Armageddon???? (Part Fifty Up)

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Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2008-03-25 02:46am

If we want to intimidate them, a five minute clip of Atomic Annie being fired with houses-getting-blown-over and trees-swaying-like-crazy would be sufficient, but we probably DON'T want him to have such information.
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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-03-25 02:49am

That's a good point. Abigor is potentially useful and it would be good to secure his co-operation by treating his family well, but the humans have to consider the possibility that he is a double agent. I can't imagine them totally trusting him.
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Post by Vympel » 2008-03-25 03:50am

Things I'd like to see -

* Demons reacting to Iron Chariots that can swim (armored vehicles like BMPs and BTRs performing an amphibious attack or crossing a river)

* Demons reacting to Iron Chariots falling from the sky (BMDs, 2S9s and 2S25s)

(of course, flying demons would have to be cleared else it could get very messy ...)

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Post by KlavoHunter » 2008-03-25 07:11am

I wonder what happens when you make a Baldrick wear a tinfoil hat?

It would seem to be child's play for, if this were a double-cross of a sort (Which it is not), for Satan to be in psychic communication with Abigor - I figure Satan just gets a chorus of whatever psychically-tuned individuals exist in Hell to amplify him, and they get to talk - and then he gets to see whatever Abigor knows - generally a bad thing if Abigor is given the grand tour of human military might and so forth.
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Post by Starglider » 2008-03-25 09:14am

KlavoHunter wrote:I wonder what happens when you make a Baldrick wear a tinfoil hat?
That might not even be necessary, depending on whether Abigor is actually allowed to leave shielded facilities and vehicles.

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Post by Edward Yee » 2008-03-25 09:59am

Here's the thing... how much of what Abigor sends back (or is informed of) could be comprehended? ;-) He and Memnon have proven relatively perceptive ones, but they've been viewing things through the filter of their mindsets (everything from Sky Chariots to Iron Chariots to "talisman of metal and plastic" for small arms), along with far different understanding of the to-us mundane (see Memnon's reaction to plastic having no "song")...
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Post by Stuart » 2008-03-25 10:02am

Headquarters, Multi-National Force, Baghdad, Iraq

“Well, they’re human.”

“You have got to be kidding us. There’s no way those things are human.”

Dr Surlethe settled back in the conference room chair with every sign of comfort. That was one thing the higher ranks of the Army had down to a fine art, their conference rooms were well-furnished, air conditioned and had all the luxuries one might wish combined with hi-tech presentation equipment. It would be years before civilian releases caught up with the Army version of Microsoft Powerpoint. The Marines, now they were different, their “conference room” was usually a tent somewhere with a bare wood trestle table and a few camp chairs. One Marine General had remarked on the Army’s “excessive facility” only to be rather coldly told that ‘any damned fool can be uncomfortable’.

“Nevertheless, they are human. Sort of.” There was a stir of relaxation at the qualification.

“What do you mean Doctor?” General Petraeus needed to know a lot about these creatures, not least because he had almost a thousand of them in a Prisoner of War camp.

“General, we’ve looked at the DNA of the baldricks and its human.” Surlethe thought for a second. “Look at it this way, the difference in DNA between a chimpanzee and a human is around two percent. The difference between baldrick and human DNA is about one half of one percent. So baldricks are much more closely related to us than we are to chimpanzees.”

“They don’t look it.”

“No, they don’t General.” Again Surlethe thought for a moment. “Actually they do. If we ignore the way-out bits, the strange contortions and so on, they do look like us. We started off by thinking that they were a next-level up version of us that simply evolved differently but when the DNA comparisons came through we had to abandon that. There’s no doubt about it in our minds, we and the baldricks had a common ancestor somewhere way back when. The really big question is did that common ancestor evolve here on earth, on the hell-place or somewhere else?”

“I still find it hard to believe that something that’s so different from us could be related to us. DNA shifts and mutation rates can’t explain that level of difference.”

Protect us from intelligent, well-read generals Surlethe sighed quietly to himself, life had been much easier in the old days when Generals knew how to destroy armies and nothing else. Then, they just accepted everything a scientist said. Put on a long white coat and they were as good as gold. This one had an annoying habit of arguing with scientists and, even more annoying, was very often right. He quickly realized that it was about to get worse.

“I’ve been reading up on the Human Genome Project. According to their findings, the useless repetitive sequences, the junk DNA make up at least 50% of the human genome. According to the people working on that program, the junk DNA doesn’t have a direct function, but they reshape the genome by rearranging it, thereby creating entirely new genes or modifying and reshuffling existing genes. It also appears that something quite drastic happened around 50 million years ago that caused all our junk DNA.”

