Mark of the Beast (5)

Book 1: Chapter 5
June 8

The very next day, I was lucky enough to get yet another vision – oh joy. And I’m gonna warn you right upfront that this is a loooong vision – I had to endure it and so will you, so grab some coffee and try to stay with me. 

This time I witnessed a very different scene taking shape – yet one which posed no less of a threat to its players…

With the evening meal over, a pleasant fire now crackled inside the professor’s lounge of Bucharest University. Appointed with a host of overstuffed leather chairs, polished hardwood floors, and with walls of the finest Brasovian oak, I personally thought the lounge looked rather stuffy, but I guess these staunch academic types felt otherwise.

[Note to Reader: This is Chapter 5 of Book 1 “The Pawns of Prophecy” – if you missed the start of the book, click here return to the main page. ]

“Professor, you never cease to amaze me,” a twenty-something woman said to her friend as the pair sat in a corner of the dons’ sanctuary.

“What makes you say that, Teri?” The man chuckled softly.

(While I didn’t know the woman, I immediately recognized my friend Laz — , er, He’d probably want me to tell you his name was Alan… Zarus).

“It’s been two months now since we started our venture,” The woman coyly pestered, as she took another sip of her plum brandy Bugle, “perhaps others still view me as simply Teri Abbracciavento, the visiting lecturer from Rome, but I am YOUR Conferentiar now and I think the least you can do is know how to spell my name”

“Nonsense,” Alan took a puff on his pipe, then smiled winsomely, “Your last name is no mystery to me.”

Teri seemingly melted under Alan’s smile – as, I knew, had many of his students. 

If you looked at Alan, you’d guess that he was only in his early 40’s. Taller than me, he stood perhaps an inch or two over six feet, and unlike me Alan was still in perfect shape. Blessed with a ridiculously perfect olive complexion, he had a feathery blonde coif and one of those superman jaw lines that apparently drive women wild. And although Alan had some rather cliché ocean blues, the depth of his gaze could captivate men and women alike. In short, he had a face that would make even a man jealous!

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Even still, I had eyes for his partner.

For Teri was curvy like a renaissance statue, with the silky hair of a raven, dark eyebrows, and endlessly full lips. Although dressed in a scarlet business suit and wearing horn-rimmed glasses, even these professional accoutrements could not hide her alluring beauty.

(Hey, I may be an old man, but I know a looker when I see one.)

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With total confidence, Alan gamely ventured, “I know how to spell your name. It’s A-B-B-R-A-C-I-A-V-E-N-T-O.”

If she had butterflies in her stomach from Alan’s gaze, Teri didn’t let them show, “Sorry, Alan, but you’re mistaken. There are TWO C’s in Abbracciavento!” And giggling, she poured herself another drink, while filling a new glass for Alan as well.

“Touche.” Alan submitted, picking up the snifter.

“All right, so getting back to business,” Teri put her spectacles back on, “So, are you in agreement with the popular theory that Romania’s culture was indelibly changed after the Battle of Sarmizegetusa in 106 AD? Or do you agree with me that even if Trajan had not completed his conquest, Roman culture would still have dominated this land?”

Battle of Sarmizegetusa by Angel Garcia Pinto

Alan drew two long puffs on his pipe, “Well, there’s no doubt some Roman ideology would have permeated this land, but I can’t overlook the potential for a subsequent domination by later Eurasian influences. How does your theory account for that?”

And so did the professional banter drift on. The Bucharest Bugles continued and the pair relaxed further. Hours lazily waned by, even as other professors retired for the night. Eventually, just the two of them remained and then it was that Teri leaned close, “Alan, can I trust you?”

(Ah, perhaps we’re finally getting somewhere with this vision?)

Alan however held up a hand to pre-empt her apparent advance.

(Despite his looks, sadly Alan never made use of his talents. In fact I watched him turn off many a woman over the years. Fool.)

