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 PART I

Chapter 1

Time: 1602, the first Saturday in October
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...FBI Field Office

Justin Hughes looked up from his computer screen as the fax machine beeped and started to kick out a message. Justin rolled his chair across the floor and sipped his coffee as the paper appeared. On it was written:

See and believe!
John 1:45
John 14:17
John 15:3
John 16:7
John 17:17
1 John 4:4
1 John 5:21
John 3:11
John 3:13
John 4:6
John 4:31
John 4:36
Thus endeth tomorrow’s lesson. Kata Ioannen

Well, he thought, looks like something for the code breakers. So he stuck it in a manila envelope, labeled it and tossed into the interoffice mail tray. His duty done, Justin went back to his computer files.

Time: The next day
Location: Johnstown, Pennsylvania

A shape slowly moved across the roof top of the business across the street from the jail. This man had been there since the middle of the previous night. Now it was nearing time for him to begin sending the message that God had instructed him to deliver.

The first task was to punish men who had the mark of the beast. Since people were not walking around yet with any physical marks, he had to make do. These men in the jail were evil and that was close enough for him. Of course, there were good and innocent police officers inside but the Lord would understand.

Moving carefully, he laid four arrows against the edge of the rooftop where they could be easily reached. He took special care with the arrows because they were his own special creation. The tips were bulbs filled with a powder he had mixed up.

Next the bow was taken out of its’ protective case. Finally he maneuvered himself into position and set the first arrow in place. With a gentle pull, the arrow slid back and aimed. The beep of his watch alarm told him that it was two minutes after four o’clock in the afternoon. Releasing the first arrow he reached for the next one and rapidly all four had been fired.

With practiced precision the arrows penetrated the grill of the ventilation system and shattered. Quickly the powder spread throughout the facility and rashes immediately broke out on any exposed skin. Voices screamed out in agony as the powder burned and the rashes became sores. Alarms went off as the police reacted to the attack.

Across the street, a man slipped quietly over the side of a building and down a rope. He jumped into a nearby van, set the bow and the case in the back, and then set a bag with all his trash on the floor. As he slowly drove off, he took his gloves off and tossed them onto the floor.

Well, he thought, one down and six more to go. I wish people would just read their Bible and believe what was written there. It would make things so much easier, but this was what the Lord had instructed him to do.

Chapter 2

Time: 1603, the first Saturday in November
Location: Cleveland, Ohio FBI Field Office

Valerie Holloway laughed to herself as she read the e-mail joke her old college roommate had sent. Granted, she had a degree from Ohio State but the fact that a Buckeye was defined as a useless nut was still funny. Suddenly her laughter was interrupted by the sound of an incoming fax. Walking over to the machine, Valerie watched it scroll out.

See and believe!
John 6:8
John 6:23
John 6:45
John 7:41
Thus endeth tomorrow’s lesson. Kata Ioannen

Great, she sighed, another nutcase faxing us something in their own little code. Shaking her head, she slipped it into an envelope, labeled it and tossed into the mail bin to be delivered to someone trained to figure out those codes.

Time: The next day
Location: Johnstown, Ohio

It had been so easy to arrange. An anonymous donation designated to be used for an open pool time for the area high school students. Something as heart warming as that always worked -- politicians got good press out of it, school administrators were made to look like the good-guys to the students and parents got the kids out of their hair for another few hours.

Last night had been a blast, almost literally. Many schools, especially ones that were not in big cities, had very little in the way of security. Picking the lock, he had made his way to the pool and set the containers at the corners before climbing in. The containers were only as big as a brick and had been painted a light blue to match the walls of the pool.

Sitting his van in the parking lot, he could see kids entering the school and heading for the pool. Teenagers just were not responsible, he fumed. In the past, kids had been respectful of their elders and each other. Now they were all a bunch of fools who needed to follow what the Bible taught. Well, today’s lesson, he was sure, would influence others to change their ways.

The watch alarm went off at three minutes after four o’clock and he reached over for the remote detonator. Flipping the switch, he started the van and drove off. As much as he wanted to stick around for the weeping and repenting, being around when the cops showed up was not part of the Lord’s will.

Inside the four bricks burst and forced poison into the water of the pool. A strong dye also mixed with the water and turned the pool red. As the poison spread, teenagers screamed in pain and tried to climb out of the pool. Unfortunately, even if they did make it out of the pool, the poison had made contact and they died.

Chapter 3

Time: 1604, the first Saturday in December
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio FBI Field Office

J.R. “Squirrel” Lo was taking a break from typing the notes up from yesterday’s meeting and concentrated on winning another game of “Minesweeper” on his computer. Beside him the fax machine chirped and began to print out a message. After clearing the screen and exiting the game, J.R. turned to the fax machine. Well, he thought, this looks like another crank letter, guess I’d better send it on its way.