“That’s correct General. Our working hypothesis is that somehow we and the baldricks split away from each other way back then. We went our way, they went theirs. Perhaps we all came from somewhere else and the ‘something quite drastic’ was that we stayed here and they went to the hell-place. We each used different parts of our junk DNA and activated different strings. The difference may be only one half of one percent but it’s a very important one half of one percent. There’s more to it than that of course; it looks to us like the baldrick DNA itself has been corrupted, either by selective breeding, prion infection, both or something else.”

“So, how can you help me look after the prisoners we’ve acquired.”

“Well, we know from other sources that they are exclusive carnivores. Its probable that they’ll eat any sort of meat, they’ll eat in large quantities but at irregular intervals. Without need for major physical exercise, they’ll probably eat only once a week or so. Won’t be a pretty sight when they do though.” Surlethe thought back to the sight of the succubus eating and shuddered. “Medication might work on them, we’ll have to be careful and take it by stages. Oh, and General, their metabolic pathways are almost identical to ours. Chemical weapons should work on them just fine.”

The Ultimate Temple, Heaven

The archangel Michael strode forward into the Temple. All about him, the people sang; he could feel the ecstasy of the choirs of angels, of those few, fortunate saved humans. As he entered the Holiest of Holies, the thick marble of the temple walls drowned out the beautiful music outside; reduced to a dim glow, he focused his attention on the sight before him.

It awed him every time without fail: the great white throne, with its flashing lightning and pealing thunder surrounding the giant figure who sat on it, the One Above All Others. Before the throne were the seven great, gold lamps, burning their ceaseless incense so that the clouds of scented smoke hung thick and hazy, the smell clinging to everything. Michael loved it.

At the four corners of the room stood the four living creatures, chanting their ceaseless cry: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come;” and the twenty-four members of the Private Choir. They were ancient even by the angels' standards, and were constantly on their faces before the throne, murmuring, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." Time was, their voices had outstripped even the living creatures in volume, but even here they were not free from time's ravages. An astute observer might look closely into their eyes and see the misery and despair there. Singing the same praises for untold millennia was not as heavenly as it sounded.

Michael stopped in the middle of the lamps and knelt down on both knees, prostrating himself and pressing his flawless lips to the cold, dark jade floor. As though sensing intentions, the four living creatures quieted, and the twenty-four elders' murmurs died to whispers. From the white throne, the voice of Yahweh thundered: “Michael, my good general, what news do you bring me?”

"Oh nameless one, Lord and God of all, I prostrate myself to your presence. The messengers of Gabriel have returned, save one – Appoloin – who was killed in your service." As he related the information, he couldn't help the quiver of surprise that crept into his voice; the idea that humans, of all things, could destroy demons or angels, let alone the merciless slaughter to which they had apparently subjected the demonic army, still confused him. If he were capable of admitting it to himself, he might even have said that the prospect scared him.

"My Lord, the army the Morningstar sent forth has been utterly destroyed. The human magic has proved far beyond the capability of the fallen ones."

Yahweh was silent for a moment, then spoke. "Interesting. And what of the rest of Satan's hordes?”

"My Lord, the delegation you sent to Dis has not returned; it is several choirs overdue. It is not known if the messengers we sent have been received."

"Is Uriel prepared to go out into the world?"

"He is, my Lord.”

"Summon him to me, Michael." At the decree, Michael's fist clenched and lightning sparked around it as he bit down on his excitement.
Camp Echo, New Amarah Airfield, Al Amarah, Iraq

The truck convoy, a long line of the eight-by-eight HEMTTs, pulled up at the long line of huge hangars that were half-buried in the ground. This was one of Saddam Hussein’s airfields, one disused until recently but now put to a use that the deranged dictator could never have imagined. The great buried hangars were perfect as a detention area for captured demons. Some of the baldricks sitting in the trucks looked at the razor wire that surrounded the hangars and shuddered. Many bore the scars of that infernal wire.

Abigor had a truck to himself, his size and weight made that essential, and the truth was that he had thoroughly enjoyed his ride. The great truck had moved faster than he had ever dreamed possible, carrying him away from the Hellmouth and towards wherever it was that the humans would take him. The trip itself had been an eye-opener. The black strips the humans laid across the desert were crowded with chariots, nose-to-tail convoys of them, mostly heading west. He had, at last, seen the Iron Chariots, ‘tanks’ they were called apparently, at close quarters. Many different types of them, some looking similar, others very different. Long lines of them moving west and he noted how everybody got out of their way. He’d seen the humans inside them and they’d waved at him, shouting things as they passed. Some had been abusive, Abigor recognized curses when he heard them, but most were almost friendly. Once or twice he’d waved back and that had caused the tank crews, even the hostile ones, to behave in a more friendly manner. It seemed that humans had a strange attitude towards their enemies.

