Book II: Chapter 29
The good news is that my friends finally went away.
The bad news it that I did not get to work in peace as I’d hoped because the very next day I had another vision forced upon me – ironically it was about Alan and Miriam (gee whiz, how do I get rid of these guys?)
“Why did we bother to come through JFK?” Miriam complained.
“Hopefully the delay won’t be much longer.” Alan soothed. “Meanwhile, let’s take this time to plan our next moves.”
“Oh, Alan, always the analytical mind.” But then, as if realizing her possible faux pas, Miriam added, “Er. I didn’t mean that in a mental telepathy sort of way.” And seeing her friend’s face redden further, she stammered, “Alan, please know that I did NOT go through your private thoughts. I never have in the past and I never plan to. You mus–”
(Don’t believe her, Alan).
“Hush. I trust you, Miriam. But let’s just make a pact so we can save ourselves further embarrassment – no more telepathy, mental probes, or other mental tricks.”
(Amen to that!)
Miriam nodded, “If I have anything to say, I’ll say it out loud.”
“Alan,” Miriam’s face grew thoughtful. “How long has it been since we’ve last talked? I mean really talked.”
(Oh no, when a woman says she wants to talk that’s never good).
Alan thought for a moment, “The last time we were together — before you rescued me from Ma’bus — was in 1945 – April 30th to be exact.”
“The day Hitler shot himself – alas another Antichrist theory which didn’t pan out.”
“And yet, I wonder…” Alan mused. ”Unlike most, we saw Hitler’s remains – at least what his people claimed was his remains – which, as you’ll recall we had certain unanswered questions about at the time. Nevertheless, even though we determined that Hitler was not in fact our Antichrist before he died, we still worked hard to drive him out of his mind in order to rid of the world of his evil.”
“I’d say so.” Miriam interjected. “After all, even though the world never knew, it was you, John, and myself who succeeded in pushing Der Fuhrer down the suicide path.”
(I realize this probably all news to you, but actually it’s quite true).
“Ah, but don’t forget — Hitler shot himself two days before we thought he would.”
“Let’s not forget – none of us actually saw him take the shot. And while we did see his charred corpse, I told you back then I wasn’t comfortable with they way everything played out.”
“But nothing more happened. We all agreed the Hitler File was closed.”
(Actually I agreed with Alan at the time — I wasn’t 100% sure Hitler was really dead, but I didn’t feel like fighting Miriam, so I didn’t say anything).
“What if we were wrong?” Alan mused.
“What do you mean?”
“What if Hitler never did kill himself?” Alan whispered. Then leaning in closer he said even softer, “Miriam, is it possible Hitler actually stayed alive and has now re-emerged as… Dr. Ma’bus?!?”
The color drained from Miriam’s face, yet before she could respond, Alan pressed ahead, “Let me take it a step further. Miriam, in the course of the last few decades, I have been postulating a new theory — in the past, whenever we’ve been presented with a potential Antichrist emerging, how did we evaluate that candidate to determine if they were truly The Beast?”
“I’m not sure I understand — why are we talking about men whom History has proven NOT to be antichrists?”
“Has it? Think about the men we were once CONVINCED were The Beast: Nero, Attila, Arnulf, Weishaupt, and Hitler. I want you to—“
“You forgot Martin Luther.” Miriam interjected.
“Actually, I left him out on purpose. There is no question that we were wrong about him and luckily John caught our error in time.”
(Well, at least someone gives me some credit around here. Thank you, Alan).
“Agreed.” Miriam consented as much, but her face told a different story regarding her true feelings Martin Luther. However rather than argue the point, she encouraged Alan to continue, “OK, so what?”
“Miriam, what if ALL of them really were The Beast?”
“How could that be? They all died – and stopped causing problems.”
“And yet, in every case there is a nuance that left me unsure. Consider Nero’s death – a supposed suicide in which he drove a dagger into his own throat – albeit with the aid of his personal secretary Epaphroditus. And yet Epaphroditus then conveniently disappeared from history?”
“Even still, Nero’s death seemed pretty convincing.”
“Was it? Or did Nero switch with his aide and disappear himself?”
“But, why? For what purpose?”
(Duh? Miriam, are you so obtuse?)
“Let’s table that and examine the other candidates. Next there was Attila — his demise is still controversial: was it internal bleeding caused by years of heavy drinking or did he die at the hands of his wife Gudrun?”
“What does it matter? Either way, he DID die.” Miriam rebutted. ”And did you forget that Attila was buried in a triple coffin made of gold, inside of silver, inside of iron – all to keep him locked inside?”
“And supposedly his army then diverted a section of the river Tisza over his grave site – yet all those men were later killed by Attila’s son Ellac in order to keep the exact location of the grave site a secret.”
(Hmm. I’m starting to see where Alan’s heading. What about YOU?)
“Attention passengers of Lufthansa Flight 1501 to Rome,” came a voice over the Terminal speakers, “Please proceed to Gate A31…”
“Hey, they changed our gate!” Miriam arose and began to hastily gather her belongings. “That’s at the other end of the terminal!”
“Moving on,” Alan trotted after Miriam, continuing his discourse between breaths as they waded through the crowd. “Arnulf’s death – still a mystery. Same goes for Weishaupt. And we already discussed Hitler.”
“Ugh, Alan, just spit it out — what are you trying to say?”
As they stepped onto moving walkway, Alan whispered urgently into her ear. “Just this, Miriam — what if all of those evil men really were the SAME man? What if we did correctly identify the Beast each time, but due to our actions or just some unexpected turns of History, Satan chose to delay his rise?”
Miriam suddenly stopped in her tracks – causing a backlog on the tight walkway behind Alan.
“Sorry, friends,” Alan turned to apologize to the many passengers behind him who were now complaining at the stoppage, before quickly urging Miriam ahead towards the end of the moving walkway.
Once they got off, Miriam pulled Alan aside, “My God, Alan, what if the spirit of Satan’s son possessed the bodies of those men and merely used each as a vessel?”
(ARG! Do you see what she’s doing? As always, Miriam can’t accept someone else’s idea, so she has to change it to make it hers. Just like a woman – never satisfied until they have their own way!)
“Hmmm… that I can’t answer,” Alan replied, “But one thing is sure. Lucifer is a master manipulator – for something as important as the rise to power of his son — and his own subsequent release from the prison of Hell — surely, if he felt for even a moment that everything wasn’t going exactly as planned, he would pull the plug and start over later, right?”
“Indeed. For Gabriel always said that once The Antichrist attempts The Armageddon Rite, he will have one chance at it – just ONE. That was the agreement Satan worked out with God. Although why The Lord would allow Himself to be bound by such a possib–”
“Attention passengers of Lufthansa Flight 1501 to Rome,” came the airport voice again. “All passengers should be at Gate A31 ready to board.”
“Oh, let’s hurry, Alan. We can talk more on the way to Rome!”