Another time, Another place, Earthland shares the story of a man.
Despite the mass population, Earthland can be a dismal and lonely place for some Mortals.
We now join the story of one such person.
The city laid peacefully, twilight shone upon it as day's last dusk was settled.
The workplace of a man who tries to fix minds is our setting. He is a doctor of the psyche a man who works with
his patients although, despite his knowledge and studies, does not entirely understand them. He does not truly understand
anyone, really. It's seems humans are the greatest mystery, the more learn about them the less you really know.
He is James, an average man by all standards, neither tall nor short, neither fat nor slim, just average.
The clock struck six o'clock, evening was just arriving as our mortal was calling it a day and
closing up the office. 'Just once I'd like to leave on time.' He thought ,'but then..where would I go?' He continued
down the empty corridor to the elevator which he rode to the ground floor. Onward, walking to the outside where
the street bustled with people rushing to get home or wherever they were going. The streetlights began to glow in the
warm spring air. Nights were getting noticably longer and under the clear evening sky they were alive again, winter
He walked on down the busy street and entered a local tavern that he frequented. It
was empty, awaiting the celebratory night crowd to fill it's chambers and echo it's music. The barkeeper approached.
"Beer?" he offered.
James nodded in agreement.
"You always get beer, you know you really should come here two hours later, give
or take." the barkeep suggested, "Babes, lots of 'em, I figure you're a doctor and all you should be able to win 'em over."
"Actually, I'm supposed to be meeting people," James replied, "Some kind of blind date."
"You don't sound all that excited," The barkeep pointed out.
"It's a blind date," James repeated, "You know what that means, some woman that nobody else
wants gets set up by some so called 'friend' who likes to watch two people suffer. God, it's pathetic."
"Yeah, I know," The barkeep agreed.
"I mean, if I wanted to go out with this woman, I would have asked her myself. Somehow
we'd meet and hit it off and it would work," He said, then swallowed some beer, "At least that's how it works for other people."
"You're too melodramatic," The barkeep mentioned, "That romantic crap doesn't fly these days.
Go for the one night stand, that's what women want."
"Right," He said sarcastically, "What about what I want?" He returned to nursing his drink
as three people entered the bar.
"What you want, just walked in," The barkeep stated, motioning to the two beautiful women
It was his buddy with them, they walked up to the bar and picked seats beside James. Introductions
were made, her name was Terra. She was tall, brunette, an exotic beauty with dark eyes.
"Oh great, an alcoholic," She blurted out immediately.
'Great opening line," He thought, the sarcastic tone could've been heard nextdoor.
Silence fell over the group as more people entered the tavern. The awkwardness of the
starting never subsided and James, being ill impressed, awaited an apology. Time passed though and none was given meanwhile his
buddy and girlfriend were engaged in conversation and somewhat unaware of this fact.
"Terra?" A voice spoke from behind them. They all turned and saw a man carrying a scotch,
"Marcel," She responded with a hug, "How are you?"
"Good," He responded, taking a sip, "Are you on a date?"
"Oh, God no." She answered as she was getting up, "Come on, let's grab a table."
The pair walked away without another word as a confused and insulted psychiatrist watched helplessly.
"Why didn't she comment on his drinking?" He whispered, then put down his half empty beer.
"Well, that's the way it goes," His buddy commented then returned his attention to his girlfriend.
'That's the way it goes?' James thought, 'That's the way it's been going my entire life.'
He got up and exited the bar in disgust, questions ran through his mind at blinding speed.
'How could somebody do this?' 'What keeps going wrong?' 'Why does this keep happening?' Not one single answer
came to him though as he walked along back the office building.
Down the stairs he proceeded to the parking garage where he found his Porsche. He
opened the door and started the engine, it was smooth and quiet. Carefully he backed out of the parking stall
and drove to the street level exit. James stopped and looked both ways before proceeding into the street and towards
the first intersection which clearly offered him a green light.
