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Christo-Islamic War


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Scene:  Let He Who Is Without Sin...

General Thomas Smith strolled through the tents of his encampment. It was rare he could just relax like this, because there was paperwork, or an emergency, it was almost never quiet on the African front.

He stopped when he heard something faintly in the treeline. He squinted and was almost sure he saw firelight and whispered," Hecate?"

He purposefully ambled over to the treeline, hoping no one would spot him at this late hour, and almost smiled at what he found. Hidden within the ranks of his "Christian Army" were a group of Pagans.

He stood there behind a tree watching silently, not wishing to interfere, but still intrigued all the same. They had just finished when a great deal of snapping twigs and dried underbrush caught his attention. At the edge of the clearing there was a group of fifty or more of his soldiers, some wielding heavy branches, some rocks. Their intent was clear.

"What do you want," asked the High Priestess.

"The Bible tells us to not suffer a witch to live," said the apparent leader of the mob.

Despite the pleading of the Pagans the group continued to advance. General Smith shook his head in disgust and sprinted from his hiding place to put himself between the Pagans and the mob.

"General Smith sir," said the man leading the mob surprised," What are you doing here? Are you going to help us?"

"I'm here to make sure you don't kill these people," replied the Christian General coldly.

"But sir, we're here to carry out Biblical mandate! You don't outrank God's Word sir, if need be we'll kill you too!"

General Smith shook his head sadly," The Bible says to hate the sin, not the sinner."

The Pagans seemed to take a little offense, but said nothing. They were not about to stop the man keeping them from death.

Smith bent down and drew a line in the dirt with his finger, then drew the slightly curved sword that had become a symbol of both him, and of the Christian Army in Africa," I will fight you to keep you from comitting a horrible act. But, as Jesus said to those who would stone the prostitute, I say to you 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone'."

For a long moment no one moved, and one man scurried forward about to throw a stone that would kill a person if it hit the head. That was when General Smith spoke again," And I will warn you, the first one to cast a stone will be killed before he can flee."

The man ceased his scurrying and slowly the mob dispersed. The High Priestess gave a small bow before Smith," General Smith, thank you from saving us from their murderous intent."

Smith's gaze flickered," You're welcome, but I did so to give you another chance at repentance with Jehovah, the God of the Bible."

Leaving the thankful, yet miffed Pagans behind, he continued his stroll and sheathed the sword.

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A/N:  Sure just go quote the man who started the Crusades... :)


Scene: Last Confession

"Forgive me Father for I am non-denominational," said the General quietly.

"No one is perfect Thomas," said the chaplain wryly," Now are you here to bother me, or are you here to actually confess for once?"

"I've come to confess in a sense Father," replied Thomas Smith, feeling exhaustion going through his body.  It had been a hard five years.

"Then go on," said the chaplain, his demeanor becoming serious.

"Operation Masada," whispered Thomas Smith, eyes downcast," What do you know of Masada, Father?"

"According to Josephus," replied the chaplain, recalling his seminary history class," The Jews faced Romans overrunning them, but a group held out at Masada.  They beat back the Romans continually, until finally Jew slave labor was used to build a ramp to the fortress...the Jews refused to kill the slaves.  Before the fortress could fall they cast lots, and killed one another, the final one committing suicide."

"Indeed," said General Smith," And when Israel was formed in 1948 it declared Masada would not fall again.  But it did fall, to the Islamic League...and soon it will again, to us."

"Thomas," probed the chaplain quizzically.

"Operation Masada will end the war," replied Thomas Smith, eyes firmly planted towards the floor," It will be the largest combined forces assault of history.  We're going to take back Israel and use it as a stepping stone to drive through to Mecca.

"However, before all is done, millions will lay dead, on both sides."

"Yet to end the war is a noble cause," argued the chaplain.

"Yes," said Smith, a tear falling to the dirt floor," But the war is over already Father.  I've been meeting in secret with General Suhail Akbar for years now.  We've negotiated the treaty already, and convinced our counterparts around the world to lay down their arms at the exact same time.  These millions of lives are being thrown away to make it appear a bloody stalemate has forced our hands to the treaty...otherwise it would not be accepted."

"Thomas," said the chaplain, his voice barely above a whisper," Do you realize you've condemned millions to die for an act?"

"Yes Father," he replied," But I ran this by the Pope, and the various world leaders who give troops to the Christian Armies...they all back the plan.  Goodbye Father, thank you for listening to me...for when we next see each other, this war will be over with the signing of the treaty in Jerusalem."

