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Her tattoo was of a skull with wings. Doug reflected on the idea that a skull with angelic wings was a bit of an oxymoron. She had her hair pulled up in pigtails; a faux-cute self mockery that made her look the part of the raver she was trying so hard to be. Her black tank top was offset by the white vinyl pants that she was wearing. Her whole outfit couldn't have been cheap. This was strange, because obviously she was going for the thrift-store look, but her attire had to have cost at least one hundred dollars. These parties always attracted the most diverse crowds every single time they were thrown.

The room was immaculate. Adorned with golden candleholders and engraved marble, it set the archaic mood that the Judge was striving for. Gertrude, the elderly woman that had been with the Judge since the beginning was playing the organ softly. The scene was reminiscent of a medieval brothel, except with images of man-beast angels and various saints and popes that the Judge had introduced. A camera followed a young Vietnamese man in a green army suit as he walked the floor, the red star on his hat glistening under the lights. He saw himself on the monitor and fled.

Doug itched at the rash growing on his neck. It had gotten gradually worse over the last few weeks, and he felt that it would soon be time for him to attend one of these parties. The woman whom he had been over-analyzing was sipping her champagne while ogling the Judge.

The Judge was speaking, as he frequently did during his "Masses" as they were called. His face was matted with pancake makeup, with dark black greasepaint around the eyes to make him look like the mythical figure he claimed to be. Death, however, was not exactly mythical, but the humanoid form of Death was. Then, he raised his hands, summoning Doug and his fellow employees to the front of the hall. They walked, three hundred strong, in front of the video cameras and digital cameras that broadcasted these parties all over the world and on to the moon colonies every 13 days. The Judge believed in mass healing.

Doug hefted the pack off his shoulders, setting it down on the engraved marble platform in front of him. The row of servants spun around the circular platform that the Judge stood on. Doug would wait until he was given the order. The Judge began to speak to his followers.

"My faithful servants, now is the time to pass beyond our weighted vessels and ascend into the heavens. By doing this, you acknowledge me as your unquestioned leader and savior. If you have any doubts, leave now and continue your sinner lives." Doug chuckled inwardly, knowing that anyone who tried to leave would be herded into a group and incinerated.

The Judge continued, "You have come to me because you find yourself impure. Maybe it was cancer. Maybe you were overly tempted by the," the Judge sucked the air through his teeth, suggesting disgust, "sins of the flesh." The Judge looked around at the cameras, as he often did to accentuate a point.

The room gawked upwards at their leader. They hoped to be part of his world within the hour, as they couldn't stand to stay on the mortal plain much longer. The Judge looked down at the employees and closed his eyes. When he raised his head again, the crowds gathered everywhere would be taken to the Next Level. The Judge suddenly reared his straight up to the ceiling, and screamed, "TAKE THEM, TAAAAAKE THEMMMM!!!" His voice was cut off by gunfire.

The crowd was instantly ripped back into each other, their faces contorting in pain and fear. The backpacks were full of ammunition. They were quickly growing lighter. Doug finished his thousand-round clip in under two minutes. He was among the last. When he finished, he looked up at the monitors. Singapore: over 20,000 dead. Hong Kong:: 15,000. London: 35,000. This time, the deliverance's in Europe were on the London Bridge. The Judge's following had apparently spread to the monarchy. Europe was quickly becoming the Judge's playground. One by one the monitors clicked off, the world now oblivious to the deeds that had just occurred. Committed, if you will. The only way to find out the methods was to attend one. Doug gathered up the shells he could, and began the arduous task of cleaning the room.

