Author Topic: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory  (Read 124 times)

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Offline Tytor

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Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
« on: May 23, 2021, 04:53:14 AM »
Part 1

Ashboro, New Jordan
Federal Republic of Centralia
May 16, 2021 - 9:53 AM


"...And as the Good Lord says, we are to turn the other cheek.  What does it profit us to gain revenge, satisfaction, or even - as the Lord asks - the whole world, and yet lose our souls?  He who sits on high does so because He is good, omniscient, and omnipotent.  He rules over all Creation because He created it.  We poor mortals who dwell here below do so only because He wills it.  He asks so little of us in return that it is hardly permissible for us to ignore His commands.  Let us remember the Lord for His goodness and praise Him forever.  Amen."

Nehemiah Godfrey finished his sermon and stepped back from the pulpit of the Ashboro Evangelical Christian Church's vast auditorium, arms outstretched over his head in a great "V" shape.  It was a good crowd; from his vantage point on the stage, Godfrey couldn't see any empty seat in the house, and the hall could hold almost ten thousand worshippers.  Add in the television cameras dotted around the building... well, he'd have to ask his ratings manager to know for sure, but he was confident this Sunday's sermon had reached a total audience of several million.  A nod from the sound technician off to the side of the stage told him the microphone attached to his lapel had been switched off, and he lowered his hands.  One benediction by a junior member of his clergy later, and he bounded offstage to his left.

"Well?" he barked at the ratings manager once he was safely out of earshot of the crowd that was filing out of the church.

"Preliminary reports say that this broadcast reached a little over seven million Centralians," the other man said, "You were brilliant, sir."

"Of course I was," Godfrey said dismissively, "Get me the exact numbers pronto.  And don't forget to include any foreign numbers, too.  Last week you forgot."

"Of course, sir," the ratings manager said, bowing himself out of the backstage foyer.

Nehemiah Godfrey was a household name all over Centralia.  Probably the finest televangelist who ever lived, if his staff was to be believed, Godfrey had been the pastor of Ashboro Evangelical for over two decades, but the cash kept flowing.  Godfrey was a big man - six foot seven, easily three hundred and fifty pounds, and built almost like a sumo wrestler - and he could command a stage without a second thought.  His charisma under the bright spotlight of the stage was as powerful as his bald head was shiny.  His following was especially strong in the northern part of the country, and he knew for a fact that old Lance Pullman, the Homeland Security Secretary, had referred to him on multiple occasions as "the most dangerous man in Centralia".  Godfrey was flattered, but he knew better than to take that seriously.  If his sources were to be believed, Pullman had far more dangerous enemies than a simple backwoods preacher, no matter how rich that preacher might be.  Godfrey chuckled to himself as he found his way to his office.  He settled his bulk into the chair behind the desk and closed his eyes for just a moment.  Preaching the Word to the world was hard work...

He awakened just over two hours later to a pounding on the door.  That was odd; his staff knew better than to treat the church's doors with such disrespect.  He got up, straightened his brilliant white suit, adjusted his bolo tie, and went to open the door.  Standing there, fist raised as if to give the door another pounding, was what was unmistakably once of Lance Pullman's goons: an officer with the Criminal Justice Bureau.

"You Nehemiah Godfrey?" the officer demanded.

"Who else would I be?" Godfrey responded coldly, "Tell me, what do you think you're doing in my church?"
His Majesty Michael the First, by the Grace of God, King of Tytor and her Colonies, and Lord Protector of Floodwater

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Offline Tytor

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Re: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2021, 09:41:36 PM »
Part 2

Undisclosed location
Federal Republic of Centralia
June 11, 2021 - 6:22 PM


"You can't do this to me!  You have no right!  I demand you release me at once!  Do you even know who I am?"