With that decided he tucked it into an envelope, dropped it into the outgoing box by the cubicle wall and went back to typing the minutes up for his boss. If he thought about the letter later, his mind would have seen:

See and believe!
John 10:21
John 11:8
John 11:48
John 12:12
Thus endeth tomorrow’s lesson. Kata Ioannen

Time: The next day
Location: Johnsville, Ohio

“This will be one of my easier ones,” the man said to himself. Sitting in his van, he watched his watch tick off the seconds towards four minutes after four o’clock in the afternoon. When the alarm went off he looked up towards the top of the nearby water tower.

Seeing a small puff of red smoke rise up and quickly dissipate, he knew that this message had been sent. It would be awhile before the message would go out to the entire town, but soon everyone would have a message from God, if they were only smart enough to know what He was saying.

Driving away, he left the injection system attached to the tank. None of the parts could be traced to him and all fingerprints had been erased. The pump had done its’ job - putting red coloring into the town's water supply. This time, though, there was no poison. The townsfolk would just have the impression that the rivers and fountains had turned to blood.

Chapter 4

Time: 1608, the first Saturday in January
Location: Detroit, Michigan FBI Field Office

Matia Stevenson enjoyed the quiet of the office on a Saturday afternoon. It was especially nice today because she could look out her window and see the snow gently falling and being gently blown into drifts in the parking lot. It looks a lot like crystal powder, she thought to herself. Today she was just in the office to read a book and be alone for a little while after the fight with her boyfriend that morning.

The beeping of the fax machine nearby broke Matia out of her reverie with a start. Setting the bookmark in place, she walked over and retrieved the sheet that was being delivered. It read:

See and believe!
John 20:18
1 John 1:6
John 4:29
John 5:11
John 5:30
John 7:8
John 7:12
John 7:14
Thus endeth tomorrow’s lesson. Kata Ioannen

“OK, this is weird,” Matia mumbled as she scanned the letter. Unable to make any sense of it she slipped it into an envelope and set it in the mail tray. It was now someone else’s responsibility. She hadn’t been hired or trained to mess with codes.

Time: The next day
Location: St. Johns, Michigan

For the past two weeks he had been gathering them. One at a time, during the night, drug dealers and drug users had been coming to this abandoned barn out in the country. The barn had been selected because of it's location in the middle of nowhere and the fact that not even a house was built nearby. A barn also allowed a van to be driven inside and hidden from the eyes of any passer-bys.

Of course, the men gathered in the barn were made fairly comfortable - regular meals, plenty of straw and blankets for beds, and even a small television hooked up to the battery of the van. On the down side of the situation, there was the port-a-potty, the chains that kept them from leaving and the gags that prevented them from talking or crying out.

On this particular day, their captor smiled as he walked in front of his captives. “Gentlemen,” he began, “you have the opportunity of a lifetime. You are going to be part of my message to the world. As a matter of fact, this will be the last opportunity of your lifetimes and you are the message.”

Their captor was shifting into a hellfire and brimstone attitude. “People today are abusing themselves with drugs,” he ranted. “They are wasting money, rotting brains, ruining friendships, embarrassing their families and quite literally breaking the laws of both God and man.” As he got into high gear, he walked to the back of the van and unloaded the supplies he had picked up the night before. Carefully he unloaded the cans of gasoline and began to pour them around the old barn.

The eyes of all the captives shifted rapidly between each other and their captor. Some knew that they were not going to ever see any of their families or friends again. Others were just trying to focus on the present in their state of drug withdrawal. The man pouring the gasoline was oblivious to their feelings. He just knew that the Lord had given him a message to deliver and the next part was for men to be scorched with heat. Who better than the people who used or provided drugs? To him - no one.

“Boys,” the man began, “ I shouldn’t have called you gentlemen. These past two weeks have been fun, but my message needs to be taken elsewhere. It is now time for the message here to be given. I have said my prayers for you. Now it is time for you to do the same.” With that being said, he struck a match, tossed it to the floor and climbed into his van. Without a backwards glance he drove off to prepare for his next message.

Chapter 5

Time: 1610, the first Saturday in February
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin FBI Field Office

Nicoletta Drew popped a bubble with her gum as she filed her fingernails. “Geesh,” she muttered, I can’t believe that the boss wants me here today.” Shrugging she propped her feet up on the desk and pulled out another Harlequin Romance novel. She had barely started the second page when the fax started to come in.

Twisting and pulling her gum around her finger, Nicoletta watched it print out. Suddenly, frustration that had been building for weeks seemed to come to a focus. “Well, it doesn’t look that important,” she said, “I’ll just leave it laying on my desk.” With that decision made, Nicoletta wrote out a short resignation note, taped it to the back of her chair and headed for her car.

Left on a pile of papers on her desk was a faxed note that read:

See and believe!
John 7:36
John 7:37
John 7:43
John 4:29
John 6:31
John 6:44
John 8:7
John 8:17
John 9:31
Thus endeth tomorrow’s lesson. Kata Ioannen

Time: The next day
Location: Johnson Creek, Wisconsin

On and off for the past two weeks, he had been spending time at the library. He came in at different times during the day so as to try and avoid a regular pattern. He was quiet, non-descript and knew his way through the research area so no one had paid him any attention.

