And I Feel Fine - Part 5: The Fourth Horseman
"When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth
living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a pale
horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hell was following close behind
him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword,
famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." -- Revelation
Uriel's critics have often commented on the close relationship between
his Word of Purity and that of Death -- the one so often seems to lead
to the other. And so it shall, one last time. The Word of Death is
waxing great, thanks to the many disasters of the Tribulation, and
Saminga's power-lust grows with it. He does not notice how the incoming
Essence, manipulated by Uriel from High Heaven, focuses his mind more an
more on one idea -- that his time has come, that this is his hour of
The scene is a small, elegant parlor in the depths of the Vatican.
Therrian sits at a table, the only human thing in the room. At the
table with him are Lucifer, Kronos, Baal, and Mammon.
Baal: "I need a 30% increase in conscripts. It's as simple as that.
We're fighting on fifteen fronts, at the moment, and have eleven
recovery zones in need of substantially increased firepower for
Mammon: "And *I* need those people and more, for the labor gangs, or the
zones will fall apart in two months -- no electricity, no water, no
staples freight, not to mention no manufacture of *anything*, including
Therrian: "Lower the age limit on conscription again."
Baal: "It's already as low as it can usefully go. A child has to be
strong enough to lift a gun, after all."
Therrian: "Then we shall just have to divide resources proportionally to
current needs and hope to acquire more populations soon."
Baal: "Which won't be easy with insufficient troops to make the
Mammon: "And insufficient labor to make places to put them."
Baal: "Twaddle. Concentration camps are cheap."
Mammon: "That won't do if you want to keep tempting--"
The door flies open and in strides Saminga as a skeleton in evening
dress, making him look like a cross between the Grim Reaper and the
Phantom of the Opera. Behind him, Therrian can see his personal
secretary, slumped inert over his desk.
Saminga: "My Lord, gentlemen, I can offer a solution to the problem I
heard you discussing. How would you like several million zombies for
your labor pool?"
Mammon: "Sam, you idiot! Get out! We don't need your useless stiffs!"
Baal [looks at Lucifer, who is waiting quietly]: "Zombie forces would
need close supervision. How would you steer -- let alone create --
Saminga: "No problem! My Word is flourishing as never before. Even
now-- That is, at your word, Lightbringer, my servitors can raise mass
graves and set them to work. And I will give any demon -- *any* demon
-- my Zombi attunement to make and master more." [He pulls up a chair
and crowds in between Baal and Mammon, who are kept from exploding only
by Lucifer's continuing gaze fixed on the Death Prince.]
Mammon: "Why this unexpected generosity?"
Saminga: "So my Word may feed upon itself, of course! Baal's demons
will direct zombie troops to kill still more, who will become more
zombies, and so on. Mammon, your demons can use my zombies to run any
sort of support services Baal may need."
Baal: "That will take a great many supervising demons."
Lucifer: "All Hell follows in his path. So now we have all four."
Therrian: "The Horsemen? Is there a problem, Lord Father?"
Mammon: "You aren't saying that Heaven--"
Lucifer: "No, I think not."
Kronos: "Do not concern yourselves. Broken prophecies still leave
fragments after them. It is inevitable that death, war, and poverty
attend the violent dissolution of a society."
Lucifer: "Continue, Saminga. How many demons? How many zombies? How
Roleplaying seed: Zombie Zapping
Saminga's minions, now working with those of several other Princes, set
up zombie factories in isolated territories controlled by Therrian.
Shipments of corpses go in, squads of zombies stagger out, led by demon
controllers. (In some cases, trainloads of living victims go in, but
the output is the same.) Any PCs serving Heaven can be usefully
employed making strikes against the zombie factories, especially if
allied humans have been targetted as raw material.
Of course, Hell tries to keep the zombie workers segregated from the
mundane population, but strange rumors inevitably begin to circulate --
rumors of walking dead, but also of androids and robots, of brainwashed
enemy POWs, of clone-slaves, etc. PCs may hear of the zombie factories
through the grapevine first, rather than through official channels.
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