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Scene:  After Coup Press Conference

"We've secured the perimeter general," said the special operations officer.

"Good," murmurred General Smith," How many did you find alive?"

"Only a few members of the Conclave of Cardinals, and the Pope," replied the soldier, nervous to be the bearer of such bad news.

"Good," he replied numbly, staring at the bloodstained granite around him," I suppose the Pope is too traumatized to do a press conference?"

"Yes general," replied the soldier quietly.

"Then I will," said General Smith strolling towards the balcony.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the press," General Smith bellowed," we're having problems with the electricity still, so you'll have to be quiet to hear me.

"At approximately 0400 hours one week ago, Cardinal Nachtman siezed control of the Vatican by force.  During that week's time he tried to get field commanders to follow his orders, and deploy nuclear weapons against both Christian and Muslim nations.

"We could not allow this to happen.  I turned to General Suhail Akbar of the Islamic League, and even travelled to Mecca to state my case with the Caliphate.  They agreed with me that it was in everyone's best interest for Cardinal Nachtman to go.

"The Caliphate loaned a dozen helicopters with Islamic Alliance pilots and took myself and a large number of Christian Special Forces here to Italy.

"Upon arriving we termined Nachtman's forces.  We captured Cardinal Nachtman, freed the Pope, and freed the remnants of the Conclave of Cardinals.  Any questions?"

"General Smith, how do you respond to the allegations that you're a traitor to Christendom," asked a Fox News reporter.

"I'm not, next?"

"Is this a new era of Christian/Muslim relations," asked the IRNA reporter.

"We can hope."

"Is it true you threatened the crown Prince of Britain," asked a BBC reporter challengingly.

"His Highness was wielding a beer bottle against me at the time, he's lucky I only threatened to harm him," said Smith, any other questions?"

"Is it true you hate Communists," shouted another.

General Smith blinked, this wasn't a press conference, this was a circus.  He'd rather be facing down an armored brigade than these people.  He leaned against the podium, this was going to be a long hour.

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Scene:  Another Side, Another Frustrated General

General Suhail Akbar took time to wonder what Allah's Will was in this war.  He had just returned from a meeting with his Christian counterpart on this dark continent, and was feeling frustrated.

He had to kill an intelligence operative on the way back, who tried to put him under arrest for trumped up charges of treason.  He didn't admit it to any of his commanders, but he always felt remorse for killing, even in self defense.

He looked out on the sands and spoke," Speak your mind Sheikh Khaleid."

"General Akbar," said the Sheikh warily," There are some who feel you can no longer handle the stress of this war."

"I can Sheikh," Suhail Akbar replied," And rest assured I can carry out the orders I recieved."

"What orders," asked the Sheikh, knowing the answer already.

"The same you had delivered to you via courrier last night," replied Suhail Akbar," We are to assemble the Muslim Armies of Africa, and we are to strike directly at the Central African Command.  We will wipe out my counter-part and his battle hardened troops through sheer numbers."

"Inshallah," whispered the Sheikh.

"If God wills it," nodded the famous Muslim General.

The Sheikh left without another word, leaving Suhail Akbar to his guilt.  Within the next month he would undoubtedly send, at the least, tens of thousands to their deaths, and kill, at the least, thousands of others with his armies. 

The loudspeaker came on with the call to evening prayer and Suhail Akbar knelt in the direction of Mecca, and began to fervently pray to Allah to show him what had to be done.

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Scene:  Beginnings

"General Akbar," said an Imam," I bear word from Mecca..."

"I'm assembling them," said the Muslim General who had taken Israel in the short war between the Islamic League and the Jews.

"Then you know," asked the Imam.

"Of course," replied Akbar staring across the sands, as if seeing his enemy already," It was only a matter of time."


"General Smith," said a flustered Major," This fax just came for you from Vatican City."

Smith took it and scowled," Have the embedded reporters meet on the front trenchlines, I have an announcement."

"Did the Pope die sir," asked the Major nervous.

"I wish," Smith said, then realizing what he had said he ammended," Just some morbid humor kid, no the Islamic League has just committed the thing I hoped against."

He walked away, and in ten minutes found himself at the trenches with the young Major handing him another form.

"May I have your attention," he said to the cameras," By now most of your networks are covering the news I just recieved.  The Islamic League has begun cruise missile strikes against London, Ploesti, Washington D.C., New York City, Atlanta, Rio Di Jenero, Rome, Athens, and Seville.  These appear to be acts of agression, an undeclared war.

