Book II: Chapter 38
To be honest, right now I didn’t know what to make of the situation because it appeared The Pope was now openly reveling in the deaths of millions of people!
Alan too was appalled. “How dare you?”
“Oh come off it, man.” Benedict scoffed. “Don’t be a baby. You’ve seen Miriam’s Book of Life. You’ve read your friend John’s Revelation. You know that the wheat must be separated from the chaff. Yes, even among my own Catholic flocks there are many who are not worthy of the coming of our Lord.” And pounding his fists on his desk, “You know that He is not coming back as a Lamb this time, but as a Lion — to cleanse this world of Sin once and for all. Yes, many will perish – and rightly so! Let the evil doers be cast into the Fiery Pit, I say, for that is their destiny!”
Here Pope Joe took a moment to catch his breath, and after a pause, he said in a normal voice, “But, don’t worry, all is not lost. Those of us who are The Chosen will survive and be glorified with Our Lord. That includes you two as well. You have nothing to fear.”
(Gee, that makes me feel so much better – NOT!)
“Just the same,” Miriam grumbled, “You could have done a better job of informing us of your plans.”
“Point well made, dear. Nonetheless, you now know.”
“OK. So what now?” Alan asked.
“Simple – we ensure December 21st goes according to OUR plans.”
Here Miriam stole a glance at Alan – a fact that did not go unnoticed by Joseph who proudly advised, “The whole world is anticipating Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger’s December 21 celebration in Jerusalem. For the first time in thousands of years, our planet will see a peaceful union between Christians, Jews, and Muslims!”
“But do you really believe this is possible?” Alan questioned.
“What? Pshaw – not a chance!” Benedict waved a hand and relaxed back into his chair. “The ceremony is a sham anyway. Ma’bus isn’t going to Metzger’s event out of some misguided social calling, but instead to reveal himself to the world – as The Beast!”
“But, Your Grace, if that’s true,” Alan proceeded with caution, “then why would YOU want to be there?”
And Miriam added, “Don’t you realize that Ma’bus plans to kill both you and Metzger? Are you trying to martyr yourself?”
“Of course not.” The Pope laughed long at that. “Do you think I don’t know Ma’bus’ plans? The Beast must destroy Peter’s Rock in order to unleash Hell – at least that’s what he thinks will happen. But what he doesn’t know is that I have my own plans.” And he let the bait hang enticingly.
“So where do my friends and I fit into your plans?” Alan broke the silence. “Are we supposed to be present at the ceremony too?”
Miriam was clearly appalled that Alan would so flippantly reveal secret information. However, she was likely more shocked to hear Joe’s reply.
“Don’t worry – you need not be present.” The Pope explained, as if a parent to his children. “If you’ll simply listen to what I’m trying to tell you then you’ll realize that I have a way to save you from the Armageddon Rite! In fact, it’s one of the reasons I am so happy to see you today – to tell you, and Mary, and yes even John – that you have fulfilled your duties. My friends, your mission is over!”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Miriam was annoyed at The Pope’s patronizing tone.
“Just this,” Joseph overlooked Miriam’s insult. “For two thousand years you three have been the pillar of stability – working long and hard to protect Jesus’ Nails. The world thanks you for it. I thank you for it. However, you need not guard The Nail’s any longer. It is time to give them to me.”
(Ah, that gambit again, Joe?)
“I’m not sure I agree.” Miriam said softly, eyes narrowed.
“It just doesn’t make sense.” Alan added.
Joe measured his words, “On the contrary, it makes perfect sense. Consider that John the Baptist had the duty to prepare the way of the Lord. And when the time of destiny arrived – when he met Jesus – John was faced with a choice: hang on to his fame and reject the Lord as his replacement, or understand it was time for History to move ahead. As you know John made the right choice – and went down in history as one of the greatest prophets of all time. In the end, his life was viewed as the bridge between the sorrows of the Old Testament and the hope of the New Testament. And yet, what would have happened had John had not let Jesus take center stage?”
(Now that’s an interesting thought. So you’re telling me that MY mission was merely to be a time wasting lackey all this time? That’s great, just great).
