Interlude One

6 years ago

"Five minutes to air, Reverend Robertson," came the voice through the door of his dressing room. Pat Robertson looked at himself in the mirror and marveled at the good work his makeup people had done. He was getting old, but he still had a message to preach to the good people on the United States. It was too bad only the faithful listened, despite him being able to keep his news program on the Family Channel, even after it was sold to FOX and then Disney. He grabbed his papers off the makeup desk and got up.

Mary, the very sweet makeup girl looked at him, her eyes about to erupt in tears.

He looked at the clock, knowing he didn't have much time left, but unable to leave a girl in pain, "What's wrong, child?"

She grabbed his hand, "It's the end of the world isn't it? I thought that we'd be ascending into heaven if the world ended. That's what everyone told me, but I'm still here. What have I done wrong? Didn't I trust Jesus enough?"

Pat smiled, patting her hand, "The fact that we are still here proves that this isn't the end of the world. We'll get through this. God has protected us so far, and he'll protect us now. He gave us a very wise leader in the Vice President, and the President will do whatever he's told. This too shall pass."

She smiled through her tears and said, "Thank you."

He patted her on the shoulder, glad to have wrapped it up without having to worry about the time and said, "Go with God," as he left the room and started down the hall, his notes clutched in his hand. As he went down the hallway, people were giving him information about the show coming up, and he nodded and smiled, moving quickly and ignoring it all. Any information this close to airtime wouldn't affect anything he said. That sort of thing was all in the hands of the anchors. That's what they were paid for.

He came onto the set, and the two anchors were going over their final preparations before airtime. Carmen, the latest pretty blonde who harbored the idea that she was going to save the world by looking beautiful on camera and not misreading the names of world leaders saw him and smiled. He waved at her, and hoped she wouldn't mispronounced Saddam Hussein's name again. It made them look like a bunch of idiots.

Dave wasn't paying attention to anyone on the set, but was instead reading over the headlines he was going to be delivering. Dave was the latest of the men he'd hired straight out of college to try and get someone, anyone, that one of the legit news organizations would hire to give his organization just a touch of respectability. All of the previous anchors had moved from being newsreaders to evangelical preachers, seeing that the money there was better than being the overnight person on CNN's Headline News Service. Just once he wished they would look beyond the short-term gain and look at the long term. People like Jeff Greenfield made more money by dictating a book to a ghostwriter than he himself made in years of going church to church and selling books. His dad had tried to hammer that home when he went into preaching instead of politics.

He didn't listen, and had lost out on both the news career he wanted and the political one he had tried for. No matter how he tried to frame it, people saw him as a guy on TV who asked for money and talked about God.

And now, as one of the worst crises in the history of the US was hitting, he had to talk again about the Christian perspective instead of his own.

Sitting less than 50 feet from him were two people who had bought into it completely, and he didn't have the guts to tell them what he really thought. He couldn't even tell the world what he really thought, because if he did, ABC would yank his show and replace it with another hour of fucking Power Ranger re-runs.

He sat going over his notes as the "anchors" gave update on the crises. He only heard bits and pieces of it that he hadn't heard yet. The President was giving most of his power to the Vice President and the Secretary of Defense because he was needed to bolster the hopes of the American people. Most of the Third World countries had already fallen to the monsters, and most of Russia was said to be dark. Europe was arming citizens to protect themselves, which they wouldn't have had to do if they hadn't taken away everyone's guns after World War II. Here in the US, the military had taken to the street, but in most of the cities they were losing. And losing fast. The dead outnumbered the living, and the shelters that had been set up for people to go to were the first places the zombies, yes, they were finally being called zombies, were attacking. People were to leave the cities, find secure buildings or as their local National Guard for help in securing their homes. Since it was February, the zombie's activity was mainly in the southern states, where people were pretty well armed anyway.

A lot of people were trying to go north, but Canada had closed it's border and was posting troops with shoot to kill orders.

Reports were that Mexico was in serious trouble and most American experts believed that they wouldn't last the week. Some reports were coming from the remote areas of Mexico that people were all dead, their homes not secure enough, and no help from the Mexican military arrived. No one knew for sure, since communication all but the areas closest to the US were dead. Unlike the border with Canada, people were flowing across the border into the US with the military too busy trying to kill the dead to worry about where the living were.

The blonde female anchor, whose name he couldn't remember now, turned to him and said, "And with words of hope and inspiration, here is Pat Robertson."

"Thank you" he said, then stared into the camera the way he'd learned over the years. It wasn't a big piece of equipment with a glowing red light on the top. It was an elderly woman, in his mind, who was scared to go outside and wanted to know that everything would be right if people would just listen to him and believe.

"I have been asked if these are the end times, and if this is what Revelations talked about when it talks about the end of the world. The newly dead are rising and attacking the living. It was a few when it started, in remote areas of the south, mostly near army bases. However, over the past two months it has grown to encompass the whole world. Bodies have to be burned instead of buried. People being attacked, cities no longer safe. It's a horrifying, horrifying thing we have to deal with, and as the spring comes, the dead will move north, where people are moving to get away from the horror.

"But this is not the end of the world. If it were the end of the world, I wouldn't be here. I would have been brought up to heaven in the Rapture that was promised us by our Lord Jesus when he spoke to us through his Holy Word said that those of us who were saved would not have to be here for the thousand years that Satan will have the Earth. So, no, this is not the end of the world.

"It does show that God has lifted his protection of our country. God has turned his back on the United States just as the United States has turned its back on God. Because we allowed the homosexuals, the feminists, the liberals, the Democrats and the Satanists who run the TV stations and radio stations and movie studios. God has let us know that we need to turn back to him by allowing Demonic Possession of the dead. Satan is working in our world and he is the one who is bring the dead back to life to kill people. Only through our trust in God and our faith in the Vice President's truthful convictions will we be able to defeat this hoard of demons who are set to overtake the US just as they have the countries that have never known God.

"Join me now as I pray, 'Dear Heavenly Father, we ask for your protection again to cast Satan out of the bodies of our deceased loved ones. We know that you are giving us a sign and we will heed it. We will drive out the heathens, the unbelievers, the liberal and the sodomites who have caused you to turn your back on us so that you can protect us again. We ask this in Jesus's name, Amen."

He heard the other people in the studio say Amen when he was done, and he saw the red light on top of the camera go dark. He was done. He realized he hadn't looked at his notes once, which had Bible verses he had wanted to use to bolster his argument. Now they would have to go on the website. He sat quietly as they finished up the rest of the segment and went to commercial.

"Powerful, powerful stuff," the male anchor said, and he nodded. He no longer ever cared what anyone else thought. Mexico had fallen to the dead? Cities were emptying out? It may not have been the end of the world, but it was close enough. As he got up, he wondered if the Vice President would allow him and his family to join them in the secluded bunker that they would be retreating too in the next few days. The President, he would stay in the White House, the Texan was just a figurehead anyway, sent up to be in the ads and make their hard line agenda seem folksy and almost sweet.

The bastard better let him in after he'd been carrying the burden of delivering the religious vote. They owed him, and he was going to collect.

Chapter Two

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