Alan remained silent, he did not decline. “Oh Hell, why not? But just one, OK?”
“You have my word, Professor.” Teri smiled.
(Somehow I knew she was lying).
Now, in my opinion, a man can do nothing better than to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in his work. Therefore, I was not surprised to see Alan and Teri leave the University and head for Karl’s Café – a local pub frequented by the elite of the University crowd.
Earlier he and Teri had clearly vexed one another during their debate about the Antichrist, yet all of that seemed to be behind them now. Hours soon passed and they shared more than a few drinks together, until…
<<RING! DING!> The bartender gave the last call.
“Whoa!” Alan raised his hands to steady himself at the bar. “Clearly all these Bugles have gotten the better of me, eh, Ter?” And he smiled as he laid his head on her shoulder.
“Oh, Alan, tomorrow is so unknown. I’m happy we shared this time, but what will happen now?”
Alan smiled back through a misty haze and sighed, “Yes, I wish this night would never end.”
At that, Teri placed her hand softly on Alan’s knee and whispered into his ear, “It doesn’t have to end yet…”
With Teri’s allure racing through his veins, Alan apparently found himself unable to resist her offer.
(Now, as I told you before, I have no control over these visions and it’s not like a TV where I can change the channel. I get what I get. In this case, it appeared that I was about to see my friend get intimate with his work partner. Gee, I’m not sure the University would approve, Alan.)
Less than twenty minutes later, the pair were in Teri’s cramped apartment, on her bed, undressing one another between passionate kisses.
“Oh, Alan,” Teri gasped, ripping off her blouse to reveal a purple brazier, “I’ve wanted this since the first moment I saw you.”
Pulling her close, he kissed her deeply, “You’re lips taste like honey.” But then I saw him pause – just for a moment, and although I could not read his thoughts, I knew him well enough to make an educated guess about what just happened – he’d seen a vision of another woman!
(If so, I knew who it was. For now let’s just call her a beautiful brunette of Hebrew descent and what you need to know is that this person was Alan’s dream girl).
I watched Alan struggle as his mind was playing tricks on him – perhaps making him believe this other woman was calling out to him, reaching for him at last. For a moment, I knew that Alan’s heart leapt at the thought…
Yet, just as quickly I could see his soul sink – for if he did get a flash of his lost love, then I knew that seeing this other woman would only cause an old wound to be ripped open.
In the end, it was Teri who broke the spell, kissing Alan on the neck and bringing him back to the present moment. Apparently this worked, because Alan refocused his attention on the beautiful woman before him, growling hungrily as he kissed her back, “I’ve never seen a beauty like you.”
“Let me show you more, Professor,” she said in a husky voice, pulling Alan down to her.
As their final garments were removed, Teri sighed, “My well runs deep, let’s drink of love till morning…”
(Whoa, hold on there, Alan, did you hear what she just quoted?)
Suddenly Alan pulled back from the point of no return, “What did you say?!?”
Shocked at the break in their passions, Teri struggled to take in Alan’s retreat. “What? I don’t know.” Then, kissing him and attempting to pull him back, “Come, lover, come to—“
But Alan remained apart. I don’t know if he realized what Teri just quoted from or if instead he felt guilty due to a flood of images of that Hebrew woman, but regardless I heard him say, “I’m sorry, Teri. I can’t do this. It’s wrong for me to disrespect you like this. I’m so sorry.” And he hurriedly gathered up his things.
For a moment, I thought Teri would try to stop him, yet interestingly enough, she did not. And even as Alan hastily threw on his clothes and continued to apologize, Teri remained uncovered on her bed.
As Alan opened the door to leave, Teri merely slithered, “See you in Rome, Love.”