by Mark Webb
I come to you, today, Lord Satan, to report on the progress of your
war on terrorism against this scourge called Christianity. I'm happy to
report that great progress in this war is being made. In fact, victory
is in sight! Now I know we've predicted that many times before, but this
time, we're certain. Before giving you an update on how things are
going, let me just briefly refresh your memory as to how all this terrorist
I'm sure I don't have to remind you, your Excellency, of how successful your coup attempt was back in the beginning, when we first seized power on this planet. The Enemy was routed. His assets were seized, and His servants became our captives and our willing slaves. And from one end of this planet to the other, for thousands of years, men bowed their knee to you and acknowledged your sovereignty. There was just one trouble spot– in the Middle East, of course– where there were a few who resisted your rule. Not much trouble, really. They didn't amount to much, with very few resources. They simply held on to an ancient rumor, a rumor of a counterattack that was to take place at some point. But as far as we could tell, it was nothing more than a rumor passed down from generation to generation, in that one little corner of the world. These people were backwards, behind the times, and, to be frank, quite pitiful and pathetic, fully under our control and our power. Nothing to worry about– so we thought.
But unknown to us, our enemy was preparing this very area as a landing zone for the insertion of one of their top terrorist agents. He slipped in behind our lines under the cover of night, unknown but to a few peasants and a few Persian magi who had stumbled over the information. Rumor has it that He is, in fact, the Son of our great Enemy Himself– their top Agent. And He came in a disguise. He came as one of ours, in the disguise of a man. It was an excellent disguise. In fact, it was so good that some think it was real.
For some thirty years He prepared for His mission. He lived incognito in the very midst of us, gathering intelligence, studying His terrorist manual, and disciplining Himself for the moment when He would come out of the shadows and execute His mission. Suddenly, this sleeper Agent emerged, and He began to disseminate His propaganda to any and to all who would listen. He began to roam the countryside committing senseless acts of kindness and compassion and mercy for no reason at all. At first, we didn't pay much attention to this agitator. The only ones listening to Him were the riffraff- the uneducated, people of no importance– so we just watched Him for a while. But as His influence began to grow, we felt it necessary condemn and criticize Him. We started running public service announcements, warning people of His terrorist activities.
Finally, as He grew more and more dangerous, a decision was reached at the highest levels to terminate Him– to take Him out, in a covert fashion. And our plan– if I might be permitted to say so– was sheer genius! We managed to slip one of our own into His closest circle of friends. At the appointed time, this infiltrator led us straight to Him. We used our influence to have Him judged and condemned. In fact, His judge was in our hip pocket. We manipulated His own people to call for His death. And the way He was terminated– so public, so painful, so humiliating! We were certain that this action would squelch any further agitation. And, best of all, there was no way it could be traced back to you Lord Satan.
But unknown to us, before He was liquidated, He organized and trained a terrorist cell group– just a handful of men, actually. We didn't know anything about it until almost two months later. Right in the middle of a holiday celebration this terrorist organization detonated a bomb in downtown Jerusalem that took three thousand of our people from us. Not content with that, a few days later two of their agents detonated another bomb on the very steps of the temple, this time destroying five thousand souls. It was clear that we had to act, and we had to act fast, quickly, decisively-before we lost control. At first, we thought that we could reason with them. Surely, they would come around to common sense, or maybe we could bribe them. But it soon became clear that we were dealing with a group of fanatics– radicals totally devoted to the cause of their Leader. Further, even though we had terminated Him, they claimed that He was in hiding, and that they were in secret contact with Him. Now I ask you, how deluded can people be? So we decided to come down upon them and to come down upon them hard. We went after their leadership. We killed some of them, but others took their place. We captured many, but many escaped. We scattered them, and, quite frankly, looking back, I'm not certain that was the best tactic! Wherever they went, they took their fanaticism with them. Soon they had cell groups established all across the planet. We tried to wipe them out, but oh, they're a dangerous and crafty lot! In fact, one of our most infamous days was when we sent one of our most modern weapons– the Saul II cruise missile, manufactured in Tarsus and programmed in Jerusalem– to wipe out a cell of them in the city of Damascus. And lo and behold, on the way, they hijacked him! And if that wasn't humiliating enough, they reprogrammed him and sent him back into Jerusalem! Attacked by one of our own weapons– can you imagine it? Can they sink lower?!
Now Lord Satan, it's always helpful to understand your Enemy, so we've spent quite a while analyzing His tactics. We have even infiltrated some of His cell groups. Here's what we have learned about their activities. They begin their week by gathering together and spouting their propaganda to one another, and brainwashing any innocent who happens to wander into their meeting. They constantly remind one another of the greatness of their Leader and of His exploits. They continually study His character and tactics. And they even try to communicate with Him– asking for His aid, asking for His supplies, and asking for His assistance in the war. They claim, in fact, that He's bankrolling the whole operation. And then they study His terrorist manual. They learn His ways, how to terrorize, how disrupt the good order and rule– your rule, Lord Satan, of the world around them. They conclude their meetings by resolving to be more like their Leader, and to devote themselves in the coming week to greater and greater acts of terrorism.
Now for the most part, they're quite harmless; not many rich, not many noble, not many mighty have joined up. But we have learned, Lord Satan, some very disturbing news. They have in their possession a weapon of mass destruction! No, it's not nuclear, nor chemical. It's this virus-like thing. They call it the "Gospel" virus. We're not sure where it came from, or how it was developed. In fact, some of our scientists have analyzed it carefully. They tell us that it's not of this world and probably alien in nature. We know we've never seen anything like it before. The terrorists claim that it was delivered to them by their Leader Himself and they have passed it down from generation to generation. What we do know is this: it is a very virulent strain of virus– deadly, deadly stuff. It can be contracted in two forms. First, it can be contracted in the cutaneous, or skin form. Now that form is nothing to worry about. In fact, it's very easily treated. We have a whole regimen of drugs from which to choose– wealth, pleasure, persecution- that will completely cure this skin form. But there is a more deadly form: the inhalation form. If, perchance, this virus is breathed in deeply, it lodges in the internal organs, primarily the heart. And when it does, it's one hundred per cent fatal. There is no known antidote!
Their most effective tactic is to spread this virus by any and every means possible: in letters, in the pages of books, in the windings of tapes, and especially at their meetings. In fact, at their meetings, they seem to delight in tossing these infectious spores into the atmosphere where they can be inhaled. I'm sad to report that we've lost a number of our agents who infiltrated their group. They apparently breathed in the virus, became infected, and were lost to our cause.
It's a fearful weapon, Lord Satan, but our battle against it is going very, very well. In some places, we've been able to disinfect the entire landscape of any trace of this virus. To combat other cases, our scientists have been able to genetically modify the "Gospel" virus, turning it into a harmless type. And most amazingly, we've been able to convince some of these terrorists that this modified type is, in fact, more refined and more deadly than the old stuff! Many of them no longer spread the deadly form at all! Among others, we've convinced them that they no longer need the virus. They've swallowed our propaganda hook, line and sinker! We've deceived them into believing that they in themselves are more than capable for the task they face, and they no longer attempt any communication with their Leader. To our great surprise, we've found them quite susceptible to the idea that they have all the resources needed in waging this campaign to cast off your rule. But, as always, Lord Satan, there is a hard core element in this movement– radicals who refuse to be swayed by logic and common sense. They're fanatical, unreasonable, and, shall we say it, suicidal– willing to lay down their lives in the cause of their Leader and their Master. My advice, Lord Satan, is to hunt them down, smoke them out, get them on the run, and annihilate them, and then total, complete and final victory will be ours.
Unless, of course, their Leader turns up again!