"They are not.  I'm holding in my hands a Declaration of War by the Islamic League, saying we are a risk to the survival of Islam.  This war has begun...and all I can offer is a paraphrase of what General Eisenhower told his troops on D-Day 'You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade...'

"May Almighty God help us in this, the darkest time of our modern history."


General Suhail Akbar watched the proclamation from his War Room in Cairo.  This one would be interesting to fight against if he fought as well as he rallied the crowds.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scene:  The Deal


The bar was full of smoke and the smell of alcohol illegal in Muslim nations.  Thomas Smith made his way to the corner booth shrouded in darkness knowing his counterpart was waiting.

He sat quickly, and noticed a small note on the seat beside him that said Today we will be watched.

"Why did you call me here," asked Thomas Smith, the suspicious edge to his voice not entirely faked.

"For a deal General Smith," said Suhail Akbar, signalling not to be informal.

"What deal," Smith asked, playing along.

"We want our defectors back," Suhail Akbar replied gruffly.

"And would you give me someone in exchange," asked Smith, hoping he finally had them agreeing to his demand.

"Four thousand Christians in concentration camps in Arabia," replied Suhail Akbar cooly," But you must deliver the defectors personally to the peninsula alone."

"It sounds like a trap," said Thomas Smith, eyes narrowing.

"Perhaps it is," Suhail Akbar replied," But for four thousand lives aren't you willing to risk it?"

"Yes," replied Smith," when?"

Suhail Akbar's eyes seemed to follow the room before he quietly said," Our watchers have gone.  You will be ambushed, but not by my troops here in Africa.  They will ambush you and your convoy of civilians in Arabia with the most elite soldiers we have...are your sure you want to do this?"

"I have no choice my friend," said Smith rising from his seat," Besides, after this you know the war will spiral towards the end we have planned."

"Unfortunately," whispered Suhail Akbar as his counterpart left.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scene:  Coventry

The young Major looked over at General Smith, his superior seemed disturbed.  He moved over and asked quietly," Is something wrong sir?"

"Coventry," said Smith," I was just thinking of Coventry in World War Two."

"What about it sir?"

"Churchill had a decision to make Major.  The Allies had broken the Enigma Code, and they intercepted a transmission that the town of Coventry would be completely destroyed.  He had to make the choice of evacuating the city and letting the Nazis know the code was broken, or not evacuating the city and letting it be destroyed."

"What did he do?"

"Churchill let Coventry be destroyed.  I watched old newsreels of him later walking through the ruins...the look in his eyes...if anything comes up I'll be in my office."

With that General Smith briskly walked from the room.  The Major frowned, and hours passed.  He turned the command center's television to a news station, allowing the men and women to take a break since things were relatively calm for once.

"We're still not sure what has happened," said the anchor, flames and ruined skyscrapers in the background," but initial estimates place over one million dead here."

The Major's eyes widened in shock and one word shot through his mind...Coventry.  Without a word to the others, or paying attention to the hum of conversation he bolted for General Smith's office.

Without knocking he stormed in to find the General watching television, a glass of water in his hand. 

"You knew," yelled the Major accusingly.

"Coventry," said Smith sadly," Sacrifices must be made for the greater good."

"And what good is that," bit the Major, and then he sarcastically added," Sir."

"I traded millions of lives for billions," said Smith," If the Islamic League knew the codes had been broken...the war could drag on even longer than it currently will."

"That's no excuse," said the Major hissing.

"It isn't an excuse, it is fact," said Smith coldly," Now leave, and send in the defector Ahmid Khaleid...there is one more sacrifice to be made."

"Sir," said the Major sharply with a look that could kill.  He sent in the defector and closed the door.  As he walked away he heard a single gunshot and a body hitting the floor.

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Scene: On the beaches of Normandy

It was night, and the celebrations and rememberances of most had ended.  The full moon hung high overhead, providing the only illumination.

Thomas Smith, recently ex-General of the Christian Armies stood with the waves washing over his toes as he walked the beach. 

"Hello my friend," said Suhail Akbar, walking alongside him.

"Suhail," replied Smith," I was expecting you."

"You knew I would come," asked Suhail Akbar.

"That," replied Smith," and I used what clout I had left to have them not kill you as soon as you landed in France.  You're movements have been tracked from the southern coast to here."

"Oh," replied the Muslim General disturbed," I came to speak with you of important things Thomas."

"Suhail," replied Smith," I am no longer a General.  I've given that life up, as I told the Pope after the Caliphate ordered the gassing of my army in Africa while I was in Vatican City."