'CRASH!' A one ton cube van coming the other way ran its red light and smashed into the
driver's side of the Porsche. Panic ensued in the street as by-standers jumped away and some ran to help to
help the truck driver, James, on the other hand was left alone as he was dead on the brutal impact.
The tunnel of bright light ended and our doctor found himself in another dimension. There
were people, souls of people, everywhere. Walking around, talking and joking. The carnival atmosphere was
enhanced by the giant roller coaster that towered over all. James walked around a bit and gained his bearings,
absorbing his new environment.
'WOW,' He thought, 'I must be dead, or dreaming..' He continued walking and came to a
crowd of people, 'They're all excited about something.'
Looking around and taking a deep breath he relaxed and accepted his fate, 'This is it,'
He figured, 'Heaven.' Away from the crowd he found a lawnchair with a case of beer beside it. 'This is heaven.'
He thought, 'A lifetime of hard work, sacrifice, disrespect, hatred, misunderstanding, and all that other crap is now being
truly rewarded, I finally get to relax. I mean REALLY relax.'
He sat down in the lawn chair and got comfortable, grabbed a beer and began to drink.
'This is too good to be true.' He thought as he began to unwind while watching the line up to the roller coaster move steadily.
"Come on!" A woman yelled to him, walking closer. "We gotta get in line!"
"I gotta rest awhile." He responded.
"NO!" She cried, "We gotta go, come on." She reached out and grabbed his hand.
"Leave me be." James responded, pulling his hand back, "I've just started a beer and I want
to be at rest."
"You can't rest now, we have to get in line." She started, "You see that roller coaster?"
"Can't miss it."
"Right, That's the line-up we need to get into, come on it's fun." She added.
"What's fun?" He asked.
"Life." He repeated, then thought a moment, "You mean that's..."
"Reincarnation, yes." She confirmed, "Come on, life is good, it offers so much more than here."
"Right," He answered, "Been there, done that, not going back."
"Dead, Heaven, Eternal, fairly simple when you think about it." He pointed out.
"It doesn't work that way." She argued, "We all have to go back."
"NO," He stated firmly, "In my experience everything sucked and to be honest with you, I'm happier
A dark cloud formed over the area.
"He's angry." The woman said in a scared tone and ran off.
"BE GONE!" The ominous voice boomed across Heaven, James knew he had overstayed his welcome.
He sighed loudly, almost sarcastically, as he began to trek away from the roller coaster
line up. People continued to file in, walking towards him but not stopping to talk, they just talked to each other
and raced to get in line.
"Yeah, right." He thought as he watched the couples go past, "All these people have a reason
to go back, they want to." The excitement almost sickened him as he watched them run by in their happy state.
Continuing to walk, he past the Gates of Heaven and proceeded into oblivion. Soon there
was nothing, no grass, no scenery, no mountains or trees, no signs of life, nothing. White, only White with a subtle
shade of blue in it was all there was for what appeared to be eternity. Overcome the silence, the peacefulness, the
serenity. James stopped for a moment to breathe it all in, he was now truly impressed.
"Wow!" He said to himself, "This is just what the doctor ordered. No people, No problems."
He almost could not contain his laughter, he was so relieved. "No more stress, No more B.S., No more nagging, whining,
complaining or any of that, this is so cool....I AM HOME!!" He shouted at the top of his lungs.
"No more judgement, No more contradiction, No more arguing, No more Hatred!" The relief
was so welcome to him. "Never have I felt more at ease, more at peace. Let them reincarnate, Let them suffer and
whither away, Let them rot for all I care. I spent a lifetime in sufferance, years of rejection, people always jumping
to the misinformed and wrong conclusion. I put up with crap for so long and now finally, in death I find what I
really need, peace. Never will I put up with crappy human existence, no more... no more.... For I am Apathy, the Icon
of...... Apathicon. I proclaim myself Apathicon the Purgatory GOD!!"
Immediately he created a lawn chair with the swipe of his hand.