Godfrey could tell that his words were having no effect.  They echoed dismally in the hallway beyond the bars of his cell door.  The CJB had not told him for what charges he was being held, and he was quite sick of this clearly false imprisonment.  His white suit was now dingy and wrinkled after almost four weeks in custody, and he'd lost his bolo tie at some point during his arrest.  He could tell that he reeked of body odor, and his sparse gray hair was matted against the sides of his head.  He was already starting to lose hope of ever seeing his church and the flash of cameras ever again.  Disgusted at the lack of response, he turned away from the bars and started over to the cot in the back of the cell.  Suddenly, footsteps could be heard outside, and Godfrey turned around again.

"When has shouting ever accomplished anything?" asked the voice of Lance Pullman, Secretary of Homeland Security.

"With the Lord's help, shouting brought down the walls of Jericho," Godfrey retorted.

Pullman appeared in the doorway, framed by the iron bars keeping Godfrey in place.  "Ah, but this isn't Jericho, Mr. Godfrey," the smaller man said, a smirk paying on the corners of his mouth, "This is Centralia.  Around here, we do things more businesslike."

"The devil take your business," Godfrey spat, "What do you want with me?"

"Nothing," Pullman replied, "I'm perfectly happy to get absolutely nothing from holding you prisoner for the rest of your miserable life.  Unless..."

"If you're wanting me to collaborate with your miserable shadow dictatorship, then you can forget it," Godfrey interrupted, "I'd rather rot here than aid you."

"Very well," Pullman said coolly, "Enjoy rotting."

With that, Pullman left, and Godfrey deflated a bit.  If he could only get out, he would show them.  He would show them all.

Several hours passed.  Godfrey slept a bit; not much, though, because the cot was rather uncomfortable.  His expensive Rokkenjiman watch read 11:06 when there was a sudden commotion down the hall.  Shouting from the guards was suddenly cut off by a burst of gunfire.  Godfrey held his breath.  What was going on?  More footsteps, sporadic gunfire... this was all very unusual.

And then there was another man standing in the doorway, barely visible in the shadows.

"Stand back," the strange man said, fiddling with something on the door's lock.  Godfrey couldn't make it out, but he backed up all the same.

"Who are you?" Godfrey demanded of the stranger, "What do you want with me?"

"Oh, where are my manners?" the stranger replied in an accent Godfrey couldn't quite place, "I'm here to break you out of this CJB black site."  He finished whatever it was he was doing, stepped back, and pressed a button on a remote he had pulled out of his pocket.  The lock exploded, and the door swung open.

"But who are you?" Godfrey asked again.

"Surely you've realized by now?  I am Legion," said Emmanuel Sutherland.
His Majesty Michael the First, by the Grace of God, King of Tytor and her Colonies, and Lord Protector of Floodwater

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Offline Tytor

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Re: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2021, 12:31:01 AM »
Part 3

Blackburn, Idumea
Federal Republic of Centralia
August 21, 2021 - 11:46 PM


Emmanuel Sutherland.  The fugitive priest behind the 11/11 attacks in Tytor.  Godfrey still couldn't quite believe it, and he'd been holed up with his ragtag "Lord's Resistance Army" (a much better name, in Godfrey's opinion, than "Rapture") for more than two months now.  They'd been darting from town to town, hiding from the pervasive surveillance measures of Pullman and Homeland Security.  Now they were in Blackburn, population 800, deep in the backcountry of the State of Idumea.  That was one thing Godfrey appreciated about Centralia - there were so many place names of Biblical origin.  However, all the moving around begged the question: what exactly was Sutherland going to do with the fanatics under his command?  The terrorist leader didn't seem to know.  Heck, his liberation of Godfrey from the black site in Vandalia seemed to serve little discernable purpose in and of itself.  In all likelihood, the man was completely insane.

This was not a terribly happy thought, but Godfrey had experienced worse.  From what he'd seen the few times they'd had access to a television over the last couple months, it seemed his church had been shut down after his abduction.  It was a pity that the Word of the Lord was no longer going out to his flock, but more still that he was no longer dominating the televangelism circuit every weekend.  It was such a lucrative business, and one that gave him far more exposure to the public than almost anyone else in the country, except the president, and he was in Lance Pullman's pocket (the stupid, weak-willed idiot).