Recently, his quest had proven fruitful. There had been a story recently of a city official suspected of being corrupt. Peggy Solander had been accused of using her position as Director of the Parks Department to give upkeep and repair jobs to family and friends. Not only had she awarded them the contracts, the story said, but the payments were larger than would be expected.

The rest of the article went on to state that she had been acquitted and resigned in frustration, but he didn’t pay attention to that part. Here was an agent of evil who needed to be punished. This was why the Lord had sent him here.

Now, standing in the study in Peggy’s house he smiled as he readied his tools. On the table he carefully laid out a knife, Peggy’s pistol and a container of rat poison. Seeing these, Peggy tried to scream through her gag but very little sound escaped. Being tied to the couch prevented her from escaping and running for help. Of course, her neighbors in this new subdivision didn’t live nearby and were still distrustful of her thanks to that newspaper story so she couldn’t count on any of them for assistance.

“Don’t worry, my dear,” he consoled her. “I’m not going to use any of these to hurt or kill you. Of course, you may want to use one of them on yourself later.” Seeing the look of panic in her eyes, he laughed as he thought of the images that must be running through her mind at a time like this. Let her worry a little while longer about what was going to happen to her.

Looking down at his watch, he noticed that the appointed time was fast approaching. Going into the kitchen, he grabbed the pot off the stove and walked back into the study. Reaching into his bag, he pulled out a roll of duct tape. With one gloved hand he pushed Peggy’s hair out of her eyes and held her head still. Using his teeth he started the tape and then proceeded to anchor her head to the couch.

“You have been a very bad person,” he accused. “Lying, cheating, abusing your power. Don’t try and deny it! The Lord knows that you are a sinner and he has sent me here because of that. This is not only a message for you, but a message to the country and the world. It is nearing the time for His return to the earth. The Lord instructed that the kingdom be full of darkness and that people have sores and pains. All this is to come to
pass because of people’s deeds. You can try and live through this pain or you will be able to end it quickly.”

Kneeling beside the couch, he began to pray. “Dear Lord,” he began, “I ask that you be with this lady who is about to become both sacrifice and example. She has made some poor choices in her life - such as who she did business with and how that business was done. But I know that you, Lord, are a forgiving God and will not hold this against her if she simply asks for Your forgiveness.”

“I ask that the message her death sends be not only heard by the multitudes,” he continued, “but that their sinful lives will be drastically altered by it. In the past, you have judged others harshly such as you are now asking me to do now in Your name. Have compassion in this lady, though, as her punishment will serve as a beacon to a lawless world. She will be a light by which they can escape the storms of hell and find shelter in
Your love.”

With that he reached over to the pot he had brought in. Standing beside the couch he poured the melted tar across Peggy’s eyes. As she tried to scream through the gag, the stranger used the knife to cut one arm loose of its binding and then stepped out of the way. Peggy reached for the gun and quivered in indecision for a moment. Finally the pain overrode her desire for revenge and she turned the pistol on herself.

Stepping out of the house, the stranger walked to his van and drove away. The neighbors would later report that they heard a strange noise around 4:10 that afternoon but hadn’t seen anything unusual.

Chapter 6

Time: 1612, the first Saturday in March
Location: Chicago, Illinois FBI Field Office

The beep of an incoming fax broke Joe Lambert from his daydream. Walking over to the machine, he smiled thinking of his date with Michelle that night. She was cooking Italian this time and then they were going to a movie. The fax didn’t have a cover sheet and didn’t look very important so Joe just tossed it between some envelopes. Let the mailroom sort it out, he thought.

Eventually, the codebreakers would get a note that read:

See and believe!
John 9:33
John 13:33
1 John 2:15
1 John 2:21
1 John 3:12
John 1:40
John 3:12
John 4:35
Thus endeth tomorrow’s lesson. Kata Ioannen

Time: The next day
Location: Johnsonville, Illinois

The clock was nearing twelve minutes after four in the afternoon. Soon his watch alarm would go off and he would flip the switch on the remote detonator. This was another one of his basic messages. “You know,” he muttered to himself, “I’m not real sure people are getting the message. This one is so easy, Lord, are you sure that this is Your Will?”

Turning to look at the Bible on the seat next to him he took a deep breath to calm himself. This had to be right because he could read it right there ‘. . . the water thereof was dried up . . .’ There was more to the verse but those parts were not his responsibility.

Looking up he saw a boy and a girl holding hands and walking in front of the water tower. Before he could wonder about the significance of this unplanned factor, his watch beeped. Reaching over he flipped the switch and dried up the water supply to the town.

The explosion at the water tower caused the couple to reflexively duck. Unfortunately, not even that motion could take them out of the path of several pieces of metal. A section of the brace hit them first and knocked both of them unconscious. They never felt the other chunks rain down on them. They never felt anything else.

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

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