"COOL!" He said, "I am going to love being a GOD." He sat down and got comfy, lying back and
resting his tired self. He swiped his hand a second time and made beer. "Yes," He said, grabbing a can from
the newly formed case. He opened the beer and kicked back, looking over his new domain.
"Things are starting to look up." He said, drinking his beer.
Meanwhile, in Heaven, things were not looking up at all for our Guardian Angel.
In the office of the Cerephyn Council, Theorotica was being severly repremanded for her actions on a past assignment.
"So, your pagan ways came through yet again?" The Councilor started, "Theorotica, you are
not cupid and you know our policy on intervening in human relations."
"Yes, but if they were meant to be together..."
"But nothing!" The Councilor responded, "You had two mortals trapped in an elevator for over
an hour. Meanwhile another mortal was unable to get to his floor. Do have any idea what kind of stress you
put Michael through? Not to mention the mortal and his three kids??"
"Oh, come on a little family time never hurt anybody. Besides Michael's getting out of
shape he needs practice." Theorotica defended.
"Your arrogance is very unbecoming of you, do not try my patience." The Councillor responded.
A knock came at her door, "Enter."
An angel from the Dominion Council opened the door, "May I see you?"
The Cerephyn Councillor excused herself and walked into the hallway, closing her office door
"We have a serious problem." The Dominion Councillor started.
"Explain." Said the Cerephyn leader.
"Purgatory has a God."
The two councillors continued down the hall to the assembly room. A meeting was just beginning
to take place as all the councillors from the various leagues gathered to discuss the new development.
"The seriousness of this is immeasurable!" Began the councillor for the watchers, "Already we're
seeing agnostics gain some kind of justification."
"Some of our souls waiting to re-incarnate are considering leaving," Added a
"Councillors!" Addressed the Dominion leader, "We are all aware of the grave circumstances we
"How could this happen?" An Angel interrupted, "We have a treatise signed by all, who is this
The Angels banged their fists on the desks in outrage, emotions were running extremely high in this
"Not only are we dealing with conflict from the underworld and the pagans, now we must contend
with non-believers. How could we let this happen?" A voice yelled out, cutting through the riotous noise.
"Angels! Control yourselves!" Boomed the Cerephyn councillor's voice.
A smaller Angel approached the Dominion Councillor with a slate.
"I present to you the information!" She yelled out as the crowd quieted.
A silence fell over the room as they read the details.
"So you see, Angels," The Dominion Councillor added, "There is but one solution
to our problem."
"Are you sure we can trust her?" A voice inquired loudly.
"She is our best operative and right now, our only hope." The Crephyn Councillor stated, "I'll
get things in motion."
The Cerephyn Councillor exited the assembly and continued back to her office. Outside
the door she paused to catch her breath and gain her composure, this was a most difficult task.
She opened the door and entered her office. Theorotica was still waiting inside.
"Out!" Said the Cerephyn Councillor, in a most serious tone.
"Out! As in Out! You've been expelled."
"What?! Expelled?? For bringing two mortals together?" Theorotica defended, "This is an
"Do not push me on this, Theorotica," The Cerephyn Councillor responded, "We've already had
a meeting and our judgement is clear."
"Our judgement? I wasn't even invited to my own arbritation? What's going on?" Asked
"We are in dire straits right now, I'm sure you can understand that. Do not make this
tougher than already is." The Councillor stated.
Confused and angered, Theorotica started towards the door. She stopped briefly before opening.
"Just go!" Commanded the Councillor.
Theorotica opened the door without a word and continued walking in the hallway. With each
step her head grew heavier as memories of her assignments came back to her. 'Expelled.' She thought 'Why?' Theorotica
continued down the hallway and into the elevator which she took down. Leaving the elevator, she continued to the hospital
area. Angels walking through the hallway to and from various rooms. Theorotica continued and entered a private
Inside was a patient, a muse, resting in her bed quietly and alone. Theorotica approached
the bed and stood quietly. The muse's eye's opened and a faint smile appeared, "yes?"
"Mom? It's me," Theorotica started, "I have to say goodbye."