"I don't believe you my freind," said Suhail Akbar," I was the one who found your handiwork.  You rammed through Colonel Omar on his scimitar and wrote on the walls in his blood 'Vengeance shall flow like a river upon the desert lands of Allah'..."

"Perhaps I did," said Smith," but it was an act as a private citizen."

They continued along for several minutes before Suhail spoke," I know you're forming an independent volunteer army outside Papal control, or American Theocratic control."

"Perhaps," said Smith," I can't let Operation Masada fail so close to completion..."

Smith stopped, and Suhail also did.  Smith lowered his head, looking down at the sand between them.

"What is wrong my friend," asked Suhail Akbar quietly.

"It was here," said Thomas Smith, voice cracking," This was where my Grandfather died sixty-seven years ago."

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Scene:  Gabriel

The troops were celebrating after the battle, champagne and beer were flowing at the great success over the overwhelming enemy army.  That was when It appeared in all of Its glory.

The men and women began to bow down and praise it, but General Smith shouted," Stop worshipping this freakish abomination."

Many were stunned into silence at that, unsure why he would call such a glorious being an abomination.  Many were becoming angry.

"Thomas," said Gabriel," It's been quite a while.  You went by Timothy then."

"Gabriel," said the General, his eyes narrowing.

"It isn't every human that dies and gets ressurected with the Divine Spark," the angel went on.

"Gabriel," said Thomas again, his voice gaining a warning edge.

"Do your soldiers know about your stint at the Vatican with Servi Di Cielo," asked Gabriel.


"Your lover, she hated you and your God with her dying breath, did you know that?"

"Gabriel," said Thomas Smith," Why have you come here?  You are not welcome here.  You are unwelcome anywhere that embraces the Lord, for you fell and created Islam."

"I am welcome where I please," motioned Gabriel to the army," for the weak minded are easily swayed."

"Really Gabriel," mused Thomas Smith as another creature of light appeared at his side," Let me reintroduce you to someone.  This is Lucifer, also known as Satan."

The fallen angel was silent, and Thomas Smith continued," You see Gabriel, Satan feels threatened by you, and God wants to punish you further.  So, they decided to let me handle you...weaken you when you finally appeared here, so that you'll be weak enough to never escape from the depths of Hell."

Lucifer smiled and disappeared, but Gabriel's eyes blazed with fire.  Indeed a pillar of fire descended from the sky towards the army, but an ethereal wing spread over them, and absorbed the fire with ease.

"I can destroy you all in the blink of an eye," roared Gabriel in anger.

"Go ahead and try," motioned Smith with a hand.

Gabriel blinked, but nothing happened.  He tried again, and nothing happened.  All that was happening was that he was wasting his energy.

Gabriel drew a sword of fire from his robes and brought it down at Smith, who merely allowed an ethereal wing to block the swing.  This happened twenty-seven more times before Gabriel roared in frustration and began to pepper the ethereal wings covering the area with fireball after fireball.

"Please Lord, don't let me screw this up," murmurred Smith," let your will be done, no matter the outcome."

Thomas Smith fell to his knees, and the ethereal wing above him disappeared.  Gabriel was quick to take advantage of this, and landed beside him, flaming sword held to his neck.

"Now you die and stay dead human," said the fallen archangel.

"Do I Gabriel," asked Thomas Smith, bringing a palmful of dirt into the face of his nemesis.  The dirt fell quickly, but a corruption of oil like substance began to stretch across the Fallen Archangel, changing him.  His wings, all six, became twisted and batlike, his eyes took on the appearance of a feline predator.

"What have you done," hissed the Fallen Archangel.

"I have done nothing," said Smith," for I am merely a tool of God.  He, on the other hand, has given you a form to match your soul.  Now...in the name of Yeshua, the Christ, I strip you of your powers and sentence you to an eternity in depths of Hell...Lucifer will be happy to see you.  You betrayed God, you betrayed Satan, you betrayed Humanity...you are nothing but a coward with delusions of granduer."

With a nearly soul rending scream the Fallen Archangel disappeared from view, leaving an army wondering where the being of light they had been on the scene a second ago had gone.  As for Thomas Smith, he was rather happy the way things worked out when one applied the physics of Heaven and Hell to the battle.  Everything had happened in the space of half a second in the world's time.

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Scene:  Watching My Funeral

The man clicked the television to CNN with interest.

