Armageddon???? (Part Fifty Up)

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Post by hongi » 2008-01-14 08:12am

But surely they're not so arrogant to not check in on the Earth every few centuries.

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Post by Surlethe » 2008-01-14 08:17am

hongi wrote:But surely they're not so arrogant to not check in on the Earth every few centuries.
Why not? This is the self-styled God of the Universe; to him, morality is the same thing as obedience to his dictates. You can't really get more arrogant than equating fundamental moral principles with your every whim.

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Post by hongi » 2008-01-14 08:44am

Why not? This is the self-styled God of the Universe; to him, morality is the same thing as obedience to his dictates. You can't really get more arrogant than equating fundamental moral principles with your every whim.
Isn't God supposed to be up to date with everyone's everyday concerns? If he's omniscient, surely he at least knows what he's dealing with, or realises the danger of the 'new' technology. Sure he can choose to ignore it or maybe God's so arrogant that he thinks the waves of angels waving swords around can do the job. But at some point, God has to smarten up. And since he can basically do anything, I don't see why he can't imitate or even improve on our technology. Angels chugging around autocannons.

Unless...it would be pretty hilarious if some angels decided to overthrow God and lock him up, thereby removing the omnipotence and omniscience of the Heaven side.

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Post by Academia Nut » 2008-01-14 09:52am

Well, you're making a fundamental mistake there in presuming that god is omniscient and omnipotent. First off, he has never demonstrated any such abilities. He has, in fact, demonstrated that he has problems dealing with a bunch of Bronze Age dicks. At best he's demonstrated low end nuclear weapons fire from when he blew up Sodom and Gomorrea. Nothing that impressive when we can build things like the Tsar Bomb. I mean, hell, if we went back in time with a briefcase nuke and just glassed a section of the desert we'd be worshipped as omnipotent world destroyers a couple thousand years later.

Secondly, omnipotence and omniscience makes for a short, unfun story.
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Armageddon Part Two

Post by Stuart » 2008-01-14 12:21pm

HMS Astute, On Sea Trials, North Atlantic

“Any idea what it is?”

The Sonar Operator shook his head. The Type 2076 sonar system was the most advanced the Royal Navy had ever deployed, one Admiral had tried to describe its capability by saying a submarine in Winchester could use that sonar to track a bus going around Hyde Park Corner in London. That comparison wasn’t true, but the real capability of 2076 was a closely-guarded secret. Tracking buses at that range was child’s play compared with what it could really do.

The waterfall display on the sonar panel was showing the target track, it was diverging from norm slightly, first one way and then the other, as if the unidentified contact was snaking in the water. It always came back to the same course though, one that took it to London. Eventually. That was another problem, the target track indicated a speed of around 12 knots. Not the sort of speed that made much sense. Too fast for economy, too slow for a speed run.

“I’m not getting any blade beat Sir. None at all. In fact I’m getting no machinery noise at all. No pompholugopaphlasmasin.” The sonar operator got the odd word out without missing a beat. He was referring to the odd selection of pops, hisses, squeaks and rattles made by machinery as it went about its daily tasks, an odd selection that was a clear signature to a passive sonar system. “I’m getting broad-band flow noise and that’s about it.”

“Biological?” Whales, clouds of shrimp, schools of fish, all got give strange sonar readings. Pompholugopaphlasmasin was the sonar operator’s best tool to distinguish man-made equipment from the natural sounds of the sea. And there wasn’t any. That would normally point to a biological but the one thing these times were not was normal. There was a body in the submarine’s freezer to prove that. The Ship’s Chaplain had committed suicide when the full implication of The Message had sunk home.

“Not at 12 knots Sir. A biological will either drift or move slowly at random directions. One holding 12 knots would be attacking something and this one isn’t. Then, there’s it’s course. Straight for London, never changing. No Sir, this isn’t a biological but that doesn’t change the fact that we can’t pick up anything on our narrow-band demodulated noise tracker.”

“You don’t suppose it could be….” Lieutenant-Commander Michael Murphy adopted an exaggerated expression of terror. “….the Red October.” Across Astute’s control room, the duty crew rolled their eyes in disgust, then shook their heads. That wretched author had caused so much trouble….

“No Sir. But respectfully Sir, we are on trials. FOSM may have slipped us a weirdness just to find out what we would do with it.”