Standing up, he said stiffly, “Teri, if I’ve led you on in any way, I apol—“

“No, it’s not like that. This is important. Sit down. Please.”

Yet when Alan remained standing, Teri grabbed his arm and said desperately, “Alan, what do you know about…the Antichrist?”

(Bingo! There it is.)

I watched as Alan’s eyes narrowed at his associate’s unusual question. Through thin lips he replied, “Is this some sort of joke? I am a Professor of Antiquities, why are you asking me?”

“Come off it, we both know your specialize in religious antiquities.” Teri argued. “Master Alan Zarus – presently the Sef de Catadre of Bucharest’s History Department — a post you have held for over a decade. Prior to that, the Dean for Antioch’s Historical Society. Before that, Jerusa-“

(Uh oh, Alan’s not going to like where she’s going…)

“Enough!” Alan slammed his hand down on the coffee table. (See, I told you). “Tell me what’s going on, or I’ll have you removed from University grounds immediately.”

“I think the Antichrist is alive today — and I know who it is!”

For the briefest of moments, I watched a flicker of whiteness cascade down Alan’s face, yet just as quickly it passed and he covered it up by playing along, “Ah, I see. And who might this Antichrist of yours be?”

“The Antichrist is…” Teri hesitated, “Ghaz Ma’bus.”

Alan immediately let out a guffaw and made a show of clapping his hands, “Bravo, Teri. For a moment I thought you were serious, now I see you’ve just had a few too many Bugles, neh?” And he smiled as he raised his glass.

Teri pulled Alan’s glass back down. “I’m serious.”

Alan raised an eyebrow, “Why that’s absurd — Dr. Ma’bus is literally on fire for World Peace, surely you’ve see his talks on the internet.”

“It’s well accepted that the Antichrist will be a mesmerizing speaker.”

“Well, if that’s the case, then are you also condemning Pope FrancisPresident Trump? Even Tony Robbins? These are inspiring speakers too. Come now, what are your real marks are against Dr. Ma’bus? That he’s the Chairman of a Muslim nation-state? Surely, this doesn’t qualify him as The Antichrist, Teri.”

“Haven’t you ever found it odd that Ma’bus looks like everyman…and yet no man? He is the very definition of worldly — seemingly able morph his appearance at will – thus allowing him to fit in anywhere, to influence anyone, to lead everyone.”

“I’m sensing some bigotry here, Ms. Abbracciavento. This is not what I expected of you.”

Ghaz al Ridwan Ma’bus — that’s his full name.”  Teri forged ahead.

“And?”

“Each section of his name has 6 letters. 6-6-6!”

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“The number of The Beast.” Alan’s face went pale, (and even I felt a shiver run down my spine), yet Alan recovered quickly and I watched as he wrote out Ma’bus’ full name, “Each section equals 6-6-6 only if you consider the al to be a part of the first name and only if you count the apostrophe in Ma’bus. That’s bad science in my book. Please tell me you have more.”

Teri didn’t miss a beat, “The name ‘Ghaz’ means ‘conqueror.’ And ‘Ridwan’ means ‘Keeper of the Gates of Heaven.’ And ‘Mabus’ is an ancient Arabic word for ‘Lion’. The Beast who conquers the gates of Heaven!”

“I could argue that his name means The Noble Lion, Defender of Heaven. After all, Ma’bus actions have HELPED the world, not harmed it. What Antichrist would do that?”

“You’re only being difficult! The seer Nostradamus predicted the Antichrist’s name to be Ma’bus — It’s a perfect match.”

(Nostradamus? What a charlatan. Don’t listen to what that fool says).

“A coincidence.” Alan replied. “Nostradamus’ visions have been rehashed to fit nearly every world event in the last two centuries. I don’t know any credible scholar who considers them to be anything but worthless.”