The muse stared blankly into space.
"How can I make you understand?" Theorotica said, as a tear began to fall.
An Angel entered the room, "And how is our patient today? Oh, hello, Theorotica."
"Hi, I was just..."
"Yeah, I heard." The nurse continued, "Sorry."
"Thanks," Theorotica added, "And Mom?"
"Caliope? She's not doing so well. Even Muses get burned out when they work too much,
the sixties must've been hell on her." The nurse answered.
"Yeah, she doesn't remember them." Theorotica added, "Or me for that matter."
"She doesn't remember anybody." The nurse said, "I'm here on a daily basis and...."
"Yeah," Said Theorotica, "I uh, I gotta go."
"Okay," Said the nurse, "I'll try to explain it to her."
"Theorotica," Caliope said faintly from her bed, "Go with God, good luck."
Without a word, Theorotica smiled briefly and continued out the door. 'Now what?'
She thought as she walked down the hall, 'Where am I going to go?'.
She journied out the building and onward to Heaven's Gate and beyond. Outside Heaven
was a vast, infinite wilderness. She had a few choices, Val Halla was one if she wanted to spend time with
the Norse Gods, Hell was always open but Satan was not her first choice or she could go home to Mount Olympus and live with her
pagan side of the family. The last choice was worse than Hell as far as she was concerned, Theorotica did not get along
with the Pagans. Her number one choice, Earthland. The humans there were good to her and she enjoyed her work
as a guardian helping people. The only problem was, according to treatise, Angels and Demons and the like were restricted
from the Mortals of Earthland unless given the blessing of a God.
Being expelled from heaven meant this blessing was not existent. Needing time to think, Theorotica walked around
the vast empty space of Purgatory she thought was without a ruler.
Meanwhile, Apathicon, the Self proclaimed Purgatory God was sleeping in his lawn chair.
Dreams filled his head of how great his existence would be once the followers come to him. He saw himself, seated in
his lawnchair as his disciples and followers sat before him on the ground. Beer was drunk and questions were put forth
as the Apathetic one taught his wisdom.
"And so on that day," Apathicon started, "A rich man walked amongst the poor and one poor man approched
and offered his tale. 'I care as much for your tale as I would a rat's ass.' the rich man responded, not giving of his
currency. 'Such a tale,' said the rich man, 'Could only lead to another tale needing a bigger rat with a bigger ass,
soon we'd need a rat with an ass so big it would swallow up the world! And then where would we be?'"
"Up a rat's ass?" Asked one of the flock.
"You learn quickly." Said Apathicon.
"And in this time, what was the currency, Master?" Asked a student.
"The Currency," Answered Apathicon, "Was rectums of various rodents, Thus the wisdom 'I don't
give a rat's ass.'"
"Aaaahhh..." The group sighed with enlightenment.
"Master?" A young student interjected, "How did all this come to be?"
Apathicon paused for a moment to contemplate an answer and started, "And on that day...Many
were accepted and one was not."
"Master?" Another began, "Is it not written 'Many are called but few are chosen'?"
Apathicon was angered by such an inquiry, "The only thing they called me were insults," He responded,
"The only thing I was chosen to do was clean toilets."
"What's a toilet?" A female voice asked, breaking Apathicon's slumber. He awoke and shook
his head and saw her.
"Wow," Apathicon said, "My first student and she's..."
"I'm not your student," Theorotica interrupted, "Who are you and what do you think you're doing?"
"I, my good woman, am Apathicon and you are a guest in my kingdom."
"Kingdom??" Inquired Theorotica, "I see nothing around me and you call this a Kingdom?"
"Simplicity is a rule of choice," Apathicon retorted.
"It doesn' t get any simpler, now where exactly did you escape from?"
"Escape from?" Apathicon was insulted by such a comment, "Be gone."
He waved his hand and Theorotica vanished into thin air. 'Wow' Apathicon thought, 'I've never done that before,
this is so cool.'