Godfrey sighed, gazing around at the walls of the dingy second-floor motel room he'd holed up in.  Sutherland was a few doors down, doing whatever it was he did at this time of night.  Sleeping, hopefully, since the LRA was due to leave town first thing tomorrow morning.  Godfrey sighed again, and stood up, vacating the spot on the bed where he'd been sitting.  No, Sutherland was either insane or incompetent, and that would never do.  The man had no chance of doing what had to be done to make a real change in Centralia.  But Godfrey did.

He went to the door of his room, unlocked it, and stepped outside.  The gold cufflinks on his freshly-laundered white suit sparkled in the flickering shine of the motel's exterior lighting, at least half of which really ought to be replaced.  Sutherland's room was easily identified, as it was the one with a pair of sentries posted out front.  Godfrey strode purposely toward them.

"Hold it, Mr. Godfrey," one of them said resolutely, "No visitors after 10:30."  The man had a rifle in his hands, a somewhat beat up EMRC R-8 which had long since seen better days, but he was holding it loosely.  His companion had an Austrana 941 handgun (doubtlessly stolen from somewhere abroad) in a holster on his hip, but otherwise seemed unarmed.

"No, it's okay," Godfrey lied soothingly, "He's expecting me."

"Sorry, sir, but rules are rules," the second sentry said, "'Less we hear it from the big man himself, we can't let you in."

"Ah, I see," Godfrey said, steeling himself for his next move, "A pity, really."

He lunged suddenly forward, seizing the startled first sentry, who was closer, by the front of his shirt.  His assault rifle clattered uselessly to the ground, and Godfrey flung him headlong over the railing into the parking lot below, where he landed with a sickening crunch and lay still.  Godfrey rounded on the second sentry, who seemed to reconsider his prior reluctance to cooperate and took his hand off his still-holstered pistol.

"Now," Godfrey said quietly, "Why don't you go see to your friend there?  Just hand me the key to this room and you can be on your way."

The remaining sentry nodded mutely, stuck his hand in his pocket, and pulled out the spare key Sutherland had given him earlier that evening.  Godfrey took it without comment and watched while the smaller man retreated downstairs to the ground level.  Then, after considering the discarded assault rifle for a moment, he unlocked the door and entered the room.

Sutherland woke up the moment Godfrey closed the door behind him with a snap.  "What do you think you're doing in here?" he demanded somewhat groggily, "I'll have those two idiots flogged for letting you in at this hour."

"Oh, there's no need for that," Godfrey replied smoothly, "I didn't exactly give them a choice."

"What are you talking about?" Sutherland asked slowly.

"They were not cooperative," Godfrey said, "I dealt with them accordingly."

Sutherland blinked, but said nothing, his mind evidently taking some time to process what he had just been told.

"You see, Reverend," Godfrey went on, putting a mocking stress on the title, "I've been doing some thinking.  You are not what this movement needs in a leader.  You are weak and incompetent, and too unwilling to use the resources available to you here in this country."  He paused for dramatic effect, but held up a hand to silence the terrorist as he started to argue indignantly.  "I'm not here for a discussion," Godfrey continued, "See, I've already made up my mind.  I merely wish for you to understand the reason why I am doing this.  The Lord's Resistance Army has a great future ahead of it, but not with you in charge, and as I cannot have you challenging my own leadership..."

Sutherland went white as Godfrey allowed the sentence to hang unfinished in the air between them.  The larger man grinned, and then moved forward, stretching out his hands for his erstwhile rescuer's mouth and throat.
His Majesty Michael the First, by the Grace of God, King of Tytor and her Colonies, and Lord Protector of Floodwater

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Former Vice Premier and Speaker of the Senate of the Independent Order
Professional Procrastinator

Non-partisan and proud of it

"A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire

Offline Tytor

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Re: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2021, 08:25:12 AM »
Part 4

Ashboro, New Jordan
Federal Republic of Centralia
September 13, 2021 - 2:14 PM


The huge church rose before Godfrey as the magnificent religious monument it was.  The windows and doors had been boarded up by the CJB agents who had abducted him almost four months ago, but it would take very little time to remove the temporary additions and refit the building as the LRA's new headquarters.  Godfrey smiled grimly to himself.  He could only hope that the CJB idiots hadn't damaged his television broadcasting equipment, because he was going to need it soon.