After the ceremonies the employees cleaned. Usually. This time, some of the bodies still heaved with breath. Doug looked at his fellow employees. They were talking amongst themselves, taking a break after the slaughter. Doug pitied them. He was a man of action. He retrieved his small pistol. 12 shots. There would be 12 kills. Doug moved to the first body. Cocked the hammer, pulled the trigger. One kill. The next. It was the woman he had been watching. Cocked the hammer, pulled the trigger. Two kills. Doug looked back at the Judge. He was weeping, still in his position, looking up at the ceiling. Doug found the last body. Aimed the gun, turned to look at the Judge, fired. The Judge jumped at the sound. Doug shook his head. The Judge was his unquestioned leader, but still a coward who would sooner kill his own men than be killed himself. Doug moved on to the next. It was the Vietnamese man from the monitor. Doug looked at the name badge on his uniform: Huang. Cocked the hammer, pulled the--

The Vietnamese man grabbed the gun just as Doug fired. The bullet hit a boy in the head, shattering it. Doug was taken by surprise as Huang did this, and was still wondering how the man had survived when the gun was shoved in his mouth and the back of his head ripped out. Huang slid under a body, taking Doug's pistol with him. The other employees were just now realizing that their pal Doug was now part of the Judge's heaven.

Huang hid under the body of a black man who had horrible body odor. The other employees ran over to Doug's body. Huang waited like a cobra to be discovered. A body was moved to his left. Then to his right. Finally, over his head. Then, the body was lifted from on top of him, and the sunlight poured in. Huang kept his eyes closed as the employee checked for wounds. The employee bent down to check for breath. Huang put the gun to the back of his head, and fired. The others gawked as Huang grabbed the employee's machine pistol that had been used to kill the followers.

Then, silence. The room was quiet, except for the heavy breathing of Huang and the muted sobs of the Judge as he meditated. Huang sneaked a look at him and noticed that the sound shield had been lowered, thus eliminating the need to be quiet. The hall was a spectacle to behold: One man with a backpack full of ammunition against two-hundred and ninety-eight black clad men who were afraid to kill because of the fear of what the Judge would do. A beat. Then, Huang opened up on the first row of employees, knocking them back into the rest; giving him time to get rid of the rest before they could return fire.

Huang finished, leaving few to tell the tale, and began the search for the controls. He hadn't come this far to leave the Judge to keep filling up heaven. Huang rubbed at the small egg sacs on his shoulder blades; they were beginning to hurt from being held in for so long. He hopped over the bodies, doing his best to step on the floor before he would step on a corpse.

The Judge sucked in air through his nose, savoring the sweet incence smell that wafted about the hall. He opened his eyes for a moment, taking in the 5,000 dead in front of him. A small droplet of sweat sneaked its way down the side of his cheek. The sweat pulled the pancake makeup off, leaving a flesh streak on his face. His forehead jutted out against his skin, showing his skull. His arms hung low, making him look like a iridescent scarecrow. He retracted the sound glass in front of him, revealing his dead employees. The effeminate nature of the Judge took over as a womanly scream escaped him.

"Oh my dear God. I've been Judged." He whispered, now overcome with fear for his future. He let his arms drop, his black robe falling around his sunken shoulders.

Huang found the controls. His hand hovered over the buttons, waiting for his directions from The Big Guy. A minute passed. Then, the sound glass lowered. The wonderful thing about being an Agent was that The Big Guy usually took care of things. Huang dropped his weapons. The Judge would listen now. He moved up the stairs, his army clothes shifting about his wiry frame with the breeze.

Huang reached the platform and found the Judge there, shaking. His dark eyes found Huang and froze. The Big Guy had a message, a He had a special love for passing notes. Huang pulled his hat off, revealing his halo. The Judge untied his robe and stood in front of Huang, naked.

"Marshall Applebaum. I have been sent to give you a message of the highest order." Huang's egg sacs burst, and his birdlike wings sprouted forth, still sticky with the yoke that had held them inside.

The Judge's body trembled. "I was told that what I was doing was The Way."

"That it is. But our savior regrets to inform you that your job is done. Heaven is full. You have done your job well. The preparations for The End Times are finished." Huang moved to the Judge and placed his hands on the Judge's head. A white light moved from Huang's arms into the Judge's head. The Judge dropped, a death rattle creaked out of his mouth. Huang left the platform and spread his wings. He crouched, then exploded upwards, his wings making a booming noise as he rose into the air. He ripped through the marble and into the night sky, past the moon, which was rapidly turning blood red.



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