"We have breaking news," said the anchor gravely," Thomas Smith, leader of the Christian Armies in Africa, and later the Supreme Commander of all Christian Forces in the Christo-Islamic War, as well as Supreme Commander in the Abrahamic-Chinese War, has died today at the age of one hundred and seven according to Vatican officials."

The man grunted as the anchor continued," Smith was well known for not asking his soldiers to do anything he would not do himself, and was found more frequently fighting on the front lines than directing from the rear."

A few hours later the man changed it to another station.

"We're now talking with Robert Feinstein," said a correspondent," he was a young man at the time of the Christo-Islamic War, and worked burial duties in Israel after the treaty was signed.  You said you had a very vivid memory of him when he came by your site one night?"

"Yes," croaked the now old Robert Feinstein," I was digging the graves when I saw a hand grab a shovel beside my dinner pail.  It was General Smith, still in dress uniform from signing the treaty.  He started making small talk with me, and helped dig the graves, and move the bodies in.  I was amazed that he was willing to lower himself to my level, and told him so.  Do you know what he said to me?"

"No," the correspondent replied," What did he say?"

"He told me, 'We are all children of God, none of us is any greater than any other.  Why should I not help bury the dead, for you and I are equal in the eyes of the Lord'," said the old man his memory of the event perfect.

"That goes along with many other reports that he considered himself a common man, caught up in extraordinary events," said the correspondent.

"He did," replied Robert Feinstein," In fact he told me at one point as we moved the bodies 'I would have been happy to just grow up and teach history.  Taking so many lives, and to have so many lost under my command is nothing I ever wanted growing up.'"

"I don't think any of us ever grows up wanting to take lives," said the correspondent morosely.

"No," agreed the now old Robert Feinstein," No one in his right mind does."

The man turned the television once again, to yet another news station.

"We have word that his last Confession was to the Pope, and that His Holiness gave him the Last Rites personally," said the anchor.

The man chuckled and turned to his friend," You gave me the Last Rites and I confessed?  I'm not even Catholic!"

"We needed good publicity," Pope John Paul IV replied," I didn't think you would mind."

"No, I don't," replied Thomas Smith, turning the television off with the remote," If you save but one soul the lie will be worth it.  But do you know how strange it is to watch your own funeral coverage, and having not aged a day since the footage shown?"

"Quite," said the Pope," I'm quite sure it is unsettling."

"And humorous in a way," said Thomas Smith," They've neglected to show those protestors that tried to kill me after I was acquitted at the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague."

"I noticed," replied the Pope with a smile.

"Oh well," said Smith, sipping a water glass," just remember, I will only pick up a weapon to defend this place, not to lead an army ever again...at least not until the proper time."

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Scene:  Gang War

"You're certain you can end the Manhattan Gang Wars," asked General Smith to the man standing before him.

"Yes," said the man," I can handle a few street punk chaps easily enough."

"They aren't your average punks," said Thomas Smith, looking through a file," These are dangerous, organized, and very deadly.  These are the boys who took down the major mafias in Manhattan.  They drove out the Triad, the Yakuza...they even frightened the Russian Mafia into pulling out."

"And why do we give a bloody care," asked the man," Just a bunch of criminals still."

"Muslim criminals," said Smith leaning forward," Mostly criminals.  Intel agents mixed in.  They control America's underworld, they can undermine the theocracy.  We can't lose American support, because a domino effect would be right after."

"I'll handle them," said the man," me and my boys will take them out."


The warehouse district was silent.  At least on the outside of the dilapidated wooden and steel structures.

On the inside, however, was a hub of activity.  Weapons were being unpacked from crates.  Handguns, rifles, ammunition, grenades...there was enough small arms to supply an army of small time mobsters.

Several pairs of eyes watched the windows at the top of the old building, and there were two guards on the roof already.  Everyone stopped when they thought they heard a thud, and looked up just in time to have the glass shatter and rain down.

Several fell clutching their eyes as glass impaled in them, and the rest were left blind and deaf from the flashbangs that came through the windows next.  Silent pops sang through the night, downing one gunrunner after another, until there was one.

He had been in the bathroom when the attack hit, and was now cowering as two men held him.  The man from Smith's office approached him," Who do you work for?"

"I ain't tellin' you nothin'," said the man, trying to act brave.

The man from Smith's office pulled out a pistol and switched off the safety.  He aimed low and fired off one shot, blowing away the man's kneecap," Wrong answer.  Who do you work for?"

The gunrunner was clenching his teeth, lucky to have such a high threshold for pain," Muqtada Hassim..."

