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

Chapter 11

Victim number 16 was Paul Nashing, an artist, a painter. The EU couldn’t stand his pictures; they seemed too apocalyptic.

Paul was born in Liverpool, October l9th, l989. During the Gog war he did a series of war pictures in watercolors for some newspapers. His pictures were almost transparent. It used to be the fashion. His End Time pictures were done in yellow. They portrayed something ineffable, about which the system had nothing to say. Although he treated ‘The New World’ with irony in blue, gray, golden and terracotta colors, he was only noticed by the secret service when his surrealistic ‘Dream Scapes’ appeared. Some friendly fields and meadows, on which frenzied vultures were going up. In Brussels they were graded as ‘inimical to society’.

Paul Nashing explained to John Edwards at his interview that he suffered from asthma. "That is why I left the hall, right after the speech of the president" he said. He denied that he disliked Mr. Clark’s words: ‘Europe needs a strong man. We will follow him, be he god or devil’."

"No," explained Paul Nashing, "my asthma was a kind of breathlessness. I had to get out! Conscientiously he described all the degrees of his illness. "My asthma is the bronchial type", he went on. "It causes a contraction of the most sensitive branches of the lungs. My lack of breath started when the president invited the devil to be his follower. ‘Europe wants to follow a ‘strong man’, no matter be he god or devil’, the president said. The tremendous applaud started and I almost choked! But, please, Mr. Vice president! Understand me! This suffocating attack has only physical causes….’

The British painter resembled a fox…."Some even say," Paul went on, "that these cramps are connected to demonic activity; but that is absurd, as you know! Thank God for people like you, who are against those physicians, who say that certain physical illnesses are caused by demons. It’s time that EU takes a stand! Sectarians can cause great fears in people. They should be fired at once. No claims for pensions….."

John Edwards observed his ‘victim’ with scepticism. He couldn’t figure him out. Does he really mean, what he says, or is he floating in some surrealistic world, where his words have a totally different meaning?

"For instance, the speech of our beloved president," continued Paul Nashing, bending his head to one side. "If demons had been present, they would have roared through the hall. They would have liked the applause of the meeting: They would have loved the words: ‘….even if he is the living devil, we will follow him!’ Such ‘evil spirits’, I have been told, can fall into a frenzy with enthusiasm. My lack of breath could very well have been caused by them. But remember, Mr. Vice president, the whole meeting agreed with the president! There was jubilation, as our president invited the Evil One to take over. That’s when my attack started! I would not wish this on my worst enemy! I needed fresh air…"

"I like your paintings," interrupted John Edwards; I have a suggestion!"

"A suggestion?"

"Yes, well-paid! We may use your talent in our schools: book covers, signs, pictures….galleries with other painters."

"Well paid! That sounds like wedding music in the ears of a poor artist!"

"Yes, doesn’t it? But that means that we will requisition your pretty pictures "Dreamscapes", the ones with the vultures! Only for a while!"

"What vultures?"

"Oh, the furious vultures! The symbolic vultures!"

"Symbolic?" Paul Nashing bent his head again to one side. Like a listening fox. "You mean my little birdies? They are not ‘furious’. They sing happily to God’s glory. They wouldn’t hurt a fly! Why don’t you like my little birdies?"

"They are symbolic!"

"Symbolic? My little birds don’t even know that word. It is too long! Too complicated! They can’t sing it! They will gasp for breath, like I did. When they sing ‘Symbolizing’, they get cramps in the throat. Besides, this word doesn’t rhyme; that’s why my birdies can’t sing it."

"Of course," interrupted John Edwards; "we’ll talk about this later."

"With pleasure," finished Paul Nashing, with his foxy smile. "But please excuse me, my mistake! There IS a word rhyming with ‘symbolize’; it’s ’synchronize’!"

"I understand," answered John Edwards.

"Great!" exclaimed Paul thankfully. He shook hands vigorously with the vice president." It’s seldom that I meet people who understand..."

John Edwards pulled his hand back.

"No ‘furious vultures’, Mr. Vice president!" Paul Nashing followed his host to the door. "Little birdies, singing to the Lord that’s the right interpretation!"

The door closed behind John Edwards, who rushed along the hall. Paul Nashing stayed. He sat down and made himself comfortable. On his face was an unusual smile…, like a sly fox.

John Edwards hurried to a planned meeting. Nobody knew what had happened to Mr. Clark. Unrest was spreading. Most people believed the hostage drama to be connected with the ‘church uproar’. Now was the hour to handle such ‘church rebels’. Looking at his watch, John Edwards had no time to lose. Tomorrow he was to be in Babylon for the preparations of the great summit of ‘the Ten’. There he would be asked questions, which he could not answer…..

