Book II: Chapter 22
I’ll be honest – I was still shaking as I watched a vision Ghaz al’ Ridwan Ma’bus hang upside down on what appeared to be the Cross of Saint Peter. It was a gruesome scene.
For her part, Teri Abbracciavento (aka Mystery) continue to sob at the feet of man who she (and I) thought was the Antichrist. The man whom she’d laid all her hopes upon – hopes that now appeared to be gone.
Of a sudden, Ma’bus head jerked up.
Jumping back, Mystery raised her hands as if to ward off a blow, even as Ma’bus slowly opened his eyes. Yet her horror (and mine) only grew in scale as Ma’bus’ eyeballs rolled over – showing only the whites, laced with blood.
“Ghaz?” Mystery eked out, bravely moving towards him, but her courage melted when Ma’bus spoke!
“I am Legion – WE are many…” The antichrist advised, his visage writhing — as if the flesh of his face was being burned by an intense fire. Yet it was the words Dr. Ma’bus spoke next that finally sent Mystery running for her life – for when The Beast opened his mouth again, the sinister sounds were the Tongue of The Abyss.
Then it was that Mystery (and I) realized that not only was Ma’bus NOT dead, but he had not been crucified against his will either – he did this intentionally in order to commune with demons of the underworld!
“If They find out I’m here, They’ll kill me!” Mystery panicked, fearing discovery by Satan’s minions. “I’ll get sucked into The Fires!” And she raced back out of the room, leaving her master to his fate.
(Too late, woman, The Beast knows you were here. You’re doomed).
My Sight continued to follow Mystery and less than three hours later, I watched her board a plane to Rome.
“I can’t have my soul returned to The Fires.” The beautiful woman shivered, sitting in a fairly empty section of first class on a plane flying over The Mediterranean. “But what can I do? If my fate is sealed with Ghaz, only Benedict can save me now.”
Yet even as she said it a new thought seemed to take hold, and with eyes wide, she whimpered, “But what if Benedict is in league with Ma’bus after all? He might well laugh in my face and hand me over to death.”
Mystery’s mind must have locked at that thought, because her face twisted and she was silent for a time. Eventually she decided, “I can’t explain why but I feel my only hope is Benedict. I must escape from Ma’bus!“
Yet just then, the plane shook with turbulence.
“Whoa!” Mystery gasped – her words echoed by other passengers.
“Hello, folks,” came a voice over the intercom. “This is your captain. We’re heading into a bit of unexpected weather. Please fasten your seatb—“
But the pilot’s words were cut short – as the plane suddenly dropped through the air! Drinks and bags went flying as passengers and flight attendants struggled to keep from being jostled about the cabin. It only got worse from there as the plane took a full nose dive, plummeting through the air at breakneck speed.
”It’s my fault!” Mystery gripped the seatback in front of her whilst the airplane rapidly descended. “Ghaz, please, don’t forsake me. Give me a chance to do your will!” And she ducked as a piece of carry on luggage went whizzing past her head – slamming into a passenger a few rows in back.
Screams raged all around and the pilot’s voice came back on, “God…. help… us! We’re going… down! If… you know a prayer… now is–”
And then something rather strange happened — for the briefest of moments, I got a glimpse into Mystery’s mind. (Is this what Miriam sees when she does her mental probe thing?) I saw Mystery’s life flash rapidly before her eyes (too quickly for me to make out much), but the important thing is what happened next – amazingly Mystery was given the opportunity to beg for The Lord’s forgiveness and grace!
The plane’s descent continued, yet for Mystery, time stood still…
As she considered God’s call.
Unfortunately for her, she hesitated – and that was all the time Ma’bus needed to bore back in to her psyche.
As it turned out, Mystery prayed like I have never heard anyone prayer before – and yet, unlike the rest of the passengers onboard who were surely also asking God for help, I realized in horror that Mystery’s lamentations were to someone altogether different – for Mystery was praying to Lucifer.
“Save me, Master!” She wailed. “Save me to do your son’s bidding. I pledge myself again to him alone. My soul is yours. Save m–”
Immediately the plane righted — to joy of everyone onboard.
The remainder of the flight was uneventful, however the turmoil had served its purpose…
Mystery no longer had any doubts about what to do.
“I will carry out my mission.” Her voice now devoid of emotion, even as all around her people celebrated. “And then I will return to Ma’bus. Let him do with me what he will. I belong to him… and his father. The Fires are my destiny.”
At last my visions ended. I was left alone on my back porch – my beer having long since gone warm.
“Damn. So this is really The End?” I looked up at the evening sky, knowing inside that it was all just beginning. “But there are so many good beers left to try?”