The Countdown Begins
‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.’
Surprisingly, everyone felt rather sprightly considering they had gone nearly twenty-four hours without any sleep – well, nearly all.
The others teased Adam for having his three hour nap on the floor of the main sanctuary.
‘It wasn’t a nap,’ Adam protested. ‘It was a God-ordained, planned intervention. He did it to speak to me and ease my mind of the burden of worry.’
Paul could clearly see Adam was feeling a little frustrated by the others teasing him and quickly changed the subject.
‘Well, Adam. I don’t know about you but I feel like a mobile phone that’s been over charged. I feel great, like I have slept.’
Adam turned to Paul with a look of surprise written all over his face. ‘Its funny you should say that because I was thinking of a similar picture in my mind.’
Milo stood up. ‘We need to be somewhere else a little more important like…’ Milo indicated with his head, nodding towards the floor, his vision transfixed on the floor of the hall.
Adam quickly realised that Milo was alerting them all to the training room. All three Master Disciples got up and quickly made their way to the all important training room to find out the next move of Deygar and Slayem.
All three were soon down there and huddled around the computer. Once the computer had got out of hibernation mode and the listening devices had been dragged into action with the help of Milo with the computers mouse, they awaited the sound of two evil men plotting.
There was a simultaneous sigh from the three of them, as nothing came up, just the sound of a radio and a man singing along, very badly, to the music playing. It was a tech guy checking Derek Greyer’s computer system and running scan and virus software, keeping all the high-tech systems in fine working order. But he had run into problems; the high-powered laptop he used to run system checks was running a little slower than usual and this troubled him. He couldn’t ask Mr Greyer because, after all, it was only 6:20am.
Shaun Wanes was one of the only employees of Derek Greyer that he could trust in his office with access to his personal computer files and private information (well, this is what he was lead to believe. Mr Greyer still had very private information for which he had the most sophisticated password system known to man – bio-metrics; his own fingerprint could only be used to open such files). But, at this time, it wasn’t access that was the issue. The high-powered laptop he used to check the computer systems throughout the Greyer building, at a moment’s notice, seemed a little slower than usual.
This bothered Shaun. He was an absolute perfectionist and if his machine wasn’t up to the job he was not happy.
The system was a hard-wired type, but he had access to a wireless system that, at times, he was reluctant to use due to the secret and sensitive personal information getting lost or intercepted. But the machine was using both systems simultaneously. The anti-virus check was hard-wired so he could not move the laptop yet, but he was going to move it off Derek Greyer’s desk as soon as that part was done to see if it would improve the speed.
All three Master Disciples were sitting and praying that this techie wouldn’t find the bugs left on the desk, because it could be a slight possibility that they were causing the interference with his laptop.
‘Please! Please don’t let him, Lord,’ they uttered under their breath with every move he made in that office.
The current waiting time on the virus check was eight minutes so Shaun got up to get a drink of water from the cooler. As he walked past the desk he glanced over and noticed the paperweight from Barns Tech, with its oversized microchip inside. He picked it up for a closer inspection and was amazed by the craftsmanship and precision of such a beautiful paperweight, not knowing it was an elaborate fake.
As he held it for a moment he noticed the speed of the laptop increase a noticeable amount. He reached over to check the laptop’s speed via the taskbar at the bottom of the screen and checked the system. The speed had increased by 24,000bytes per second. This bothered Shaun. He brought the paperweight closer to the laptop and his theory was proven when the laptop slowed down again.
He paused a moment, wondering why a paperweight slow down his laptop. Shaun was running all kinds of theories through his meticulous mind. And, as he thought through the possibilities, the Master Disciples were waiting and praying back at the church, fearing the worst.
Would he or wouldn’t he discover the paperweight’s true function? Their work would come to a crashing halt if they were uncovered. Knowing the evil duo’s activities was the reason they were so ahead in the race against good and evil.
Shaun cradled the paperweight, like it was explosive device or a precious stone, and gently placed it to rest on the drinks cabinet next to the huge bank of Television screens, out of harm’s way and away from the laptop, so he could get his work done and get out of there before Mr Greyer was due to come in. If he was to find him still there he would not be pleased with him, and Shaun feared the ramifications of such an act of disobedience would result in him being fired.
The Master Disciples breathed a sigh of relief as Shaun completed his work without hinder or worry of the true inner workings of the paperweight. He was too concerned about running all the necessary anti-virus software and backing up the computer system before Mr Greyer’s arrival.
As Shaun finished his work and packed up his laptop, he quickly remembered to replace the paperweight to its original place, to ensure of no suspicious activity; fearing Mr Greyer at all times and giving him the utmost respect was a major part of his job description.
As the door slammed shut, the Master Disciples let out an almighty sigh of relief. It was as if they had been holding their breath the whole time Shaun was in there.
Adam got up. ‘I need a coffee or something. That has worn me out more than a 10K run.’
Milo quickly chirped in. ‘What in ‘hell’ are those two up to? Does anyone realise how long it’s been since we heard from them?’
All three looked at one another in shock and realised the magnitude of that statement: ‘what in Hell’. The statement rang in their heads for the next hour as the three of them drank coffee, prayed together and encouraged one another.
Milo prayed. ‘So now, Lord, go with us as we go about our normal daily routines. Be with us, Lord, and be one step ahead of us this day. Amen.’
Adam got up and headed for the training room. Paul could clearly see the look of concern written all over Adam’s face and quickly followed him down there.
Once down, Paul found Adam ‘getting kitted up’, as Adam would say.
‘What are you doing, Adam?’
Adam turned and answered. ‘It’s not going to be a normal day. I’m afraid it’s going to be anything but normal.’
Adam went on talking as he put on his newly acquired body armour and biker’s leathers and started to load the beanie weapon up with shells.
‘why are you getting kitted up? Does Milo know that gun is in the church?’ Paul persisted.
‘For Battle. And, Paul, this is not the church, it’s the training room.’ Adam pumped a round into the chamber so it was ready to shoot then strapped it to his ankle before grabbing his helmet and gloves.
Paul could clearly sense that Adam was on a different spiritual plane than normal and he was more inclined to go with it and not dismiss it as madness today. Adam was confident and even looked slightly different; he would even go as far as saying that he looked a little taller than usual. But Paul couldn’t put a finger on what it was; he was just ‘different’. He was clutching at straws at the specifics of how he was different.
But then it hit Paul like a round from that gun strapped to Adam’s ankle; God immediately spoke to him, saying it was the day of reconciliation and completion. The word Paul struggled with was ‘reconciliation’. Reconciliation with whom and why? The word signifies a longing to resolve an issue, but this was a ‘battle’, as Adam had said. Paul had to regain his focus and put it to the back of his mind.
As Paul stood there pondering his thoughts, Adam walked towards the stairs to go back, then Paul turned and shouted, ‘Now what do we do, Adam?’
Adam had got about halfway up the staircase and then turned to Paul. He said, in a quiet and calm voice – a calmness and a depth that Paul hadn’t seen in a while – ‘I don’t know, Paul. I just feel that I should be ready.’
With that said, Adam turned and carried on, saying under his breath, as he stepped the remainder of the staircase, ‘I just need to be ready for anything.’
Paul caught up with Adam in his office.
‘What is it, Adam? What’s bothering you, brother?’
The word ‘brother’ struck a cord in Adam and he broke. ‘You see, Paul; you, Milo and Jason are pastors of this church, a church that recognises you and your mission within it. Who am I? I’ll tell you what I am – I’m the ‘Godly killer’. I have to slay evil blood-thirsty men who are set to betray believers and kill us and then arrange a false and untrue split in the church of God, like others that have gone before us throughout the church’s history. And I’m scared and fearful for the future, for my family and what happens to them if we fail. Sorry – if I fail.’
Adam was truly scared and now doubt had crept into his heart.
Paul had to act quickly and say the right thing before it was too late for all of them. He grabbed Adam by his shoulders and met his eyes with his. ‘Hear this; you are a son of the living God and you will protect this church with the gift that God has bestowed upon you – a strong and mighty gift that has been passed on – and your family will be surrounded by the Angels from the heavens. They will come to no harm.’ Even Paul was in shock with the words coming from his own mouth.
Adam didn’t say anything. He just felt so blessed by the words of encouragement. The pair of them received such a surge of faith that filled their hearts.
Paul was still concerned about what Adam had said. ‘What was that you said about churches throughout history? Who told you that?’
‘To be honest, Paul, I don’t know. I think it was a word of knowledge. That’s why weak churches close their doors, because some do literality have the life taken from them. It’s probably where that phrase comes from: That church is dead.’
The pair stared at each other for a moment, both thinking about what was said then Adam grabbed Paul by his shoulders this time and said, ‘Be ready, Paul. God didn’t heal you just to be pastor of this church but also to protect it. You are my right hand man. We have to protect Milo and especially Jason, the future spiritual leader of this church. He has no skill in defeating this present evil. God has blessed Milo and given him a new wave of faith and power.’
Paul just stood there and listened attentively at the words coming from Adam’s mouth.
‘Even if one of us fails, we must protect Milo and Jason to the death and just pray that God makes up for any lack in our skills, faith or power.’
Deygar and Slayem were preparing for the conclusion: the battle that would see the end of the Master Disciples. In their soon-to–be-acquired city, free of believers, who could possibly be of any threat to their evil intentions?
All they focused their energy on was the long-life-giving blood of the Master Disciples, soon to be in their possession.
‘Seth is mine, okay, Deygar. I will make the kill. The others I may help and assist you with but under any circumstances, you do not kill Seth.’
The evil duo were planning their schemes in the huge container of Slayem’s, in Derek Greyer’s loading bay, away from any listening devices. The pen was still in his jacket pocket on the back seat of Derek’s Bentley and the paperweight was of no use all the way up on the fifty-seventh floor on his desk.
‘He has humiliated me before and he will be tortured. He is to feel the pain of my thousand year reign as the last of the remaining Dark Lords.’
Derek Greyer was shaken to his very core and was fearful for his own life. He felt unsure about Slayem’s motivation in agreeing, and finally succumbing, to meeting him all those months ago. He had to think carefully. He knew Slayem’s ability regarding his thoughts and quickly went on to the matter at hand. He knew that he had to focus and join in with Slayem or he would read into it, or worse, read his mind and finish the job. He quickly shook his head. It was like he had no control over his very thought pattern. He stood up and raised his sword. ‘I will honour my father’s death and slay my father’s killer,’ he said, hoping that would be enough to wipe his current thought processes.
Slayem was no fool and knew every devious thought that Derek Greyer just had, but he didn’t let on to that fact. ‘So he thinks he’s being used. Well, he’s right on that one. Once all Master Disciples are down he will be the last to fall under my sword,’ Slayem thought to himself, as he grabbed the last item of battle dress – that titanium neck collar.
Slayem was now fully dressed for battle with that deadly Ronin sword at his side. He quickly remembered to cover up the battle gear with the discreet trench coat he had borrowed from Derek’s wardrobe. He to was dressed for battle, but more in line with the twenty-first century, with a smart dress shirt (designer of course), with loose fitting trousers and smart, but functional, hiking-style leather boots. After all, he needed to move around freely and not look like he was going into a medieval battle. He looked like a cross between a samurai warrior and the shop window dummy from the GAP. Slayem turned to Derek and simply said, ‘Remember I was around before trousers and designer labels were even thought of, let alone invented.’
Derek shook his head again, trying to focus, his thoughts getting the better of him yet again. It was like Slayem’s ability was getting stronger with every minute that went by, edging ever closer to the final meeting, and the battle that would decide everyone’s fate, including Derek Greyer. At this point, he felt he was up against four adversaries.
The pair walked towards the cars. Their steps now felt more ready and assured than ever. Deygar was ready; his heart was in his mouth but he felt confident about the plan they had made.
Slayem, on the other hand, was over-confident and was dancing rather than walking towards the car. His steps were rhythmic, like a jig. He turned to Derek.
‘Deygar, I know your thoughts and we are going to get through this. It’s a good plan, and thanks to you, we will see the victory.’
Derek was dumbstruck. Maybe he was reading too much into it and maybe he had known all along that he could, at times, put his trust into others. Slayem was the first to receive his trust. After all, he is an imposing kind of character.
The two of them were ready. Slayem was driving the M5 BMW and Deygar was in his Bentley. They opened up an open phone line between the two cars and spoke, hands-free.
‘Okay, are we ready, warrior?’ said the confident Slayem.
A simple ‘Yes’ was the response from Deygar.
The two cars pulled out of the loading bay of Greyer Industries to play out their finely tuned plan, a plan no one knew about but the evil Dark Lords themselves.
As their day had started yesterday, for Adam, Milo, Paul and Jason the clock was of no meaning to them and all was a little confusing.
Paul called to Adam for breakfast. ‘It’s 8.30 want some breaky, Ad?’ There was a moment’s pause.
‘What? I’m ready for some lunch mate.’
The all-night prayer meeting had taken its toll on them all, especially on the matter of the real time.
But then Adam jumped from his seat. ‘It’s the LPS; it’s gone off in his pocket. That’s weird. I’m sitting next to the very computer that sends the signal.’ Rather than answer the handset, he used the computer. It was Milo.
When did he go out? Was Adam’s immediate thought. And why didn’t he say any thing to anyone else?
Paul rushed down to find Adam on the computer and then finally picked up the handset to speak to Milo.
‘Where are you, Milo? And why are you out on your own without telling any of us?’
‘No, I’m with Jason but I’m being followed by Deygar’s Bentley.’
It wasn’t the best of times to lecture Milo but Adam did anyway. ‘What have we been talking about? We have, if I’m not mistaken, been talking about the importance of you two, and you are off driving together with Derek Greyer following you.’ As Adam said it out loud, he turned to Paul and said ‘Ambush! It’s an ambush, Milo. Don’t stop for anything. Run red lights. Just keep moving. We have you on the LPS system. Just stay in the car. Paul, you take the other Mondeo, that may confuse them a little. I’ll go on the bike and get there quicker, before it’s too late.’
‘Why didn’t we hear about this on the computer bug thingy?’
Adam reached over and noticed the sound had been pulled from the rear of the computer, not that it would have helped much. Paul quickly replaced it, only to hear the laughter of Derek Greyer and the sound of the huge, six and a quarter litre engine of the Bentley revving up, and then the slamming and crushing sound of metal as the car rammed into the rear of Jason and Milo.
Paul was in a panic and he couldn’t do anything. ‘No, Dad! No!’
Adam tried to regain Paul’s focus and pulled him towards the car park outside. The fresh morning air invigorated him but only for the moment. His thoughts were with his father and Jason, helpless in a car together with an evil man intent on killing the pair of them for no other reason than for greed.