He’d also looked at one of the homes of the Flying Chariots as the convoy had made its way East. Two of them had been taking off, the howl they made painful to the ears. ‘Warthogs.’ One of the truck drivers had shouted. ‘Wait till you see them babies at work.’ They were babies? What did the parents look like? A few minutes later, Abigor had his answer, a great chariot many times the size of the warthogs landed and started to disgorge tons of cargo. Another followed and by the time their convoy had moved on, two more. The movement at the flying chariot base was constant, if the chariots weren’t taking off, they were landing.

“General Abigor? Follow me please.” The human spoke politely but firmly. From the number of chariots around, disobeying him was unwise. Anyway, Abigor remembered the long streams of chariots heading west. Arguing wasn’t an option. He followed the human into the hangar.

It was pleasantly gloomy inside, a pleasant change from the glaring desert sun. It was cooler too although Abigor hadn’t been upset by the heat outside. The interior was divided up into cages, each holding a single demon prisoner. Large enough for him to get up, walk around and exercise. The cage walls were wire layers interspaced with razor-wire.

“General, these are the prisoners we have taken to date. We are doing the best we can to look after them properly, if there are any complaints, please tell us. You are senior officer here and responsible for them all.”

Abigor didn’t understand much of that but the last words made sense. The humans had given him a command, far less than a single legion that was true, but a command none the less. It was a start. He stared at the nearest prisoner, entangling its mind with his own.

“What have they done with you?”

“Nothing, they just keep us here. They feed us meat, give us water.”

“How did they torture you?”

“They did not. They are soft and weak. Jahnibatwesvhik over there had a long splinter of enchanted iron in his chest. It was poisoning him so they took it out. Gave him a drug so that he slept while it was done. As if he couldn’t have stood the pain like a true demon.”

Abigor nodded and turned to the human with him. “You have looked after them well.” His voice showed disbelief and confusion.

“It is our way, when we can. What do your people do for amusement? We have no idea what to give our prisoners. Do you have books you read or games you play?”

We torture human souls for our amusement. was the answer that ran through Abigor’s mind but he guessed that saying so was not the smartest thing he could do at this point. “We will be happy for whatever you can provide.”

“Good, we’ll find something. General, there were civilians with your party. I must warn you, we do not look kindly on those who use civilians as cover for their actions.”

“Satan sent them with me, they are my family. We were all sent to die together.”

The human nodded. “We’ll investigate that further. In the mean time, the women and children will be housed in another building like this one. We want you to point out which child belongs to which mother so we can house them together.”

Abigor absorbed the information that was pouring in on him. It was impossible, surely, that these genial hosts could be the same merciless killers who had destroyed his Army. “Did you take part in the fighting?”

“Sure. My brigade held the town of Hit against your infantry. We got pasted holding it, your guys fight well up close, but we held long enough for the gunships to get to work. General, are any of your women nurses?”

“What are nurses?”

“Those skilled with helping to treat the wounded. Most of your people have wounds.”

“No.” Abigor’s confusion levels increased to near-breaking point. What was with these humans? In the demon armies, nobody treated the wounded. They died or got better according to their luck. A popular demon might be looked after by his immediate comrades, an unpopular one might get killed so he wouldn’t hold up the rest, but that was all. Then, Abigor thought of the sight of two demons carrying a legless third all the way back home. Contact with humans was having disturbing effects.

“That’s a pity. We’re short of medical staff here and we don’t know our way around your bodies. If we operate, we could be doing more harm than good. Our medications could kill.”

“Would dissecting a few living demons help? I can assign a few of these to you for that purpose if you wish?”

Colonel David Paschal looked at the baldrick towering over him and shuddered at the thought. Then reminded himself that these were demons after all, they were not supposed to be nice people. He also reminded himself that his job was to watch, learn and interact with these creatures while his shattered brigade was rebuilt. “No thank you General Abigor, that would be prohibited by our laws.”

Abigor was looking at him curiously. “Sire, you seem to know much about us already?”

“You are not the first to rally to our cause. We have others as well. Some have proved most helpful, especially a succubus we captured.” Paschal held his breath, would Abigor fall for the bait.

He did. His explosive snort rattled the cages. “A succubus! I hope you do not believe everything that single-sex freak told you. They are deceivers and seducers all.”

“No, we adopted an old human principle ‘trust but verify’. Your people here have been helpful in the ‘verifying’ part.”