Murphy nodded. Flag Officer, Submarines was known for doing things like that. “Right, Atkins. We’ll treat this like a hostile.” His eyes flipped to the tactical display where a long oval marked the position of the anomalous contact. Passive sonar could give fine cuts on bearing but its range data was much less precise. “We need to fine that up a bit. We’ll establish a baseline. Make course one-eight zero, speed 34 knots, hold for 20 minutes. Anybody want to take a head-break, now’s the time, we won’t be tracking anything at that speed.”

That was true enough, Astute didn’t have the phenomenal underwater speed of the American Seawolf class but then few other submarines did. Astute was still fast enough for the flow noise over her hull to blank out her sonar. Murphy checked the plot again and thumbed the intercom. “Captain to the bridge.”

Captain Phillips materialized almost immediately. Captains tended to do that when trouble was brewing. “Problems Number One?”

“Don’t know sir, we have a highly anomalous contact. Behaves like a submarine but has the signature of a biological. It’s maintaining 12 knots, course takes it to London. I’m establishing a baseline for range now.”

“Very good Number One.” Phillips studied the tactical plot with great care. When a new submarine ran sea trials, it wasn’t only the ship that was being tested. Her crew were under the microscope as well. “Very good Number One. I have the con. You take over the attack team. If this is FOSM playing games, we’ll go along with it.”

The crew felt the vibration from the submarine’s machinery build up under their feet. One advantage, one of many, held by the nuclear-powered boats was that they never had to worry about fuel status or battery charge. The Royal Navy nuke-drivers pitied their NATO allies who were stuck in diesel-electrics and spent their lives with one eye glued to their battery charge meters. Astute was barreling through the water, putting distance between herself and the scene of her first set of track readings. Once she got a second set, the cross-bearings would give her the range data she needed.

Twenty minutes later, Astute dropped back down to her four knot observation speed. The sonar team dropped their relaxed air and immediately got down to work, trying to re-acquire the anomalous signature. That didn’t take much effort, they knew where to look and the weird flow noise was distinctive enough.

“Got it Sir. Range 18,000 meters.” On the tactical display, a second long oval appeared. The computers eliminated the time delay that had taken place and then superimposed the two sets of reading. What had once been long, thin ovals now crossed and gave a single precise point. Then the screen blinked again as the computers applied the range data they had just calculated to the bearing figures already on file. A single green line now appeared on the tactical display, one that gave both range and bearing. All that was, in fact, needed for an attack.

Phillips thought quickly. “Stream towed array, sonar team check on passive for any emissions, anything at all. Every frequency band you can think of, whatever we’re tracking doesn’t have to be using what we are.”

It took a few more minutes but the result was worth waiting for. “Got him Sir. Active emission, very high frequency, much higher than ours.” Atkins’ voice was triumphant. “It’s like a biological, well more like a bat really, but it isn’t. Power too high. I’d guess it’s a navigational or mine avoidance sonar but its nothing like anything we have on the books. That’s why the computer didn’t call it.”

“Very good. Helm take us up to periscope deck, sensors prepare to extend radio mast. We’d better call this in.” Phillips disappeared into the radio room for several minutes. When he came back, his face was a mixture of grimness and elation.

“Word direct from DOps.” A stir went around the control room, when Directorate of Operations gave the orders, things were happening. “The situation is breaking loose. The Spams shot down four Baldricks a few hours ago. Been a few other similar incidents around the world. The old stories be damned, the Baldricks are not invulnerable and we aren’t going down without a fight. There’s nothing friendly out here so we can presume that any unidentifiable target we’re tracking is hostile. Torpedo room, load two Spearfish, tubes one and two. Load sub-Harpoon into three and four. Helm, take her down to two hundred feet, make speed 34 knots, course one-six-three.”

Helm punched the figure into the computers. The tactical display flickered again, the green track turning to red and a blue line superimposed on it. That gave the relative position of Astute and the target. Phillips looked at the position. “Make that 35 knots and one-six-one.” A tiny refinement that would put Astute into a perfect position for a torpedo attack.

Phillips watched the display as the carat marking Astute’s position moved along the blue projected course line. Mentally, he was calculating angles and ranges, the computer could actually do that for him but he preferred to do his own check. “Drop speed to four knots, say again, to four knots. Bring bows to oh-one-oh. Open bow doors, tubes one and two. Sonar, hit that thing with a low-frequency pulse to check range. One pulse.” Phillips took his authorization card from around his neck and inserted it into a slot in the sonar control console. By using active sonar, Astute was announcing her presence and position to the world at large, That was why using active sonar required the Captain’s explicit authorization. One the card was in place, the BA-WHOOM from the sonar array in the submarine’s bows could be heard throughout the boat.