“And so that brings us to you.” Joe continued. “Like John, you are a bridge to the future – in this case, you are the bridge between the New Testament and The Rapture. The question is, will you acc—“
“Wait!” Miriam interrupted. “Why didn’t Gabriel tell me any of this?”
“He told ME, dear.” The Pope averred. “Remember, your time has passed. I know that sounds harsh, but given the dire circumstances we don’t have time to mince words. As The Rock of Peter — as Christ’s chosen representative mind you — I am the One whose destiny is NOW. Again, I am grateful beyond measure for the diligent duty you three have fulfilled. But, you must recognize MY place — I am The Deliverer.”
And rising up from his chair, Joseph Ratzinger proclaimed, “Even if I am all alone, I will stand in the breach against The Beast!! But, I can’t fulfill MY duty – I can’t bring about the Deliverance of Our Lord — unless you first acquiesce to me. In the end, it’s a final test of faith – will you trust in your own designs or will you allow The Lord’s work to be done?”
Mouths agape in disbelief, neither Alan nor Miriam could respond. Sensing his victory was secure, The Pope pushed for a quick close, “Mary, in the vision that John told you about, who is the one to destroy Ma’bus?”
(Whoa, hold on there, cowboy – how in the Hell did YOU know about that?!?)
Head bowed, Miriam answered, “You.”
“And how did I accomplish this? By what instruments?”
There was a long pause but at last Miriam whispered, “With our Nails.”
“That settles it. So, I will ask you again – will you deliver m–”
“Just a minute here!” Alan stalled. “With all due respect, Your Grace, there is still a most important point that has remained a mystery – pardon my pun – but if you really want to confirm our trust, help us to understand your connection to Teri Abbracciavento. Why are you mixed up with Mystery?”
Joe was visibly taken aback by that question, but as usual, he had an explanation, “Why, I’m surprised that you don’t know the answer already.”
“We don’t.” Miriam grated. “Please enlighten us.”
“It’s simple really. I am using Teri as a double agent against Ma’bus.” By now The Pope had recovered his smugness and seemed to enjoy telling about his spy games. “It has always been a given that Mystery worked for The Beast – after all, that is her destiny. But, like a fool, Ma’bus overplayed his hand – sending Mystery to me as a self-proclaimed traitor. Did he really think I would fall for such a ruse? Sure, I let Mystery play her games with me,” and here he looked away in thought, before catching himself, “but only to a point mind you! The fact of the matter is this – Teri has given me valuable information about Ma’bus; and best of all, she believes that I don’t know about her duplicitous dealings.”
“So, in essence, Teri is a double double agent?” Alan was confused.
“Verily — she wants me to think she is working for me as a double agent against Ma’bus, even though she is still secretly working FOR Ma’bus – or at least she believes she is. In reality, I’m not sure that Teri really knows WHO holds her true allegiance.”
(But how does JOE know all this???)
“That’s quite a game of reverse psychology.” Miriam grinned — clearly enjoying the vision of a much confused Mystery.
“Well, I do have some small experience in that field.” Joe smiled with Miriam. But turning serious, he re-directed, “Let’s stop stalling. About those Nails…”
Once more Alan and Miriam looked at each other – both still unsure. At last, in his frustration, The Pope reached down to his desk and picked up the small package that Cardinalate Marrollo had delivered to him, “Does your silence have anything to do with THIS?”
Miriam’s eyes lit up at the sight of the scroll, yet before she could comment, Joe had slashed the wax seal and began to read aloud.
As The Pope read Marrollo’s scroll, I watched Miriam work hard to control her face– even though I could not read her thoughts, I could tell that her mind was literally screaming…
Alan! Alan! That is NOT my letter to La Papessa!
With that my vision ended.
At first I was frustrated to be left with so many questions.
In the end I reminded myself that while all this was rather interesting, it didn’t really matter much to me.
Instead, I was finally free to get back to something important.
I was finally ready to destroy myself.
And now, most important of all, I was 100% confident I could do it!