*

In the last months a new kind of ‘warrior’ was sent to the front lines of the new revolution. They had used the open borders of the EU to spread all over the Union. They were the ‘guerillas’ of the underground church. For the last decades many had kept back from the more organized institutions. Now things were different! The rebel leaders had realized that their enemy comprised an army of invisible civil servants. They were everywhere and nowhere. The rebel-troops had to be trained with the strategy of James Bond. They had to weave a network. Misunderstandings and mistakes had led to the cruel Gog war. This must not happen again!

One of these secret ‘marines’ was Jan Apostolou. His identity was kept hidden. Not even his closest friends knew of his true job and mission. Jan kept a distance even from professor Fruchtenbaum and John Williams Andersen. Not even Antoinette Dupont knew his real identity. He was a puzzle to all.

‘The war against the saints’ began on November 9th, five years before the Gog war. In the beginning of the century persecutions had started because of the growing opposition to the EU-constitution. All names of the potential opposition were filed in Brussels. Right after the Gog war Jan Apostolou was taken by helicopter, an MI-l7 (a new model), to the Middle East. He had taken films in Panshir Valley, north east of Kabul. This was his last, secret way of transport.

Since then he had been in Jerusalem as film producer, with ‘special interest in the temple area’. But Jan was more occupied with his laptop than with his camera. Daily reports were sent to the '‘farm’’, situated in an area of 100 acres of woodlands in the Bavarian Alps.

"What are you writing all the time?" asked Antoinette with curiosity.

"A Journal," Jan said, smiling. "So much happens every day, I can hardly keep up…!"

Minutes later, the huge EU-transport plane lay damaged in the sand, only 50 yards away from John Williams’ jeep. Jack Robinson ran towards them.

Jan Apostolou met him, smiling: "Of course you can join us going south!" he called, shaking his hand.

Antoinette was surprised. Did they know each other? Was there a secret connection she knew nothing about? What puzzle behind Jan’s outer appearance?

"This is Jack Robinson. The hostage-taker!" Jan said.

Jack smiled politely and greeted John Williams and Antoinette. Everything seemed a bit strained. The evening sunrays were like a theatre spotlight. The damaged transport plane with one wing pointing towards heaven. The iron cross like a black back-drop. Three more people appeared: Two pilots and a flight attendant, climbed out of the plane. Suddenly all seven stood there, looking at each other, somewhat cooly.

Antoinette shook hands with Jack. Then she turned to one of the pilots: "You’re hurt!"

He wiped blood from his forehead. "Nothing serious!" he answered. "Just a scratch!"

"From now on you are elected as shepherds of the sheep!" John Williams Andersen broke the silence. He was speaking to the newcomers.

"Shepherds?"

"Yes, don’t you see the herd around you, and hear the bleating of the sheep? Fifty animals all together, sheep and goats. They need to be taken home. They belong to Machmed, the shepherd, three days’ journey from here…"

With unbelief, the pilots and flight attendant glared at John Williams, who continued: "We’ll supply you with food and weapons, so you can safely bring the herd back."

"Safely?"

"Yes, safely …you are not alone in the desert!" John Williams pointed to the dead wolves in front of the cave. He gave the pilots guns with additional ammunition. Jack made a warning gesture with his hand, as if reaching for a pistol. The pilots nodded and put the guns on the ground. John Williams added a bag with bread and water. "The herd will give you milk. You may slaughter a small goat if you want. Safe journey!"

The jeep started off. Jack and Jan communed with each other while Antoinette watched with growing concern…

*

The vice president was flying in the presidential plane. There was a living room, a resting place and space for aids and journalists. The trip was to take a good five hours. The plane with the 18 stars was floating effortlessly along. Once on board, there was time to relax .Outside there were miles of white and cold. The wings seemed made of pearls. The destination was Baghdad and Babylon. John Edwards sipped the wine – how strange and adventurous it all seemed.

Somebody sat down behind him. It displeased him. No time for questions now. The plane shook, as if the unwanted visitor pulled it downwards.

"Isn’t it comfortable to fly in the presidential plane?"

John Edwards’s mood stiffened. He recognized the voice. This time he didn’t even try to turn around.

"Does the Vice president enjoy the wine?"

John Edwards nodded…..

"A Burgundy 2038, not bad! The sun in the eastern wine region of France means you well." The voice behind John Edwards was deep and mild. Then it changed. It became sharp and offended: "Pierre Henri Clark is still alive!"

John Edwards put the glass down. Either his hand, or the plane shook, a few drops of red were left on the white table cloth.

"Don’t worry!" the voice said, "A table cloth can be washed. Wine drops can be washed clean….but drops of blood? That’s different!"

"What do you mean?"

"Our goal won’t be reached without blood, Mr. Vice president! The job must be done. The Saudis know exactly where the EU-president jumped and landed. You must see to it that he doesn’t re-appear. You are responsible for his death!"

John Edwards nodded.

"All right!" continued the voice, more mildly. "Thinking ahead to the big summit in Babylon, you are responsible for our ‘project’ and the question regarding Israel."