Ralaraspanathsis was swimming quietly through the ocean of this strange planet, his great tail swinging from side to side as it drove . As one of the Corps of Diabolical Heralds, his job was quite simple, he had to go to the designated place where the humans gathered and give them the message that informed them of their fate. Not that their fate was ever in any doubt but it seemed as if the powers higher up had got bored with playing their little games with this dimension and decided to wrap things up. Ralaraspanathsis actually slightly regretted that, this wasn’t the first time he’d been on this planet and he’d rather enjoyed the way the humans had cowered before him on his first visit. Still, perhaps his master would allow him to play with some once they were all in his domain.

It was half way through that pleasurable thought that the pain hit Ralaraspanathsis. His head seemed to explode, his ears crushed by a terrible pressure that shattered the bones in his inner ears. His forearms moved, almost of their own accord, covering his eardrums, trying to shut out the dreadful crushing noise. Then, almost before he could think again, the terrible noise was gone.

“Wow, will you look at that.” Atkin’s voice was awed. The contact was spinning in circles, threshing in the water creating a maelstrom of flow noise emissions. “It didn’t like that at all.”

“Hit it again. Full power to the forward sonar transducers.” The contact had been settling down when the second pulse hit it. If anything the threshing was even worse than with the first pulse. “That’s a Baldrick, no doubt. Weapons, fire tubes one and two. Target that thing.”

Taking four tons off the extreme end of the moment arm caused Astute’s bow to dip. It didn’t matter to the torpedoes, they were already out and climbing to the shallower water near the surface. Once there, they kicked up to 81 knots and ran out to the estimated position of the target. At that point they dropped their guidance wires and dived vertically on the contact below them.

A shaped charge can penetrate six times its diameter; that gave the pair of Spearfish torpedoes a theoretical penetration of 126 inches. In fact, they did a bit better than that, blasting deep cavities in Ralaraspanathsis’s back, severing his spinal column and burning deep into his vital organs. His body tissues, vaporized by the blast, sprayed out and down, searing and cooking his internal organs and bursting open the swim bladder that kept him afloat. Crippled and dying, he felt himself floating upwards towards the surface. Confusion filled his mind, he was a herald. How could they have done this?

“Well, there’s no doubt about, we just scored a Baldrick.” A cheer went up around the control room. Ever since Prime Minister Gordon Brown had quoted ‘Blackadder’ in his initial announcement, the British had taken to calling the denizens of hell, ‘Baldricks’. It had a nice, contemptuous air about it, one that was beginning to catch on. “Number One, take the boat to the surface, we need to collect samples.”

Phillips looked through the periscope again. “In fact, if we can tow that wreck in, so much the better. Environmental, keep a check on water conditions, the Spams said the ones they shot down had acid blood. We don’t want our hull plating corroded, the taxpayers would get perturbed.”

Tamanskoya Motor Rifle Division, Outskirts of Moscow

“Remember Bratishka. Rodina, chest, slava! Let the name of the Chertkovsky Tank Regiment chill the very fires of hell!”

The Americans had killed four of the demons, others had killed one each. Now it was time for the Rodina to strike its blow against these arrogant beasts who had dared to declare their dominion over humanity. The demon had appeared an hour or so earlier and was walking across the countryside towards the Kremlin. If the pattern from earlier encounters was holding true, it was making for Russia’s capital. Well, it wouldn’t get there, not if the Chertkovsky Tank Regiment had its way. Colonel Mikhail Suranov had worked on the presumption that the beast was heading for the city and set up a neat L-shaped ambush. The kill zone was covered by the 125mm guns on his tanks and, just to make sure, he had his Smerch multiple rocket artillery systems dialed in.

Berwaniklasnin had his message to deliver, as a herald that was his infernal duty and he was going to do it. The problem was, word had started to spread that the humans weren’t cowering in fear the way they were supposed to, before it had only taken a single appearance to throw them into panic. Now, there was a whisper they were fighting back. Not just fighting back but showing uncanny skill in doing so. That was a troubling concept. Berwaniklasnin felt a sudden itch on his skin, there were ten or more brilliant green dots on his hide, points where his flesh was beginning to swell. One of his arms moved to cover them, as he did so, the dot vanished from his hide but appeared on the back of his hand. A beam of some sort? He never had a chance to work it out because a massive blow struck his chest and sent him staggering backwards.

