Book III: Chapter 30
Dr. Ma’bus looked to my friends and I – trying to gauge the effect of his threat to destroy us.
Meanwhile I noticed another pair of eyes practically boring a hole into me – Pope Benedict’s.
Glancing over at him, I caught him watching me, but he refused to look me in the eyes and before I could learn more Ghaz Ma’bus was talking again, “Yes, yes, if these are your final wishes, far be it from me to keep you from your desires.”
His demeanor changing, The Beast then detailed how he would be the Instrument of Fate that would destroy us, “Al-haram al-qudsī ash-sharīf – The Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa, there on The Temple Mount – this is the site of your destiny. December 21 – this is the day of your destiny. The Armageddon Ritual – this will be the revelation of your destiny. Do I need to explain the horrors you will endure?”
It was Miriam who spoke now – calmly and without emotion. “We will be crucified. You’ll use duplicates of the nails to crucify us and then pierce each of us with one of Jesus’s Nails that will be attached to a spear. This will deliver the deathblow – through our sides and up into our hearts. Then we will experience… The End.”
Eyebrows raised just slightly, Ma’bus let his teeth show. “I’m impressed… as always. You are correct again, Mary. The very nails that the Jews used to kill The Nazarene, and the ones you’ve been protecting for lo these many centuries, will in fact be the instruments of your deaths too. Jesus Christ’s power will destroy you – rather ironic, huh?”
“But why do you bother to tell us all this?” Alan asked. “We already told you, we WANT to die. You can’t scare us with these threats.”
“Ah, but I am not trying to scare you. I merely want you to fully understand how you will serve me.”
Seeing Alan perplexed by this statement, Ma’bus explained, “Oh, don’t worry, you shall all get your wish — you WILL die. But what I’m not sure that any of you realize is that, all along, I needed more than just your Nails – I needed each of you.”
And The Beast took a moment to let that sink in. “Recall that, on every world, the victory of my father and I cannot be complete without the participation of the people. In the case of this Earth, the Nails that killed Jesus Christ are imbibed with much power – but even that power is not enough to bring about my victory. YOUR crucifixion and death – this is the real key. For when Christ’s Nails destroy the immortality that flows through your veins, the Nails will be imparted with more <power> than ever before!”
“It can’t be.” Miriam protested
“Oh it be, sister, it be.” The Beast laughed as he rose again, once more full of pride. “And after you three die, I shall proceed to enter The Dome. There I will destroy your precious The Book of Life – thanks for protecting that for me by the way. And after that I’ll open The Sakhrah – as you recall, my servant Muhammad descended to his Eternity through The Sakhrah Stone and I think it’s high time to–
“If you move the Foundation Stone,” I interrupted, “if you dare to set foot onto the Holiest of Holies, it is YOU who will be the fool! Open it, Ma’bus, and God will smite you down!”
“I think not.” Ma’bus waved my warning aside. “And when I DO move the Foundation Stone, the souls of the dead who are gathered in the Well of Souls beneath shall emerge to pray for The Last Judgment. And with their help, when I return from The Dome, I shall be filled with enough <power> to break the Angels’ Seals – and thereby will I destroy the work of your Christ once and for all!”
“After The Beast opens The Sakhrah Stone within The Dome of The Rock, and when he emerges back to The Altar of The Most High God as EA Incarnate, the Fallen Angels will be unleashed to bring their doom upon the world. By then you three will already have passed.” The voice was Benedict’s and it came so unexpectedly that even Ma’bus jerked his head to look, yet pope stood up and continued unabated, “It’s my job to make sure that The Scroll of the Illuminated Angels will be waiting for EA Ma’bus upon The Altar. By that time, I will have gathered The Nails together and installed them into the Crown That Rains Blood. The Crown will be imparted with your blood, and when I place it upon EA Ma’bus’ head, that is the moment when the destiny of this world will be determined. For that is the Moment of Truth when The Beast shall open The Angels’ Seals and… and our Savior shall be revealed at last!”
Ma’bus looked Benedict up and down with a critical eye, yet the Pope merely bowed his head, spent, and fell back to his seat.
Satisfied, The Beast nodded, “Indeed, Benedict speaks the truth. For when the Armageddon Ritual is completed and the Angels’ Seals lay bare, I will release all of the Sin back into the world that Jesus Christ took away with his death. Every offense, every malice, all the Evil this world has ever known will return…to Me! It will be a glorious day indeed! And that, my friends, is the destiny that YOU will experience.” Then, flashing his best smile, Ma’bus laughed, “So how ya like me now?”
Miriam and Lazarus were speechless, yet I tried to remain confident, “The Lord is good, His Love endures forever.”
“But in your case,” Ma’bus chuckled, “only until tomorrow.”
And with that he walked away.
For his part, Benedict gave us a brief look of pity, but showed nothing else as he hurried to follow behind The Beast.
And so I wondered – is this really the end?