John Edwards nodded again.

When I come, I will personally organize the world government; you are to prepare the way! Your biggest job is to introduce the ‘Global constitution’.

"There is opposition!" whispered John Edwards…

"That happened also as the EU-constitution was inaugurated at the beginning of this century. Think this way: Nobody believes a little lie. Everybody believes the big lie."

The plane shivered, but gained height. The unknown visitor behind John Edwards disappeared. Some light music helped to ease John Edwards’ breathing again.

Among the group of experts meeting on April 9th was the well-known Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, Robert Genf Valentin. A couple of weeks ago he had caused commotion in the ecclesiastical world. John Edwards looked at him with interest. Robert Valentin was sitting apart, reading. It seemed he didn’t want to be disturbed. Crowds had followed him before he entered the president’s plane.

The 56-year old pastor was chosen as Episcopal bishop by 62 out of 107 bishops attending a convention in Minneapolis, Minn. USA. This had caused quite a stir; Pastor Robert Valentin was divorced, father of two daughters, living with his partner in a public homosexual relationship.

John Edwards, still frustrated, prepared for a talk with the new bishop. Within half an hour both were in deep conversation.

"It’s seventeen years since I said ‘yes’ to God’s call, to admit publicly my homosexuality," explained the bishop.

"God’s Call?" John Edwards was surprised and interested. "You say this is God’s Calling?"

"Yes," answered bishop Valentin. "God is calling His church to hold fast to the good news of loving your neighbour. That means the church must not focus on single verses of scripture that condemn, but to walk the way of love that is the total sum of the Good News..."

"Well spoken!" said John Edwards. "Everybody can agree with that!"

Before Bishop Robert G. Valentin had boarded the president’s plane, twelve colleagues, under the leadership of the bishop of Pittsburgh, Pa., held him back. "Your election is invalid", they said. "On your return from Babylon you’ll find a letter in your sacristy", they added. "Your bishop’s mantle will be torn and your bishop’s crook be broken! Your bishop’s mitre will be stepped upon."

"Be stepped upon?" exclaimed John Edwards. "These men must be put in jail; they are rebels!"

"You are right," sighed the bishop sadly. "But one must be careful. My religious community has about 70 million members worldwide; they feel challenged! At this moment in Jerusalem the teaching goes around, that the ‘feminist wave’ is to be followed by a stronger ‘homosexual wave’.

John Edwards listened closely. Maybe he had found the course of action against the church rebels…..

"I suggest, Mr. Vice president," continued the bishop, "that now a world-wide wedding-liturgy for homosexuals be introduced. The ceremony, valid up to now, is not enough. Church and political strength have to stand together!"

"And the archbishop of Canterbury?"

"He will keep up with us!"

"And the traditional churches?"

"Presbyterians, Methodists and Lutherans have more or less given up. All the others will entrench themselves in their churches. They are dangerous; they’ll never give up."

"What is to be done with them?"

"They must be counted among the enemies of the system and treated accordingly!"

*

That evening there was a violent sand storm in the desert. It looked as if the wind would swallow up the whole plain. The sun was like copper; a veiled moon rose in the east. The landscape loomed dark and forbidding. The desert night - usually mild and still -, was filled with black waves of hurricane strength.

Antoinette clung to Jan. "How do you know him?" She spoke of Jack Robinson, who had told his version of the hostage drama. They had returned to John William’s tent, and now the two were outside…

"He is not one of us, "she continued, "as you heard, he shot a security guard in Brussels. That is not our way…."

"Of course not," said Jan, calming her, "don’t be scared!"

"You greeted each other as if you were long lost friends! You are hiding something from me. I am afraid!"

The wind howled, the sun disappeared, as if into a melting oven. Eagles floated over the cliffs. Antoinette’s long, black hair swirled around her head. She clung close to Jan. "You are keeping a secret from me. I can tell!"

Jan held her away, to see into her eyes. "It’s true that he doesn’t belong to us," he shouted; the wind and sand blew into his face, "But neither is he one of ‘them’! It is not by chance that his huge transport plane landed right in front of our noses. Anyway, we’ll need each other for the next dangerous job..."

"Dangerous job?" Antoinette clung even more closely to Jan, as if to never let him go. "What dangerous job?"

"A secret job."

"Secret? Do you keep secrets from me?"

Jan drew Antoinette close to him, whispering in her ear so closely that the wind could not take his answer away. "Oh, yes, Antoinette, I keep secrets from you. But trust me, that does not influence my love for you in the least. Please understand I have to leave you for a while. I need Jack Robinson and believe me, he is not a bad person."

"Where are you going?"

"To Babylon."

….as he mentioned this name, it was as if all the wild horses of the desert galloped over their heads. The wind blew the sun-glowing ‘lava’ on the mountains, into high flames.