The first shot had sent the HVDUAPCFSDS bolt screaming into the beast’s chest, sending it reeling backwards. An instant later the nine other T-90S tanks of the first company fired in salvo, their shots striking home as almost a single blow. The Russian tank gunners had been told that the Thais had killed one of these beasts with their pathetic little M-41s, the Russian T-90S could do better than that surely? There was an unspoken message, it had better. And it could. The beast was down, battered off its feet by the depleted uranium bolts that had smashed into it. Even as the gunners watched, the beats tried to get back to its feet but Second Company were waiting. A brief interval as their laser rangefinders locked in, then another salvo of shots. These ones struck low, sheering the beast’s legs from its body. It rolled to the ground, trying to pull itself upright.

What criminality was this? Berwaniklasnin couldn’t believe what was taking place. He was a herald, one of those charged with carrying messages to the others. By all the laws and customs, he was granted immunity from attack for how could wars be fought if neither side could talk? But these humans had opened up on him without warning. It was a hideous crime for which the wrath of the higher powers would be terrible. Berwaniklasnin shook his head, he was crippled, his legs gone, his green blood soaking into the earth. Even as he looked around another salvo of shells struck him, ripping his arms from his body. He crashed onto his back, helpless and dying.

Suranov looked up at the beast dying on the ground. It had taken 30 hits from 125mm guns to bring it down and it wasn’t dead yet. If these things resistance to damage was as high as that, these beasts were going to be trouble.

“Tovarish Colonel. Please ask your men to help me. I need to sit on the beast’s chest.” It was one of the politicians from Moscow. It didn’t take long to help him up, a T-90 pulled alongside the beast and the political was unceremoniously hauled up into place. Somebody handed up a camp stool and he carefully selected a spot overlooking the beast’s head, one clear of the bubbling craters where the armor piercing shots had torn through the beast.

“Beast. Before you should die, I believe you should know who it is you are waging war upon. I will therefore read you some of President Putin’s speeches. Listen well and learn of your folly.”

“I can almost feel sorry for the beast.” An engineer sergeant placing the demolition charges around the great body spoke quietly but his team heard and laughed. The word spread amongst the tank crews and the chuckles spread there as well. The politician appeared not to have heard, his droning monotone carried on unaffected.

A few minutes later, the preparations were ready. Suranov looked up at the politician who was starting the third speech of his program. “Tovarish. We are about to blow the beast. Please come down.”

“But I must finish the President’s Speech to the Iron Worker’s Union.”

There was a hideous racking groan from the beast, muted only by its failing strength. Suranov got a clear mental picture of it begging to be put out of its misery, anything other than to have to listen to another speech. The Colonel could see its point. “Now, Tovarish, my orders are to destroy this thing then bring samples back for analysis.

The politician reluctantly agreed, and the charges were detonated. Looking around, something puzzled Suranov. “Didn’t the Americans say these beasts had acid blood? Because this one doesn’t.”

James Randi Educational Foundation, Florida, USA

“Thank you for seeing me at such short notice Sir.” The woman was Thai, middle-aged, still poised, elegant and attractive. She also had the hardest, coldest black eyes James Randi, aka The Amazing Randi, had ever seen.

“I am pleased to make your acquaintance Ma’am.”

“Major-General. Sir, for many years your organization has run a million-dollar prize for evidence of people with supernatural abilities.”

“That is correct General. We were going to end the challenge in a couple of years but now, after these events….”

“Sir, that is why we wish to speak with you. The events of the last few days have changed everything. You and your organization have decades of experience in exposing frauds and discrediting psychics. You probably have more practical experience in this than anywhere else. My government, and quite a few others I believe, need to exploit that experience. We believe that buried amongst all the frauds and imposters there may be a few who really can talk to the dead. If there are such people, we need to speak with them very badly. We want you and your organization to find them for us. Mr Randi, I do not exaggerate when I say that the whole future of the human race may depend upon us finding such people.

Randi looked at the woman sitting before him. “In that case, how can I refuse?”

National Command Post, Washington D.C.

“Congratulations Prime Minister. And yes, we gladly accept your offer of cooperation in analyzing the body your submarine is towing in. We have heard from the Russians, they also have samples they are prepared to share with us. The more information we have the better, there appears to be significant differences between these recent kills and the ones shot down by our pilots. By the way, Gordon, are your legal people giving you trouble? Ours are claiming all sorts of strange things. Their latest one is that these are peace emissaries and we’re committing war crimes by killing them.

