Lucie’s thoughts are interrupted by a knock on the door.
“Lucie, you sent for me?” Abaddon says.
“Yes, Abaddon, take a seat. I need to talk to you about the leadership of Hades while I am away for these next seven years. You are one of my most trusted demons. You have been with me since Almighty thwarted our take-over. You followed me to this God-forsaken place. Almighty thought he would break us with this imprisonment. He was wrong—and it will cost him dearly. We not only survived, we thrived. We grew layers of hardened skin even the sharpest of heavenly swords cannot pierce.
“Today is the day Almighty’s extensions expire. Time is up. The next seven years belong to me. The first three and one-half years will be all about my rise to power and the deception of man. Things will appear to be normal—and even great—as the nations of the world come together under totalitarian government and a single governing religion.
“Only the followers of Almighty will sense things are not as they appear. Their faith will be shaken initially, but they will come back strong in defense of their God. I need to cleanse the Earth of these people. There are a few things that are going to give us an early advantage. There is a meteorite approaching Earth that Almighty will not be allowed to stop. I will use this to my advantage by playing up the fear factor. I have quite the show planned.
“The Earth’s magnetic fields are also about to flip. I will optimize the negative consequences of this natural disaster as well—mostly by interrupting the power grids around the world. Water will have to be rationed since the two disasters will lead to the poisoning of the planet’s reserves. These things will get us off to a good start. Fear unites people. The one-world government will begin to look good to them when they see threats from outside their shared planet.
“There won’t be much for you to do for the first half of my reign. Your focus will be here in Hades preparing our armies. Almighty’s followers will go to heaven at the midpoint of the Tribulation—and the sooner the better. We will work up a great story to cover for their whereabouts. I am learning towards the alien invasion theory. Nearly half of the people left on Earth after this great exodus—about four billion—will die in the final three and one-half years. The four diseases we will release, and the environmental damage, will kill off the children and the elderly first. I cannot risk the unpredictability of children turning into brainless puppets for Almighty. Neither can I have the elderly spreading their stories of the good old days when everyone revered Almighty. Children raised in duress will reach for a savior. Elderly people living in a godless society will reach for the souls of man. I am removing all of them. These same environmental factors will render all species on Earth sterile. Parents will morn, but they will eventually rally together to rebuild a new planet—my planet.
“This is where you come in. As my appointed Demon of War, prepare my army and have them ready for the Great War. I will announce your leadership at the assembly in fifteen minutes. I would like you on stage with me. Are we good?”
“Yes, we are prepared. This is indeed an honor. Thank you, Master.”