Crime & Punishment (4)

Book II: Chapter 4
June 24

“I trust you know what you’re witnessing?” Ma’bus asked.

Alan gasped, looking at the screen. “How is this possible? But how did you subdue… THEM?”

“Details. Details. Does it really matter?” The dictator waved off the question. “The point is that I have all seven of the angelsThe FALLEN angels. And when the appointed time comes, they will be released, along with their Plagues – giving me the power to overcome your master!”

(Friends, even though I wrote about this in Revelation 16, I didn’t really think it would come true. Ma’bus has The Seven! Do you understand the significance? Ach, for your sake, I hope that you don’t – it’s too terrifying!)

What happens when the angels release God’s Wrath

Meanwhile, Alan continued looking at the screen, captivated in horror, “Oh, look at how you have them shackled. And why did you tear off their wings – can’t you see their wounds are still festering?”

Ma’bus admired the sight, while Alan turned away at last to keep from retching.

It was a gruesome view – each webcam showed one of seven angels held in a dank cell so small that the captives were forced to remain upright in claustrophobic torture; their heads were bound back so that their faces were forced to look continuously in the direction of the hidden webcams above them. Worse yet, a fiery steam repeatedly wafted up, adding to their misery.

“Their conditions are terrible!” Alan complained. “Why all that smoke?”

“Why it’s the Wrath of God — your god.” Ma’bus casually replied.

Seeing Alan turn green, The Beast added. “Surely you know your Bible. Each Angel possesses a Golden Bowl. Each bowl contains one wrath. The bowls are set at the bottom of their cells so that the wraths smoke upward – forcing the Angels to endure the punishment of their god. It’s genius.”

(I’m speechless — even I didn’t think someone could be so cruel).

“I don’t understand – you believe these angels are going to help you? Don’t be such a fool, Ma’bus — why would they ever want to help you? The Angels must hate you!”

“On the contrary,” Dr. Ma’bus boasted. “They love me.”

“That’s absurd.”

“It’s true. Oh at first, none of them were pleased about being captured. But in time, after I repeatedly worked with them, each of them began to understand that I am the ONLY one who can save them. Now they view me as their Savior, their Big Brother, if you will. They worship me. They live only to please me. And when the time comes, they WILL do my bidding.”

(Lord, please don’t let him be correct on that).

“You’re mad.” Alan turned away from the awful vision.  

“Who can say for sure? But that’s beside the point. Instead, let me ask you again — as I have now every day since you came here — will you help me obtain the Nails of your friends?”

“And I will answer as I have every time you have asked that question,” Alan replied acidly. “I’ll never tell you where they are.”

“Why do you resist me? Do you really think I need you to tell me that information? Surely you must realize I’m just testing you?”

Alan didn’t reply – seemingly unsure if his captor was teasing him.

“I see value in you, man!” Ma’bus averred. “You still have a chance to save yourself. Jesus of Nazareth is NOT coming back. He’s dead. I tell you the truth.” And here Ma’bus stood up and formally stretched out his hand to Alan, “JOIN ME, Lazarus, and find out what’s it’s like to LIVE!”

Alan slapped Ma’bus’ hand away. “Never! I’ll never join you. Even if Jesus isn’t coming back, I would rather die than join you.”

“So be it.” Ma’bus sighed and sat down.

Alan remained standing in awkward silence, while Ma’bus merely smiled as he continued watching the Angels in constant agony on his computer screen.

After a time, and without looking up, The Beast remarked, “Don’t you think I know how to press your buttons? I know your weaknesses too, boy.”

As if on cue, the door opened and a beautiful woman sauntered in.

(I think you can guess who, right?)

This time she was wearing purple and scarlet and fine jewels graced her neck, yet her long, black hair covered her face so that Alan couldn’t see her features as she walked over towards Ma’bus and gave him a kiss on the cheek.  

It was clear that Alan was in no mood to admire beauty and thus didn’t really pay much attention when first she passed him by, but then the woman turned to face him and said in a honey-laden voice, “I missed you in Rome, Alan.”

“Teri? What are you do-“ Alan was confused. (Uh oh, he still doesn’t get it, does he?)

Mystery.” Ma’bus interrupted, putting an end to the suspense.

Teri shrugged at the revelation and then leaned forward to give Alan a kiss.

“Get behind me, Satan!” Alan backed away in revulsion now the he knew the truth about his former companion. “Mystery? Why, YOU are the great prostitute! The mother of all abominations.”

(And so it all begins to fit together. Still confused? Well, you know what I’ll say… go to Revelation, Chapter 17 and read for yourself).

At that both Ma’bus and the woman laughed. Finally she replied, “Call me what you will, Alan. Yes, my true name is Mystery. Yet you seemed pretty happy with me the last time we were together…”

Alan blushed, “I corrected my error before my sin became too great!”

“Ah, your sin, is that what you’re calling me?” Mystery giggled. “Well, that’s why I’m here now, you see.”

“What do you mean?” Alan said guardedly. “What have you done with Benedict?”

“You know what I mean. And don’t worry about Benedict – he’s fine. And he says ‘hello.’ But trouble yourself not about that. Instead look at me. Don’t you see, I’m here to finish what we started – while you still have your strength.”

“Wha-?” Alan stopped.

“I think what she means,” Ma’bus said helpfully, “is that Mystery plans to sleep with you to complete your sin…before I kill you.”

“Something like that.” Mystery agreed, caressing Alan’s cheek, even as he was unable to resist this new assault on his soul.

(God save him!)

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5 – Friends in Low Places
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