“We have had some such troubles yes. I suggest, Mister President, that you tell your people what I told mine. In view of the circumstances, Britannia waives the rules.”
Last edited by Stuart on 2008-01-14 12:48pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2008-01-14 12:45pm

“Beast. Before you should die, I believe you should know who it is you are waging war upon. I will therefore read you some of President Putin’s speeches. Listen well and learn of your folly.”

Win.

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Post by Fleet Admiral JD » 2008-01-14 12:49pm

The last line was pun-tastic!

Awesome job, can't wait for more.
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Post by Starglider » 2008-01-14 02:00pm

More hilarious/awesome. :) I am somewhat curious why the Captain ordered a pair of missiles loaded instead of a second pair of torpedoes for a submerged target. I suppose it's possible that the target could hear them coming, surface and then swim away so fast that the missiles would be the only way to hit it before it went out of range.
hongi wrote:But surely they're not so arrogant to not check in on the Earth every few centuries.
Wouldn't necessarily do any good even if they did. Human warfare wasn't advanced enough 'a few centuries ago' to pose a serious threat. Even by the (US) civil war era very few weapons could really hurt them, and of course at that tech level they'd have virtually unchallenged air and sea power (ironclads might have the guns to hurt them but wouldn't be able to track or hit them underwater). It's only really by the early 20th century that humanity could make a serious fight of it; even at WWI tech level, while the heavy weapons and manpower are available the mobility and communications issues could make the fight unwinnable. The transition between 'conquerable with minimal difficultly' and 'a slaughterhouse for any demon foolish enough to go there' occured sometime between 1900 and 1950, a blink of an eye to beings used to thinking on multi-millenial timescales.

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Post by White Haven » 2008-01-14 02:50pm

And now we start to see the trouble...these are (relatively) noncombattant messengers that are this cannonball-degradable.
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-01-14 03:58pm

Awesome. I wonder, if an elite military task force is created for speaking with and interacting with the dead, might we call it...

NECROps? :twisted:
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Post by Vehrec » 2008-01-14 04:36pm

That's some amazing biology on that last one. 30 tank rounds, and no killing shot. That's probably over-penetration in action right there. Maybe canister would have done more damage.
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Post by Kodiak » 2008-01-14 04:43pm

Could someone help me with the acronym HVDUAPCFSDS?

I've got:

High Velocity Depleted Uranium Armor Piercing Canister Fired S.... D.... Sabot.

Anyone have a definitive answer?

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Post by Illuminatus Primus » 2008-01-14 05:02pm

FS is fin-stabilized, and DS is discarding sabot.
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Post by Vehrec » 2008-01-14 05:30pm

Kodiak wrote:Could someone help me with the acronym HVDUAPCFSDS?

I've got:

High Velocity Depleted Uranium Armor Piercing Canister Fired S.... D.... Sabot.

Anyone have a definitive answer?
That doesn't make any sense, the canister bit. A Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot round is a metal dart, not a collection of ball berrings stacked to cause shotgun like damage.
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Post by Sidewinder » 2008-01-14 05:41pm

Good chapter. I suspect the Russians would have better luck using HE against the demons. Some questions, though. I know "Rodina" means Motherland, but "chest" and "slava?" And is Vladimir Putin really that bad an orator?

Next chapter: Demon, meet RPG. RPG, meet... Oh, you've already met. Goodbye, demon. (Feel free to replace RPG with any other heavy weapon you fancy.)
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They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-01-14 05:53pm

Slava means 'glory'. Not sure about 'chest', I think it just means chest.
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Post by Stuart » 2008-01-14 06:12pm

Kodiak wrote:Could someone help me with the acronym HVDUAPCFSDS?
High-Velocity Depleted Uranium Armor Piercing Capped Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot. Not quite the state of the art, thats a HVDUAPCLRPFSDS.

The Motto of the Tamanskaya (2nd Guards) Motor Rifle Division is "Rodina, chest', slava", which translates as "Motherland, honour and glory".
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Post by Starglider » 2008-01-14 06:28pm

BTW Stuart do you actually have something against Robert Gates or was he just picked at random to receive a McNamara-style mocking? From what little I know of his history I'm guessing the former, but I'm not sure.