Abigor relaxed. “Then I will order them to continue doing so.”

Paschal looked at the hangar around them. There was no sign of the modification but the roof had been coated with a new aluminum foil foam laminate that was orders of magnitudes more effective at stopping the baldrick mind-entanglement capability than normal foil caps were. With luck, people in this hangar should be isolated from outside mind-links. “Please do that General.”

Headquarters, Multi-National Force, Baghdad, Iraq

“Major Marina Fyodorovna Luchenko, First Guards Engineer Division reporting Sir. My General has assigned me to you as liaison. He asks what would you like built where?”

General David Petraeus looked at the Russian officer. “Good to have you on board Major. And your engineers, we need them badly. Our supply lines are very difficult, the road network is completely inadequate for the volume of traffic we are moving. It would help if somebody told the Israelis about obeying traffic signs. Our traffic accident rate is bad enough without their assistance.”

Major Luchenko snorted delicately. “So, Sir, what can we do to help?”

“We need a highway Major. Starting at Diddiwanyah, then going around Al Najaf and then due west to the hellmouth. I’d like four lanes going each way, each lane extra wide to handle our HEMTTs – and your trucks of course.” Petraeus looked at the Russian woman and grinned broadly. “That’s right Major, I want you to build the ultimate highway to hell.”
Last edited by Stuart on 2008-03-26 08:28am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Ace Pace » 2008-03-25 10:31am

It would help if somebody told the Israelis about obeying traffic signs.
:lol: Just make sure of one thing, Israeli ATC should never, under any circumstances, be allowed to operate in Iraq.

Or really anywhere else for that matter.
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Post by Agent Fisher » 2008-03-25 10:31am

This story get's better with every damn chapter. Highway to Hell indeed.

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Post by Fleet Admiral JD » 2008-03-25 11:00am

This stuff is more addictive than any drug, and may be used as a treatment for a drug addiction.

Keep it COMING!
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-03-25 11:04am

As much as I love this story, I am very, VERY nervous about what Uriel is going to be used for. The LAST time he was sent out into the world, someone had to build an Ark.

That should tell you how serious it is.
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Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2008-03-25 11:22am

Hey, Abrigor, cool man!

Succubus, single-sex freak? So, demons regard non-hermaphrodites as freaks?

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Post by brianeyci » 2008-03-25 11:36am

The torture rears an ugly problem. Torture is prohibited by the rules of war, so every single male demon is a war criminal. So is targeting civilians.

Methinks they'll have to be a general amnesty for all demons after the war for past crimes, unless they want to hang every male demon. And many of the females too.

Demons actually seem more human than angels. Seems like angels all prostrate themselves before god and sing his greatness all day. Freaky shit. While demons can fit into human society quite nicely, I can't see angels doing the same.

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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-03-25 11:47am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:Hey, Abrigor, cool man!

Succubus, single-sex freak? So, demons regard non-hermaphrodites as freaks?
I think the "freak" part comes from the fact that the entire race of succubi is composed of females.
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Post by JN1 » 2008-03-25 11:48am

Now this was very overdue, I was begining to suffer withdrawal symptoms. :D
I get the feeling that Abigor is not going to be the last senior demon who realises that surrendering to the humans is better than trying to fight them. On the other hand the fact that Heaven seems to be getting directly involved is somewhat worrying.

Btw a friend of mine who is reading this story has emailed me regarding the issue that God could not deal with iron chariots in the past. I've quoted part of his email below.
First, the part about God not being able to overcome iron chariots is wrong. They are reading it wrong. It's not God who cannot, it is Joshua because they don't have the tech to fight chariots. God forbad Hebrews chariots and that was one of the things Solomon did that displeased God.

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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-03-25 11:49am

CaptainChewbacca wrote:As much as I love this story, I am very, VERY nervous about what Uriel is going to be used for. The LAST time he was sent out into the world, someone had to build an Ark.

That should tell you how serious it is.
On the other hand, this story presumes certain truths in the Bible; it clearly does not presume fundieland, otherwise it would be waxing poetic about God's perfect love. From any kind of rational, objective analysis of our geologic history, it's obvious that the Great Flood never happened, so Uriel could, at most, make a very small localized flood. Still potentially destructive, but we can do the same thing by building a dam (or blowing one up), so it's not necessarily some stupendous act.
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"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-03-25 12:07pm

