Book II: Chapter 1
John Salem? Who are you? WHAT are you?
Such were the thoughts of a tired old man – such were MY thoughts – as I lay in bed, unable to get anything but a fitful sleep.
Caught between the dream world and the real, I cried out to God.
“I am confined to a life I cannot escape. Why do you afflict me so? All day long your terrors destroy me – and Darkness is now my closest friend.”Psalm 88
I wailed similar other thoughts I can no longer remember and then mercifully I passed out again…a few bottles of Jack Daniels will do that to you.
An hour later, I woke up again – only to get another terrifying vision…
I watched as a silent stalker prowled the grounds of a middle-eastern palace complex. It was late, perhaps during the second watch, yet still a multitude of guards roved the stronghold. It didn’t take much effort for me to realize where this vision was…
Baghdad, capital of the UMAN empire!
For thousands of years this city marked the center of a war-torn region, yet all that changed when Dr. Ghaz al’ Ridwan Ma’bus took over some three years past. Although you and I now know that Dr. Ma’bus has the power of the supernatural at his disposal, his coup was nothing if not peaceful. In fact, as far as I know, not a single shot was fired during Ma’bus’ formation of The Union of Many Allied Nations.
Mabus’ peaceful ascension to power was due to two reasons:
- The Brotherhood was backing him.
- (As a result of Number One), immediately upon ascension, Ma’bus had the power of the armies of Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and the Arabia’s at his disposal – having used Brotherhood resources to earn support from leading generals in exchange for quenching their greed with land and wealth.
With a new giant suddenly facing them (and The Brotherhood’s coercion), Israel, Syria, and Turkey were powerless to resist UMAN’s advance, thus they too were swallowed by the expanding nation. In less than six months, Ma’bus controlled the entire Middle East and most of Northern Africa!
And since The Brotherhood controlled the world media and the U.N., his coup was without condemnation – if anything it was hailed as a world blessing – even the powerful dictators President Trump and President Putin praised the move as you can see here…
As for Baghdad, once Ma’bus chose it as his capital, the city experienced a cultural rebirth – a much needed recovery from the destruction of the American invasions during the past two decades. Bringing in engineers and designers from the world over, Ma’bus turned the fortunes of the city and its people. His renaissance soon extended to the rest of the UMAN Empire – whose people suddenly enjoyed a newfound prosperity – facts highly publicized in the media — which further increased his world stature. Look how happy these people are – when’s the last time you’ve seen Middle Eastern people cheering like this?
Yet while his citizens were well cared for, it was the city of Baghdad itself that was clearly Ma’bus’ first love, for he put much effort into making it a world jewel – starting with the reconstruction of its most imposing building — the 600-room palace of King Nebuchadnezzar II.
Overlooking the Euphrates, and shaped like a ziggurat, the new palace was built upon very locale where the ancient Babylon king’s palace also once stood. With some of Nebuchadnezzar’s original bricks still rising a few feet above the earth, Ma’bus’ workers installed countless more sand-colored blocks — inscribing them with the words…
Ma’bus, protector of the UMAN race.
The monstrous hilltop fortress was surrounded by lush Eden-like gardens, reminiscent of the famous Hanging Gardens that were known as a wonder of the world for centuries. Spanning more than five football fields in width, Ma’bus’ complex showcased a limitless array of impressive towers, arched gates, and majestic stairways. Lavish in the extreme, many of the walls were painted with 360-degree murals painted in honor of ancient Babylon, Ur, and the Tower of Babel (not to mention more than a few of Ma’bus himself).
Yet none of this ostentation mattered much to me and clearly not to the silent stalker I was watching – for I knew she was not here to admire the architectural beauty of Ma’bus’ realm, but instead was on another mission.
After all, although the world still viewed Ma’bus as a leader who was on fire for world peace, you and I know better now, right? I had to assume the little spy I was observing knew the same.
And if, by chance, she hadn’t known about Dr. Ma’bus’ nefarious side before her arrival, surely she must have realized it by now — for with practically every step of her covert journey through the dictator’s palace grounds she was confronted by an in-your-face military presence – as the UMAN League capital was patrolled by menacing guards trained to shoot first and ask questions later.
And yet, none of the guards even noticed our spy — for I’d already watched as Ma’bus’ unwelcome (and as yet unknown) intruder had no trouble slithering her way over walls, past the eyes of countless patrols, and eventually into her present hiding spot. And while I was not all that surprised to see her be able to pull off a stunt like this, I’m sure you must be wondering how she managed to penetrate Ma’bus’ defenses so easily, right?
I suppose one could argue that it’s not completely unthinkable for a lone intruder to scurry past a host of wandering guards.
And I guess it’s its theoretically feasible for such an invader to bypass the many other security systems — provided they knew all the checkpoint codes, the secret passwords, and had knowledge of the other miscellaneous security challenges.
Yet even then, the assailant would need quite a bit of luck as well, right?
However I say what’s possible in theory is far from likely in reality!
Unless of course the invader has more than luck on their side.
And so it goes – we get to start today with a vision of Miriam!
Lord, help me, there’s not enough Jack in the world to get me through that!