Book III: Chapter 29
The Blackness overpowered me.
It suffocated me.
And just when I thought It was about to completely overwhelm me, in desperation my soul cried out for God…
Immediately the Blackness left me.
For the time being nothing else happened.
I got a chance to breath again and gather myself together.
That’s when I realized that Ma’bus was still speaking, “…and in exchange, I offer you my hand, and the chance at a new beginning. Therefore, if you want to LIVE, join me.”
And that, my friends, was where Ma’bus made his fatal error!
Suddenly I was the one smiling – for in that moment, I had been granted the briefest of visions – a new revelation if you will – a gracious prophecy from my Lord that assured me that all would be well in the end.
(I wish I could tell you what I saw, but that would rather ruin the suspense. Sorry…)
Mistaking the grin he saw on my face, Ma’bus nodded encouragingly, “Well it seems that one of you at least has some sense. I knew it would be you who came over to me first, John. You are a wise man.”
“But YOU are not.” I replied calmly. “And you never were.”
Taken aback at the affront, Ma’bus’ visage quickly changed into a scowl and he jumped up to confront me. “What are you talking about, fool? Enough of these games! Are you going to join me and live… or keep your misguided trust and die?”
“Don’t you see?” I stood up to the challenge — my back now tall and my shoulders straight — while my confused friends raised their heads to look upon their suddenly confident friend. “What you call ‘living’ is naught but an illusion. A fantasy world where all who remain are either forsaken in The Fiery Pits or are lackeys serving your every whim in a world without hope. But that’s not ‘living’ at all, is it? And don’t try to tell me that one of these options is better than the other – for we both know that you will eventually destroy all those who remain – for that is your nature, it is the essence of who YOU are.”
“Fool!” The Beast snarled, “If you fail to chose, then you will be smote back into the dust! Is that what you want?”
Now it was my turn to smile – for Ma’bus had just walked into my trap.
“It is all I have wanted for over a thousand years — from the dust I came, and to the dust I shall return. That is MY destiny.”
Dr. Ma’bus was confused. “But that makes no sense. How could you be content to simply rot away into Nothingness?”
“What’s done is done – all men must learn to stand by their deeds.” I was speaking not just to Ma’bus but also to my friends – trying to inspire them take heart. “We three are no exception. And yet, while every man throughout history has carried within him the seeds of his own death – it hasn’t been the same for us. In spite of our successes, yea, and our failures, we have been forced to live on – it’s unnatural. We want only what all other men have been granted – no more, no less: we want a term to our lives. After all, every light has a shadow and every life a death. We have lived in the light of life for too long and now we merely want the shadow of death to finally fall where it should.”
“But what about being reunited with your master?” Ma’bus baited, trying a new tactic. “What if he rejects you?”
“I am not worthy.” I replied without batting an eye. “I never have been. None of us are. And yet I still stand by my deeds, for there is nothing left for us to do. All we want is for all of this to finally be over.”
Clearly not expecting this turn of events, The Beast looked towards Alan and Miriam; when he saw that they agreed, he was again confused – but only for a moment.
Grand Master that he was, he quickly displayed a smile and countered again, “My word. You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you? Talk about making my job easy. Well, if that’s what you want, Joe and I will happily accommodate you.”