"Good boy," said the man from Smith's office, then he placed a single bullet between the gunrunner's eyes," Did the other warehouses fall as easy as this one?"

"Yes sir Major Granby," replied one of the men holding the final body.

"Then let's go pay Mr. Hassim a visit," said Granby with a devilish smile.


When the group arrived at Hassim's headquarters skyscraper they were rather amazed to find a firefight already going on.  Cars were in flames and being fired from behind as the remnants of New York's crime families and foreign mafias launched a desperate bid to hold onto their power and not fall to the new order.

"This makes things easier," said Granby," We'll head up neighboring building, grapple over from there to the office."

They ran in the entrance of a side building, glass shattering as some of Hassim's defenders took some potshots at them.  They were, after all, easier targets than the crime families behind cars.

Two men with AKMS rifles stood at the roof of the side building as Granby's men came through the doors. The first fell as a bullet took him in the throat.  The second fired briefly, taking down one of Major Granby's men, but soon was cut down himself by five separate pistol rounds entering his head.

The grappling hooks were readied as two RPGs shattered the plexiglass windows of the penthouse suite in Hassim's building.  They shot the grapple lines across and got out the cords.  With a deep breathe Granby and his men slid down and into the penthouse.

The first thing to greet them was the plush couch exploding in a hail of gunfire from the two bodyguards.  Within seconds most of Granby's team was down.  Within a few more he was the only one left.

He rose and fired off five shots, three of them splashing across the head and neck of the first bodyguard.  The other bodyguard's AKMS blast took Granby down, but as the life drained out of him the door exploded inward with the arrival of the old mafias and gangs.

Don Folio of the New York Families, and Done Kraskovia of the Russian Mafia each grabbed one of Hassim's arms and drug him to the window.  Then they pitched him out and shook hands.


"We've lost Granby sir," said a young aide.

"That was almost to be expected," said Smith with regret," What of Don Folio, has he taken charge?"

"He and a Russian Don," replied the aid sourly.

"Good," replied Smith," Folio is a good Catholic.  He'll keep the Russians in line, and the Muslim underworld from taking our own..."

"He's working for us sir," asked the aid perplexed.

"In a manner of speaking," Smith chuckled, taking a small sip from a water bottle," He likes his eternal soul, and believes that keeping on the Church's good side will help it.  He's still going to commit crimes, but he won't let other criminals in."

"Sir," asked the aid," one last question?"

"Go ahead," Smith motioned with one hand, as he made a note with the other.

"Why is the Supreme Commander of the African Front involved in our intelligence operations in America?"

"Because the Pope trusts me to deal with my home country far better than he trusts Cardinal Nachtman," said Smith with amusement.

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Scene:  By the Dead

"I'm dying," said the young soldier, his eyes welling with unspent tears.

Thomas Smith looked at the young man's injuries, knowing that he could repair them, but it would be out of selfish desire to save a single life and deny what the Lord intended this day," Yes, you're dying.  I'm sorry..."

"But," the young soldier coughed, some blood falling to the ground beside him," But I have so much left to do."

Smith scowled," You remind me of myself when I faced my death."

"But you lived," gasped the soldier, his body racked in agony.

"No I didn't," said Smith," I died.  I saw Heaven and was given the choice...to stay in God's love, or to come back to a Living Hell and make a difference."

"Tall tale sir," said the young soldier grinning through the pain," Thanks for trying to make me feel better."

"Not a lie," said Smith, eyes almost glazed over in memory," Every day on Earth is an agony beyond description.  I know what Hell feels like, for every mortal day is in pain from separation of God's love.  I'm immortal now, and can do miracles in the name of God...but I can't feel him.  It is desolation, but the thought of one day going to Heaven for eternity and feeling that love again keeps me going."

"S...," the young soldier started to say before the unmistakable sound of a death gurgle siezed him.

"Go in peace," said General Thomas Smith to the corpse, closing the eyes with his hand," May we meet again one day, in God's presence, where no darkness may fall."

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Scene:  I Regret To Inform You

He sat his desk, his head buried deep in his hands, trying to calm the throbbing ache that had consumed it.  How did he let it happen?  Well he knew how, he had treated him like every other soldier under his command. 

General Thomas Smith slowly picked up his pen and began to write: Dear.  Then there was a soft knock at the door, and he knew who it would be," Enter."

A grizzled officer missing one eye came in and stood stiffly at attention, wearing both his medals and scars with pride," I'm here for authorization to take the letters of the deceased to the mail drop sir."