The Lord's Resistance Army had swelled in the weeks since the sudden, tragic death of Emmanuel Sutherland.  Poor leader as he may have been, he made an excellent martyr, and the official story was that he had died in his sleep after an attack by a government plant.  The one surviving guard from that night had been conveniently arrested on charges of embezzlement and executed two days later, so there was little reason to worry about the truth coming out.  Despite the rapid growth of the LRA, however, the government had not as of yet made any major move toward ending the threat Godfrey posed.  It was an oversight that he intended to make them regret, and for this purpose he had marched the vast majority of his followers into the city of Ashboro.

The first step had been the seizure of an army post a little ways outside of town, followed by the occupation of every police station in the city.  With the element of surprise on his side, this had given Godfrey access to all kinds of heavy weaponry and other equipment which he would never have had available to him with Sutherland still in charge.  The next step lay before him in the derelict church, and in the heads of a number of expert technicians and hackers who had joined the LRA over the course of its history.  Godfrey watched as his men ripped away the boards from the front door; it was time to act.

As it turned out, the CJB had not damaged the television equipment inside the building.  Godfrey supposed if they had there was doubtlessly a local CNTV station he could have requisitioned, but this was easier.  His followers had already ensured that the building had power, and it would likely take only an hour or two to prepare for his broadcast, hack into the nation's television and radio networks, and get everything ready for what was to come.  The minutes passed gradually, and Godfrey entertained himself by playing checkers with one of his lieutenants in his old office.  The other man wasn't very good.

Finally, it was time.  Godfrey strode onto the stage in the vacant auditorium, and his technicians ran a sound check.  Everything was working just fine, and the hack would begin the moment the cameras began rolling in earnest.  Godfrey cleared his throat noisily, and then, staring straight into the camera, he began.

"People of Centralia, many of you already know who I am.  I am not a stranger to primetime television in this country, though it is true that I have rarely broadcast from this auditorium on any day of the week except Sunday.  For those of you who are not familiar with me, I am Nehemiah Godfrey, pastor of the Ashboro Evangelical Christian Church until a few months ago, when I was abducted and imprisoned without charge by the Department of Homeland Security.  This nation's government has wronged me, as it has wronged many of you, and it is time for the corruption to end.

"I stand here today as the shepherd of a new flock, the Lord's Resistance Army.  We are, first and foremost, freedom fighters, struggling for the God-given rights and privileges we are denied under Lance Pullman's shadow regime.  We fight for the spiritual and temporal wellbeing of all Centralians, old and young, male and female, for all are children of God Almighty.

"The point, at last: today, the thirteenth day of the ninth month of the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty-One, marks the beginning of a crusade, a People's Crusade for the Liberation of Centralia.  The Lord Our God blesses those who follow Him, and so I can promise that all who follow Him in this great crusade, this holy war for the destruction of the godless bureaucrats and politicians in the blasphemously-named city of New Providence, will assuredly see His blessings.

"For mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, and He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.  He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword, and His truth is marching on.  Glory, glory!  Hallelujah!"

And with that, he bowed his head, and the broadcast cut off.
His Majesty Michael the First, by the Grace of God, King of Tytor and her Colonies, and Lord Protector of Floodwater

Factbook -- News -- Press Office

Former Governor-General of The Infinite Alliance
Former Ambassador to Albion and the Global Right Alliance
Former Vice Premier and Speaker of the Senate of the Independent Order
Professional Procrastinator

Non-partisan and proud of it

"A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire