THE GLOBAL MARK
© Johny Noer - www.noer.info

Chapter 9

Mr. And Mrs. Jones had left the conference hall quickly after the speech of the EU- president. In the confusion of shooting in the European Council Hall they had disappeared. While the security forces had rushed into the lobby, the couple was able to flee. Nobody stopped them, as they appeared to be one of the many trying to escape the shooting. One of the officers even helped them get out. "You look like you are in shock," he said, as he led Mrs. Jones through a row of men with armor and helmet. They arrived at an ambulance, just pulling up, and he ordered: "Take these people to the hospital!"

Mrs. Jones was put on a stretcher into the ambulance, and Mr. Jones jumped in front with the driver. One of the medics found that her condition had stabilized. "Just take us home, "said Mr. Jones. "My wife is better; there is no reason for the hospital…"

The driver said: "You live in Rue de Repos, nr. 7". Mr. Jones nodded. He could see on the ambulance TV that they had already been identified. "My associate will give your wife a calming injection. Don’t worry; her blood type is here on the screen."

"But we never told you that!"

"That means nothing, pastor. I know that you are an evangelical pastor that the police are looking for you because of a hostage-taking, that you are an enemy of a world government; that a few minutes ago you left the conference hall in anger about the president’s speech; that your wife attacked a police officer; that you shot over the head of a security man, and that the empty weapon is still in your pocket!"

Mr. Jones felt his pocket in surprise; the ambulance driver was right. After the shot, he must have automatically returned the weapon into his pocket.

The ambulance driver smiled, and continued: "On March 11th you published a letter to your congregation of St. Paul’s church in Brussels, stating that you opposed the decision of your 38 bishops about blessing homosexual marriages. We have your letter here…" The smiling driver turned the TV so that Pastor Jeffrey Jones could read for himself.

The ambulance driver slowly turned off the road to stop; he read aloud the pastor’s letter: "I want to underline, that it is written in the bible, that ‘a man is not to lie with another man, as with a woman. Therefore is the blessing of homosexual couples by all the world’s bishops empty and void. It opposes God’s word, and we shall not obey them!"

It was quiet in front. The medic from behind stuck his head through a little window. "What’s up?" he asked. "Let’s go, I want to get to bed."

"We just decided that I can take the couple home," answered his companion. "There is no reason for the hospital, and they live some way out of the city. I’ll drop you on the way; you can have the evening off. I’ll manage myself. Have a good night!"

The ambulance stopped after a few blocks, the medic jumped out, waving:" Good night, and good trip!"

As the driver continued, he turned his TV back on; the sign of a fish appeared. Mr. Jones looked surprised at the medic, who nodded in assent.

"You are one of us?" Mr. Jones asked.

The driver nodded again. He turned on the siren and blue light, saying:" We must hurry. We’ll pick up your five children, and then go to a safe place of hiding."

"You said I am being looked for?"

"Yes and my screen tells me that it is not because of the hostage incident; it’s because you’ve declared that you would never bless a homosexual union at St. Paul’s church. That will bring you to jail; you stepped over the paragraph of ‘non-discrimination of people with different sexual orientation. "

Pastor Jones sank into the co-driver’s seat. He did not watch the road or the traffic, only the car’s TV. The driver turned off the blinking light and the siren. They were close to Rue de Repos, where the children were to be picked up.

"This paragraph will cost you five years in jail," continued the driver, pointing at the TV.

He read his own letter out loud: "Homosexuals are not to be condemned for their sexual preferences, but the same commandment of God counts for them as for others. The Gospel is valid for every person. Therefore the bishops ignore not only God’s Word, but also the homosexual. It’s no help for them to declare that ‘the whole gospel is of more truth than a single verse…"

What’s worse is," interrupted the ambulance driver, "that you show yourself an open enemy of the system at the end of your letter. Listen to this: "According to our church confession we let you know that, if the bishops teach or decide on anything opposing the Gospel, our community is ordered to disobey the bishops…."

(Augsburger Confession,Article 28)

"That’s public opposition!" said the ambulance driver, parking at the curb. "You openly declare that an article in your confession of faith is more valid than a paragraph of law about ‘non-discrimination’. That will cost you dearly! Now get your children, and pack only the essentials. You have ten minutes. I will wait in the dark …."

*

Ursula Clemens was one of the eighteen conference participants who were apprehended after the arousing speech of the EU-president. She came from a suburb of Munich, and was a single mother; raising two children aged nine and eleven. Ursula was a tall, thin, dark-haired lady with a severe hairdo that accented her fair face and large velvet eyes. There was a Spanish tint to her appearance. Ms. Clemens took part in this conference at the bidding of the Bavarian president, who had been part of the European law committee.

In her hometown, she had participated in secret house meetings, organized after ‘the Chinese system’. That means, small groups of believers assembled at night in a building apart, where they spent one week without leaving the premises. There they were instructed by pastors of the underground church.

When Ursula returned from a week’s intensive training at her ‘spring vacation,’ she was told to pack her bags. Together with her chief and several experts she was to be part of the conference in Brussels. Thinking about her children, she had tried to decline this job, but the president was firm in his demand. A conference-ruling against certain ‘tendencies of resistance’ that seemed to pervade all over the world, would be taken in Brussels. "It concerns religious groups," the chief had said. "Evangelical pastors have written documents resisting their bishops." Before leaving, Ursula was able to leave her children with her mother.

At the beginning, when she heard the speech of the EU-president about following a leader, be he a god or a devil, she became very uneasy. She was one of the first to leave the hall, but was at once apprehended with others, and brought to the first floor of the European Council Hall. Then she heard shots and saw great confusion in the lobby. "A religious maniac has taken the EU-president, Mr. Pierre-Henri Clark as hostage", she was told.

After a half hour of stressful waiting she was ‘released’ with the other seventeen, only to be taken to the opposite EU-committee building, where all of them were kept as '‘special guests’ of vice president John Edwards. After 24 more restless hours, they were finally greeted by their host. The vice president asked for a personal interview with each, and Ursula Clemens was the first person he should speak to.

"I apologize for this inconvenience." With these words the vice-president introduced the interview, while he shook a friendly hand with the well-groomed, sun-tanned Mrs. Clemens. "I assure you that we took these drastic measures only for security’s sake. I hear that you have two children. Your mother has already been told that you are in safe hands, not to worry."

Ursula Clemens nodded with reserve: "Thank you, Mr. Edwards."

The vice president continued: "As you know, our president has been kidnapped by a religious fanatic; at this moment he is in danger of being dropped by parachute over Saudi Arabia, where he would fall into the hands of a group of murderers.

We regret, that we did not fit him with a little chip, as we would have found him in time. One of these chips can be inserted into the body invisibly with no problems; they’ll give us protection wherever we are!"

Ursula listened closely. During her week at the believers’ meeting this topic had been mentioned. The writings of professor Fruchtenbaum were read, in which he warned against all forms of electronic chips or tattooing.

"It is our intention to work with a small group of our co-workers to come to an understanding how we can better help and protect our entire staff. At the same time," he added with a smile," we may find out who is willing to cooperate with us even to the point of giving a microscopic part of their body for this experiment. Then we could collect an inner core of trustworthy persons, who could take on important positions in the larger one-world-empire."

The black, velvet eyes of the dark-haired woman followed closely the vice president, as his exposition enthused him more and more. Her gentle glance watched with interest the movements of his hands, while she heard his voice become more intense.

"The vice president is lying!" she suddenly said.

"Lying? What do you mean?" John Edwards’ voice seemed sure and convincing.

"Yes, you are lying, Mr. Edwards," the young lady said. "You want to have a chip operated into my arm not to protect me from terrorists, and not to know my blood type in case of accident. The real aim of your chip is to control me. It’s not bigger than a rice seed", you say, "but it may contain 25,000 data about my person."

"Control!" exclaimed the vice president, laughing. "My dear Ms. Clemens, you read too many novels. You know that we are against all forms of control." His voice became sharp and warning: "I hate this word ‘control’ "……

Ursula Clemens arose. "You need not try to convince me, Mr. Vice President," she said. "I will not allow any kind of chip or tattoo in or on my body. "

Her chief followed her to the door, where she turned once more to him: "Neither on my upper arm, my right hand, or my forehead!"

"Horrible word," exclaimed the vice president. "What do you mean by ‘control? Where can you find in our system such an idea?"

"The security center in Vienna!" Mrs. Clemens put her hand on the door knob.

"An inevitable institution?"

Mr. Edwards followed the dark-eyed secretary into the hall.

"Have you heard about the letters laid out in some of the churches?"

"Yes."

The vice president looked with wonder at the proud, Spanish looking young lady. Her honesty rattled him.

"Do you know about the rebellious pastors and their anti-government letters?"

"Yes!" The black eyes glittered; her straight hair, combed back gleamed. The slim figure stopped in front of the vice president. "And I have read them."

John Edwards backed off a step, as the EU-secretary continued: "And I agree with them!"

"You agree with them? Your job as governmental secretary hangs on a silken thread. Watch your words."

John Edwards lifted his hand in warning, then continued with a softer voice: "Tell me: What in those letters do you agree with?"

Ursula Clemens thought a moment, then said: "For instance, I agree with an old pastor writing: "Human rights, supposed to protect from dictators, have a tendency to turn despotic themselves…"

"So you see me as a despot?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

"Because of your "security" center in Vienna, and because you want to operate a chip into my arm.

The vice president turned on his heels and returned to the hall of hearings. Walking past a young woman, he mentioned casually: "Put Ms. Ursula Clemens on the black list." He paused a moment. "And find out the names and ages of her children, the school they attend, and so on …."

The vice president entered his elegant office. Standing in front of the panorama window, he had a grand view. The snow had melted in the mild March sun, and the square was still empty after the hostage drama. Without parked cars there was a glimmer of spring over the horns of the bull and the waving hair of the woman…

As from a distance, he heard the doors behind him open and close. He wanted to turn around, but could not. Again he felt someone was there, and again that heavy hand was laid on his shoulder. "Are you ready to obey new commands?"

John Edwards nodded. Then he whispered: "Who are you?"

"Your boss!"

"But I have one: Mr. Pierre Henri Clark is my president!"

"He WAS the EU president!"

"Was? Is he dead?"

"Not yet, but soon he may leave this world. He was a good servant, a diligent forerunner. He prepared the way for me!" The voice behind him became almost mild: "Now his time is over…

His time is over?" Edwards paled. With a light, small cloth, tinted rose red, he wiped some sweat from his brow. "How will this happen?"

"You must see to it: None of the two men should return, not the president, nor the hostage-taker. The first must die, as his time is over. The last must die, because he thinks he knows my name!"

"Your name?"

John Edwards’ eyes flared wildly.

"What is your name?"

"Do you want to die also?"

"No, but…

"All right, listen closely: Pass on the order, that the pursuing planes follow the president’s plane again.

"But then the hostage-taker will throw his prisoner out over Saudi Arabia."

"Exactly! There are two parachutes in the plane. One is working, the other not. I’ve informed Mr. Clark to choose the parachute with the mark..."

"The one with the mark will open?" John Edwards’ voice trembled.

"That’s what he thinks."

"But his most bitter enemies are just waiting for him to come down. A gang of murderers, EU-prisoners once given over to torture, are yearning to get him into their power."

"Exactly." The voice of the stranger was even and agreeable. "That’s why the sign of the mark indicates: ‘Death-parachute’, it won’t open! Should I deliver a friend into the hands of these blood thirsty enemies….."

John Edwards was amazed. "And the hostage-taker Jack Robinson?"

"I will take care of him personally! At this moment he is the most dangerous person on earth, for he thinks he knows my name, and when he finds out that he doesn’t, he will go for it!"

*

The military transport plane, following Jack Robinson’s orders, was flying over the small strip of coast on the Red Sea. Then it rose over the mountains, 2000 meters high, glittering with snow and ice. As Jack ordered, it sank low over the dry wadis to the east and continued over sandy desert. Herds of gazelles and ostriches could be seen. A lonely leopard! Under the plane soared eagles, falcons and vultures; they circled like dark shadows over carcasses in the wilderness.

"Vultures!" exclaimed Mr. Clark unhappily.

"Yes, vultures," repeated Jack, a smile playing on his lips. "Vultures with crooked beaks and naked necks. First they tear out the innards of their victims, intestines, kidneys and liver are their favorites!"

The president turned from him in disgust.

*

Brussels asked the government in Riad to send Saudi-Arabian planes to follow the brown-green EU-machine. The Saudi king was informed of the

distinguished passenger in the military plane. As the Saudi planes reached the height of the EU-machine radio contact was established. "You are ordered to fly in the direction of Aquaba!"

Jack nodded. "Excellent," he said. "Follow their directions…"

Turning to the president, he offered: "Choose one of the parachutes! Brussels chased the Saudis on us. Now comes my part of the deal: You’ll get your freedom!"

"But I prefer to stay here!" The president looked out the window. Down on the ground he saw a row of jeeps full of armed men. "I don’t want to go with them!"

"I can understand that! Old friends of the Gog war! They are awaiting you. Some old deal! In agreement with those…" Jack pointed at the circling vultures.

The president shuddered.

"Come on!" Jack continued. "Choose a parachute! You have two choices: One has a mark, the other hasn’t. I assure you, Mr. President that I am ignorant of the meaning of that mark – but as a gentleman, I give you the preference. You may choose first. You jump first, and we’ll see what happens. Having less chance, we give you the most opportunity. Which parachute do you choose?"

The dumb-founded president looked at his former bodyguard. He had not expected any mercy or help.

Jack ordered the plane to gain height. "Try to stay away from that gang of murderers!" he advised Mr. Clark. He reached for a gun. "You’ll need it", he went on, showing him how to use it. "Here is more ammunition! And in this bag," he ended, "you will find water, food, compass and a map. Much luck!"

The president looked at the two parachutes. He was informed that the one with the mark would bring him safely to earth. In other words: the one without the mark would not work. It would let him fall as a stone to the ground.

Jack Robinson watched the president with a smile. "I saw you pick up a piece of paper, when we entered the plane in Brussels. Show it to me!"

Mr. Clark looked at him tired and resigned. He felt around in his pocket until he found a little piece of torn paper. Jack unfolded it, and read: "The mark is life!""

"Who did you get this paper from?"

"From my boss!"

"That one?" Jack Robinson showed another piece of paper…the one upon which Mr. Clark had written the secret name of his successor.

"Yes."

"The one you call a devil?"

"Yes!"

"I would never depend on him! He is a liar! When he says that the mark is life you can be sure if you choose that, your life will be short. The mark is like a death warrant. It is the mark of a beast, the mark… of a liar. The parachute marked with red signifies blood. I would never choose the devil’s mark!"

The Saudi-Arabian plane neared the EU-machine, whose silver iron cross glistened in the sun. The radio cracked, the order came to fly lower.

"You must choose, Mr. Clark! Either the one with the mark of the devil or the one with no mark!"

Pierre Henri Clark arose and reached out for the parachute with no mark. Jack helped him to buckle it on, hung the bag over his shoulder, and pressed the gun into his hand. Together they neared the door.

"Jump!" cried Jack, and the EU-president jumped. He floated towards earth. Everybody in the plane watched anxiously whether the parachute would open or not. There was a breathless atmosphere in the cabin, where the parachute with the red mark lay untouched on the floor….