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Post by fusion » 2008-01-14 06:54pm

Awesome!!! Its is very good and I like the funky words (you know what I mean)

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Post by Wyrm » 2008-01-14 09:51pm

Stuart wrote:What criminality was this? Berwaniklasnin couldn’t believe what was taking place. He was a herald, one of those charged with carrying messages to the others. By all the laws and customs, he was granted immunity from attack for how could wars be fought if neither side could talk? But these humans had opened up on him without warning. It was a hideous crime for which the wrath of the higher powers would be terrible. Berwaniklasnin shook his head, he was crippled, his legs gone, his green blood soaking into the earth. Even as he looked around another salvo of shells struck him, ripping his arms from his body. He crashed onto his back, helpless and dying.
Oh, you poor thing. :twisted:

Very good. Very, very good. Bollocks to untouchable messangers.

Wasn't there this line in the Bible when man got their little mits on the tree of knowledge, saying that they have become like them?

Ah yes...
Genesis 3:22 (NIV) wrote:And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."
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Master_Baerne
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Post by Master_Baerne » 2008-01-14 10:48pm

(Cackles madly) This is AWESOME!

It's...sacrelicious!
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Academia Nut
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Post by Academia Nut » 2008-01-15 12:55am

Mmmmm... this is definitely sacrilicious. So sinfully sweet and awesome.

Incidentally, while I doubt you would ever make such an obtuse reference, I have this picture in my mind of a hole in the earth opening up before a large crowd, hellfire shooting out as a human sized demon comes up to address the world with the demands for their unconditional surrender to the forces of Hell.

As soldiers surround the creature, he cries out, "You cannot do this to a messenger! This is blasphemy!"

A sudden light goes up in the eyes of the assembled crowd.

"This is madness!"

The leader on the scene looks back at the assembled thousands, and they all nod eagerly for him to do it. Savage grins come over all assembled, and twisted giggling rises up. The demon pauses and looks in horror at the way it is being viewed, not as something of awe and terror, but as a creature to be tormented and destroyed. It's guts clench in horror to be suddenly on the recieving end of such looks. Mortals are not supposed to give predatory looks to demons, they are supposed to cower and beg for mercy.

"Madness? THIS IS (INSERT NAME OF LOCATION HERE)!"

The soldiers open fire and riddle the demon with hundreds of rounds from every conceivable man portable weapon. Fatally wounded but still alive, the demon staggers back to the edge of the hole it came from, and the guy who was lucky enough to utter such a line stalks up to it and boots it in the chest, sending it tumbling back into the abyss from whence it came.

I know its an incredibly cheesy and fanboyish line, but it is so hilarious that I just had to share.

Also, a speak about how both Angels and Demons are pathetic because unlike humans, they only know of "good" or "evil", and thus know of neither would be rather rousing and chilling if done right.
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Hawkwings
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Post by Hawkwings » 2008-01-15 01:01am

If Stuart included that scene, we'd all be very happy. We could probably also say goodbye to getting this published. Eh, whatever.

I eagerly await more of this story!

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Post by Darth Smiley » 2008-01-15 10:38am

It seems demons don't like lasers. This might get interesting in the later stages of the war...

And yes, this is awesome. Keep going. Or else.
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Post by Mayabird » 2008-01-15 01:19pm

General Supatra (is that her name? I can't remember) and James Randi in the same room. It's like a fanfic of real life! Somehow the thought just makes me giggle a lot. In a good way, like the speeches.

This is just totally awesome. So many crazy possibilities. Reincarnation, for instance. Will the Dalai Lama be volunteering for scientific research on the soul to see how he keeps coming back? Are they going to find the nth reincarnation of Patton?

Ooh, and rebellions in hell. You know that fuss recently about the abolition of Limbo? If Dante was right, Limbo wasn't guarded, just surrounded by a wall, and filled with some of the awesomest people in history. So, what would happen once the first righteous unbelieving aeronauts, or heck, even balloonists, wind up in Limbo? Maybe they abolished it after a Great Escape. And if there's a rebellion in hell, at least part of it is going to be a Maoist insurgency. I don't know why, but it would.

Another random thought: how long have people been going to some kind of afterlife? Is there a cutoff point back in the millenia, or have hominids from H. erectus on up been going? Could Julius Caesar have an honor guard of Neandertals? Are the Maoists using burly Cro-Magnon men as shock troops in their early weapons raids?


In summation: squee!
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