JN1 wrote:Btw a friend of mine who is reading this story has emailed me regarding the issue that God could not deal with iron chariots in the past. I've quoted part of his email below.
First, the part about God not being able to overcome iron chariots is wrong. They are reading it wrong. It's not God who cannot, it is Joshua because they don't have the tech to fight chariots. God forbad Hebrews chariots and that was one of the things Solomon did that displeased God.
This guy seems like one of those people who reads the Bible at face value, rather than reading "between the lines", so to speak. Even if we assume some truth to these stories, God's power is consistently exaggerated throughout the Bible, so that there is no explanation for why (for example) he had to resort to terrorism against the Egyptians instead of simply teleporting or otherwise forcibly freeing the Jews. Similarly, there is no explanation why the Jews were supposedly able to crush certain enemies thanks to his power aiding them, yet were stymied by others. If they need to upgrade their own military forces to do it, then what good is his help?
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"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

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Post by Edward Yee » 2008-03-25 12:10pm

CaptainChewbacca wrote:As much as I love this story, I am very, VERY nervous about what Uriel is going to be used for. The LAST time he was sent out into the world, someone had to build an Ark.

That should tell you how serious it is.
Wasn't that "The Land of Khemet weeping," as in Uriel killing off the firstborn sons of Egypt? Then again, Uriel vs. humanity seems to be a bad proposition no matter how what he's up to.
Demons actually seem more human than angels. Seems like angels all prostrate themselves before god and sing his greatness all day. Freaky shit. While demons can fit into human society quite nicely, I can't see angels doing the same.
Freaky shit...? Ehh. This seems to be a pretty common view of demons vis a vis angels, which in my mind is also cliche (*remembers the debate over tieflings being core in D&D 4E but not aasimar* :roll:)... I'm not bothered by it, and in fact I'm actually liking these angels, or at least Michael. 'course, I've been shamelessly cheerleading the demons too. :P

Mildest of nitpicks: "obeying him was unwise." No, Abigor -- disobeying the human would be even worse. :twisted:

Stuart, is Memnon 'just' amongst the demon POWs? Wonder if there's been any new materials singing to him lately? :wink:
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Post by brianeyci » 2008-03-25 12:11pm

JN1 wrote: I've quoted part of his email below.
Let me guess, a person who buys into the literal power of God to create floods around the whole world wants "And the LORD was with Judah" to mean he was metaphorically with Judah rather than literally there?

First eh. Let me guess: he went through the whole thing picking parts of the story he thought were "wrong," as if something as self-contradictory or ambigious as The Bible wasn't open to many interpretations.

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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-03-25 12:11pm

Darth Wong wrote:
CaptainChewbacca wrote:As much as I love this story, I am very, VERY nervous about what Uriel is going to be used for. The LAST time he was sent out into the world, someone had to build an Ark.

That should tell you how serious it is.
On the other hand, this story presumes certain truths in the Bible; it clearly does not presume fundieland, otherwise it would be waxing poetic about God's perfect love. From any kind of rational, objective analysis of our geologic history, it's obvious that the Great Flood never happened, so Uriel could, at most, make a very small localized flood. Still potentially destructive, but we can do the same thing by building a dam (or blowing one up), so it's not necessarily some stupendous act.
Right, I'm just saying last time Uriel came around it was the single-most destructive act doccumented in the Bible.
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Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2008-03-25 12:15pm

Darth Wong wrote:
Shroom Man 777 wrote:Hey, Abrigor, cool man!

Succubus, single-sex freak? So, demons regard non-hermaphrodites as freaks?
I think the "freak" part comes from the fact that the entire race of succubi is composed of females.
Oh. Right. I was thinking that that discussion about the incubi, including the sperm-swapping corruption thing, had been canonized.
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Post by tim31 » 2008-03-25 01:28pm

Stuart: were you tempted at all to describe Yahweh besides being huge? Or did you simply consider it irrelevant?
lol, opsec doesn't apply to fanfiction. -Aaron

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Post by Sidewinder » 2008-03-25 01:38pm

From the description of the demon being "poisoned" by shrapnel, I'm guessing they're vulnerable to bacterial/viral infection, e.g., biological weapons. Or is iron actually poisonous to demons?
Ace Pace wrote:Just make sure of one thing, Israeli ATC should never, under any circumstances, be allowed to operate in Iraq.

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By ATC, do you mean all-terrain cycle? (I'm assuming you don't mean Air Training Command/Corps or Air Transport Command.)
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

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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 Enforcer Talen » 2008-03-25 01:46pm

tim31 wrote:Stuart: were you tempted at all to describe Yahweh besides being huge? Or did you simply consider it irrelevant?
Hes leaving us in suspense. Itll be some lovecraftian insectioid nightmare that chitters with its thousands mouths tho =D
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Post by Hawkwings » 2008-03-25 01:47pm

I assumed it meant Air Traffic Control.
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