"In a minute Seargant," Thomas Smith said, his eyes seeming to pierce through the gruff man, making him seem like a bug stuck in a cage beneath the eyes of a classroom.

"Yes sir," said Seargant quickly, and even faster exited the room and shut the door.

Thomas Smith sighed, and started again:

Dear Uncle Dillon,

I regret to inform you of the death of your only child today, May 17, 2009.  He died in not some frantic battle, but because he was on a routine patrol that was ambushed.  From the lack of shell casings at the site and the full supply of chambered rounds, we believe they never even knew they were taking...

He stopped.  He couldn't inform his uncle like this.  He shouted through the door "Carry on to the mail room Seargant" and then moved to the phone.  He punched in his code for international calls, then specified he'd be calling an unencrypted line.  Thus began the rings...as the first passed he was beginning to allow the dread to subside, but as the second ring was half through, someone picked up," Hello?"

Thomas Smith's throat ran dry, and he croaked out in a cracked voice," Hi Uncle..."

"Oh Timot...Thomas now, sorry.  How are you," came the jovial voice of his uncle clearly.

"I'm...not well...Uncle," said Thomas, sweat breaking out across his brow.  He hadn't been broken down like this since he had seen the Muslim family that had given him shelter die in a Christian airstrike, mere moments after he had exited their home.

"Well that's too bad," observed his Uncle Dillon with a tone of regret in his jovial voice," Just have your cousin start annoying you.  Bust him down a few ranks and he'll get angry enough to lift your mood!"

That was when the, arguably, most feared man in the world vomitted into his trash can.  It lasted over a minute, with his Uncle sounding frantic on the phone, shouting something about 'go to the hospital tent' and 'what's wrong boy'.

Thomas's chest heaved after, and with a shaking hand he brought the reciever to his mouth once again," I...I'm...sorry Uncle.  It's...it's not me.  I...I...I regr...regret to...inform...inform you, of..."

He swallowed a deep breath of air and willed himself to not stutter," of the death of your son, today..."

The moan that carried over the phone was like that of a werewolf on the hunt, but Thomas knew what it was.  It was the howl of a man whose world had been taken from him, and Thomas Smith willed himself still.  It took all of his willpower, but he was still.

The tears began to form at his eyes, but he blinked a good dozen or so times to clear them.  He could not allow himself to fall apart with his uncle, one of them had to remain strong. 

"I'm sorry uncle," said Thomas Smith quietly, his voice not wavering and cracking as it had been," I'll see if I can get leave for the funeral...goodbye."

With that he threw the phone against the wall, not caring the noise could be heard outside his office.  He sat at his desk and let the tears finally come.

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Scene:  Officially, no.

"Sir, Private Jenkins reporting Sir," said the young tan man standing at attention before the desk.

"At ease Private," said Thomas Smith, glancing up from his notepad," You wanted to speak to me about something you deemed...urgent?"

"Yes Sir," said Jenkins," It's about the Italian hostage being held by guerillas in our territory."

"Pity," said Smith," You're point?"

"Sir shouldn't we rescue him," asked the Private.

"I can't spare the troops."

"But Sir..."

"Don't 'but Sir' me Private," snapped Smith," I'd send out a team if I could."

"Yes Sir," said Private Jenkins through clenched teeth.

"Dismissed," said Smith, looking down again at the notepad, writing something.

"Sir," he said, walking back towards the door, his hand on the knob.

"Private," said Smith," one last thing."

"Yes Sir," replied Private Jenkins, his eyes narrowing.

"If you were to go AWOL, and take a team of Italian soldiers that would be willing to desert for their countryman...I couldn't sprare the soldiers to stop you," hinted Smith, looking up from the notepad," And with all the good publicity if the rescue went well, I believe I could overlook the offense."

"Yes Sir," replied Private Jenkins, leaving with a smile.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scene:  Documentary

Mr. Jones stood at the podium gripping it as the documentary continued to play in the darkened room.  The images onscreen were things he could remember.

"The European front was largley fought with impersonal tanks and aircraft," said the Documentarian," but the African front was known to be the most personal.  Islamic League forces frequently used human waves to attack hardened Christian positions..."

Jones cringed, hoping no student saw his reaction.  He could remember...the pyramids at Giza, along the banks of the Nile River.  Tens of thousands of enemy troops pouring in from the south, hoping to block his advance down and across Egypt before reaching the Suez.  The fighting had been intense, and nearly forty thousand had died that day.  The sands and the Nile itself had run red with blood.

