Judgement Day

His most righteous President Elijah Joseph Duke the twelfth paced the halls of the Hallelujah Palace in what had once been Atlanta, Georgia. He couldn’t be expected to sleep on the eve of that day for which he had been preparing his whole life - Judgement Day.  The day those meddlesome angels finally let us take the gloves off and settle this once and for all.

The armies of light, were poised at the borders at the ready.   Come six am tomorrow, Christ’s victory would commence, of that he was sure.  The Muslims, Hindus, Jews, scientologists and Mormons would be put to the sword if they refused to be saved, but the real prize would be the so-called rationalists.  Those nonbelievers who elevated science on high.  They would pay the highest price in the new order.  Every one of them would be exterminated without any hope of salvation.  That’s what God wanted.  Elijah Joseph aimed to please his savior. 

He walked into his study.  He owned one of the most extensive libraries in the country.  There were only three volumes: The most Holy and inerrant Bible, the constitution of the country he currently lead, the Nation of Christ (the NoC), and the Charter of the Angels that defined the rules of this perverse game of wait and see.  Elijah Joseph was one of only a handful of the righteous citizens of NoC who had been taught that, long ago, the Charter of the Angels had once been called the Alien Covenant.  That was before the Biblical scholars had actually determined the true nature of the aliens.  The aliens were actually God’s own army of Angels, of course.  Sent here to help the righteous purge their lives of evil influences and doctrinal distractions. 

Two centuries ago the aliens had come.  At the time Christianity had been fighting to purge the wretched unbelievers from the ranks of the strongest democracy on the planet, when disaster struck. The aliens had come and swept aside all who challenged them.  Not with weapons exactly but with technology so beyond humanity’s that they simply were impervious to anything humans had to offer.  So beyond men were they, that they actually never killed any humans.   Unchallengable power granted them the option of mercy.  It made sense to the well-versed Biblical scholars because, in the end, how could men fight angels and angels would be under God’s orders to spare men.

The upheaval lasted a few years until the aliens had decided what would happen next.  Claiming to not understand the basis for earth’s many creeds and beliefs (a necessary falsehood because of the angel’s true allegiance) they had created exclusion zones on the planet that each contained only one belief- or lack thereof.  Each zone would be allowed to progress at its own pace protected from the diluting influence of any infidels or doctrinal skeptics.  Each would have access to the knowledge of the aliens to use as they chose and this protected arrangement would last 200 years.  At that time, the barriers amongst the factions would be lowered and nature allowed to take its course.  It was years before the theological council had informed the public of the true nature of these cosmic referees.  The knowledge provided more steel to the will of the faithful as they prepared for Armageddon.

The NoC’s insistence on inerrant Biblical literacy and adherence had kept the faithful in line and pure but hadn’t particularly stimulated scientific progress.  The NoC’s technology would have seemed familiar, if not in fact disappointing, to a visitor from earth’s past, circa 1940.  The other great religions had turned away from science to a far lessor degree, and had been able to develop credible military establishments including thermonuclear weapons and ICBM’s to carry their particular God’s message of judgement to far away lands.  At 6 am, without warning ,the last great wave of missionary work began, as thousands of rockets, missiles, and drones carried the word to infidels of all persuasions.  By nightfall of that first day, the Middle East was obscured by roiling clouds of dust, debris and the atoms of a great many people.
Oh well, while the Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and Muslims blasted each other to slag, the Christians would have free range on the atheists.  The Christian hordes rolled across the open borders of the land of the unbelievers who had thumbed their noses at their neighbors by retaining the old name of a forgotten land, the United States.  Blood lust was in full swing.  The clergy had already informed the troops that in this holy war, the people of those United States were Satan’s minions and no quarter or mercy was to be extended. The inquisition teams followed the lead units, ready to spread the word.  And to make sure that the debauchery that no doubt was rampant in this godless land did not corrupt the troops.

Town after town was liberated only to find it empty.  No one lived in the unbeliever’s zone.  Wild and wondrous architecture prevailed but no people.  Machines of every size and description sat idle in parks.  Many clearly had the look of war machines but it was also clear that they had been idle for years and years.  Some vaguely looked like the machines that the army of light employed but many were of unrecognizable design.  Still no people were found.

After days of unopposed travel the army of light reached the nest.  So perverse were these atheists that they had elected to retain its original name - Seattle. Even Elijah Joseph had to admit that the city was beautiful though nothing like what the old photographs suggested.  It too was devoid of people.   They’d certainly been busy at some time in the past.  A massive new space needle rose next to the original, though more than 10 times its height.   Etched into its surface were pictogram's of achievement in the arts and sciences as well as human figures of all races reaching up along its ebony sides.  Atop this spire was a model of the earth that radiated shafts of light that pulsed with energy from some unknown source.  The fate of the unbelievers remained a mystery.  The inquisitors searched for weeks but found little that had any meaning to them, except some vague references to a massive engineering project on a far away place called Johnson Island somewhere out in the vast sea to the west. 

The army of light lasted longer than most of earth's inhabitants.  Certainly longer than their wives and children back home.  Poor communication meant that few in the army knew that Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim H-bombs had obliterated most of the cities in the NoC after they had laid waste to each of the other’s major cities.  Poison gas and biological weapons completed the triad of destruction.  The army of light was protected by an unwitting accomplice.  Automated defense systems left behind sometime in the past by the builders of these abandoned cities swept the missiles and drones of the theocracies from their skies in the service of absent masters. Of course they could not deflect the clouds of radioactive fallout that approached from all degrees of the compass.

As the nuclear winter deepened, clouds and ash obscured the heavens.  The struggling few survivors never looked up. There was nothing to see.  It was tragic really, because they missed out seeing the last and greatest engineering feat of man on earth.  If you timed it right on a clear day, you could have seen a glint of sunlight reflecting off of a thin ribbon that lead from the horizon out into space.  A thin sheet of elemental carbon stretching from Johnson Island a full one quarter of the distance to the moon.  A space ladder.  Around 27,000 kilometers from the earth’s surface, a series of now silent and abandoned constructions had bustled with activity in the months before Judgement Day.  Even now periodic flashes marked the progress of dozens of space faring craft, on their way to exotic destinations and new homes for those children of earth who had finally put aside childish ways. 


Harvey said...


You really must consider putting this, and many others of your short stories, into an appropriate publication, or, better yet, into a book.

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

Thanks Harvey, that's very kind of you.