Teri sat back in her chair – frustrated. After a pause, she tried again, “Not only are his Tri-Marks now the preferred world currency, but Ma’bus is requiring UMAN citizens to be marked with IdentiChips. And the idea is spreading throughout the globe at a faster rate than even Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies did. ‘And he forced everyone to receive a mark, so that none could buy or sell unless he had the mark…of the beast.’ Revelations Chapter 13, Verse 16-17.”

(Interesting — you could say I am a bit familiar with that work….)

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“Such an advancement has been years in the making. Why, if the EU approves, I might even get one – after all, it would be very convenient to not have to carry Euro’s anymore.”

“Alan, suppose for just a moment that Ma’bus IS the Antichrist. Don’t you see, whether you use a Tri-Mark – which has his name and image on it – or the IdentiChip – which has the bi-numeric version of his name embedded as a security code – either way, you WILL be carrying the mark of the beast.”

Alan didn’t reply.

“How does a no-name economist at the World Bank unite the most war-torn region on the planet into one nation-state?” Teri interrupted, “How does he turn his new country into the most prosperous nation on earth? And most of all, how does he accomplish all of this in just a few years? Such things are just not possible.”

“I’ll grant you that what he was able to accomplish so quickly IS mind-boggling, but again, NOT impossible. After all, we live in a fast-paced world — companies and countries that existed for decades can fall overnight. So why couldn’t someone like Ma’bus rise up just as quickly?”

“I say again that there’s no way someone with no political experience could emerge from the shadows and change the world like Ma’bus has done. Unless he had help. And there’s only one group with this kind of power — The Brotherhood of the Earth. I believe The Brotherhood used America’s war on oil to get Saddam Hussein dethroned so that Ma’bus could fill the vacuum of power in Baghdad — the prophesied location of the Antichr–.”

“Just a moment — what’s this about a mysterious Brotherhood? Are you turning into a conspiracy theorist on me, Teri?”

(There’s another mention of The Brotherhood. I guess I will need to tell you about them, huh?)

“DON’T go there on The Brotherhood, Alan.”  

There was something in the way that Teri spoke that caused Alan to be taken aback, as a result, he stopped joking and instead mumbled, “Er, so back to Ma’bus — I say he is a genius, not someone to be feared.”

And the world will love him.” Teri cautioned. “We both know that the Antichrist will NOT be feared…at first. But these are dangerous times — the world is still in turmoil. Economies have not really recovered – despite Ma’bus’ great ideas and for which he has already been praised. The standard of living is going DOWN across the globe – for all but UMAN citizens. People in other countries are growing restless when they see how the UMAN citizens are enjoying prosperity under Ma’bus, yet their own leaders can’t provide the same. Look at the German Revolt last year. And the problems in Japan this year. The time is ripe for ONE person to step up and draw the world together. Did you know there’s a movement at the UN to elect Ma’bus as World President?”

President Trump would never allow that.”

“You’re blind like so many others, Alan. You missed the Big Coup that Ma’bus has alreadycompleted. How do you think that the US averted economic disaster back in ’09?”

“They took Ma’bus’ advice and restructured their debt, revised multinational loan guarantee practices, and engineered a semi-nationalized banking system. And then President Trump’s hard line trade policies helped bring the country back to prominence. ”

“Apparently you fail to understand who was backing all these measures — Ma’bus used the limitless wealth of the UMAN league’s oil supply to finance these bailouts – thus he effectively ‘bought out’ the US and the World Bank. Mr. Trump’s policies were just window dressing – surely you know that. And I’m guessing you also that that if the citizens of the US and those other countries truly understood how their presidents sold them out, there would have been a revolt.”

“Why? Everything worked out. The economic crisis was averted. President Trump has the US riding high again.  Who cares if UMAN owns a large stake in the US and other countries? Japan did the same thing in the 1980’s and ‘90’s. Look where it got them?”

“Not to the level which Ma’bus did.” Teri cautioned. “And not the same way. Because all Ma’bus has to do is to call in his loans and he will effectively bankrupt the World Bank…

“And thereby will destroy every nation – even the US – all without firing a single bomb.”  

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