"The most supernatural," the documentarian said with scorn," events also occurred in Africa.  Reports of Vampires, Angels, Demons, Dragons, and other creatures ran rampant during the time the Christian Army went on the offensive."

Gabriel, Lillith, Arkamoth, Athena, Necrus, Ra, Yu, Ilsithani, Moroni...Jones began to name them off in his mind, but realized it would seem he was going into daydreams if he continued doing so.

"General Smith was often referred to by most of his armies as Angelo della morte or in English, The Angel of Death," continued the documentarian," For his often bloody role in the forefront of the fighting."

Blood, everywhere.  Blood.  So much blood he could drown in it.  His hands were coverred.  He could relive the battles that had made him both famous and infamous.

That was when he became aware of a click of a gun safety being taken off, and spun to face his classroom.  He was shocked to see a student had pulled out a glock, and even more shocked he hadn't noticed it on the student before.

"Put down the weapon Michael," said Mr. Jones calmly.

"No," shouted the distraught youth," You don't understand!  I can't watch this!  My pop didn't come back from Africa.  I'd rather end it here than watch more, it hurts too much."

"You think it doesn't hurt me," asked Mr. Jones quietly," I lived through some of the fiercest battles of the war.  I was there at the Battles of Giza, Suez, Jerusalem, and the Nile Delta.  I was there when we lost a thousand men in an ambush in the Sinai..."

That's when the teen's finger moved towards the trigger," Shut...up...about the Sinai..."

"Fine," said Jones," I will...let's just let the rest of the students go..."

Jones really hadn't realized it, so focussed he had been on the young man with the gun, but the rest of the students were crying, or yelling, or swearing obscenities.

"Fine," said the kid," Get outta here, all you raghead lovers!"

The students didn't have to be told twice, and quickly ran.  Jones looked to the young man before him," Put down the gun Michael, we can end this peacefully before the SWAT team gets here.  We don't have to end this with you getting hurt."

"I'm not gonna be the one hurtin old man," said the distraught youth, his finger finally reaching the trigger.  Jones ducked as he saw the finger begin to twitch, and was lucky to have the bullet arch over his shoulder, shredding a bit of his coat.  He rose up before the teen, stunned by his own actions, could react.  He used his left hand to grab the gun away, and the right to use his palm to push the chest of the young man.  The teen fell backwards and hit his head on a desk, falling unsconscious.

"It's safe to come in," said Jones.

"Sir are you okay," asked the Seargant from the Islamic League that had been assigned to guard him at a distance.

"Perfectly fine," replied Jones," just some bad memories.  I was worried he might disrupt the disguise field...ready to pretend you're a paramedic?"

"Yes sir," replied the Seargant with a dry chuckle, and he began checking the boy for a concussion.

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Scene:  Whatever Happened To US Troops In Iraq?

"We definitely wish to avoid a repeat of the end of the US occupation of Iraq," said Smith, looking over at the Pope," in the event we get surrounded of course.  I would order my soldiers to fight to the death."

"Why," asked the Pope quietly.

"Because last year the United States had one hundred and twenty-five thousand troops captured in Iraq by the newly formed Islamic League for trespassing," said Smith," and five thousand fatalities."

"I see," said the Pope gravely.

A/N:  Short and sweet, but someone asked me whatever happened to those troops in Iraq.

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Scene: A Surprise Appearance

"General Akbar," said an aide urgently, fear in his voice," An Army has seemingly appeared at the Nile Delta."

Akbar was calm, he had almost expected this after his discussion with Thomas on the beaches of Normandy," An Army outside of Vatican or American Theocratic control?"

"We are unsure General," said the aide in reply," but their flag bears a Christian fish!"

Suhail Akbar steadied himself, Thomas had said Operation Masada would be on schedule, and indeed this was on schedule, albiet a different army, and from a different direction," Prepare human waves."

"General Akbar," said the aide," I will inform the Martyr Brigades!"

Suhail Akbar watched the young aide go.  These youngsters were too eager to shed blood, too eager for war.  That was the plague Wahabiism had infected his people with, the bloodlust and hate.  Youngsters, he mused, he was only twenty-seven and calling them youngsters now.

"May Allah the great and merciful forgive me for those who will die in the coming months," said Suhail Akbar to the empty room," For their blood is on my hands."


"May the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost have mercy upon my soul," said Thomas Smith, a thousand kilometers north," For the deaths of those in the next few months are on my hands."

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