THUD!! Like a ton of bricks a fist came crashing down and smashed into his face, knocking him
out of his chair. Theorotica stood angered above him, "Now, I do not like being dismissed in such a way." She
picked him up by the collar and looked him square in the eye, "Who are you?"
"Apathicon," He responded, "The Purgatory God." With a push, he seperated himself from
"Right." Theorotica said in disbelief, "Purgatory has no God, it's in the treatise."
"Treatise Shmeatrise." Apathicon responded, "This is my domain and you can't have it." He waved
his hand again and she disappeared.
"Aaaaahhh!" The yell came from a distance as Theorotica laid in a punch like a freight train.
Apathicon went flying back farther then he ever travelled as a mortal. When he came to rest, landing on his buttocks,
he got up and saw a faint image coming towards him at high speed. He waved his hand again and stopped her in her footsteps.
"Respect the new God." He said sternfully.
"Go to hell." Theorotica responded then, using all her strength, delivered a punch to send him
"AAaaahhhhh!!!" Screamed Apathicon as he went flying backwards at a blinding speed. Lucky
for him the Gates of hell are always opened, it's more welcoming that way. He flew on past the opening and into the
Hell, a rather depressing place in the Netherworld, with it's fire and brimstone and souls being
subjected to sufferance for a very long time. In this particular region the souls were on their way out, a parole if
you will. Demons and Minions were at work, torturing souls by flogging and burning them mercilessly. The victims
were also at work, moving heavy rocks in the searing heat amongst the lake of fire.
"Incoming," A Minion said calmly as the blur flew past and rammed into the brimstone wall.
Apathicon shook his head and regained conciousness then stood up and tried to regain his dignity.
"Where in hell am I?" He asked, dusting himself off.
"Second circle," Replied the Minion, taking time out of his busy day of torturing souls.
"Good," Apathicon responded, "So this is hell? It's way different from Heaven."
"You are observant," Said the Minion, "After all, this is the opposite of Heaven."
"Right, how come there's no roller coaster?"
"Arr, there's a roller coaster." A voice from behind him interrupted, "Only here the line moves
"Yes," Agreed the Minion, "There is a roller coaster, now get back to work."
"Really," Apathicon turned to see the soul behind him. He was a man, dressed in old and tattered
clothing and an eye patch, "You're a pirate."
"Aye," The man responded, "And you're in my way."
"Right, I'm not in line though. You look like you've had a rough life, what with the hook and
pegleg and all." Apathicon added.
"What do you know of it?" The pirate defended, "I raped, killed, pillaged and maimed."
"Well, as long as you had fun," Apathicon said sarcastically.
"Aye," The pirate stated, "That's why I'm in line to get back to the best time I've ever had.
Now get out of my way!"
"Okay." Smiled Apathicon as the others fell to their knees.
Apathicon turned around and saw him. Satan himself, the dark overlord, the beast, call
him what you will it's the Devil. He's tall, standing on his hoven cloves with a black cape around him, not at all the
cartoon drawings one might see of him. No cliche pitchfork, no cutesy horns and no long pointed tail. He is definitely
on mean demon.
"What's here then?" Satan inquired, staring down Apathicon, breathing his firey hot breath on
"Apathicon," He responded, holding out his hand to shake it, "Nice to meet you, neighbor."
Satan was neither impressed nor amused by such a comment and stood still, staring at him in
"There you are." Theorotica said as she walked into the scene, "I hoped you've learned your
"Theorotica, Who is this?" Satan inquired.
"Just some looney,"
"Looney?" Apathicon interrupted, "I am Apathicon, Purgatory God."
An explosion of fire burst out of the dark overlord's head.
"I can explain," Theorotica started, "And if he just shuts up we can get out if this."
"Purgatory God!!" Yelled satan, "What kind of tricks are you up to in Heaven?"
"None," Defended Theorotica.
"She's right, I was kicked out of Heaven, Much like you." Apathicon said.
"Shut UP!!!" The two of them yelled simultaneously.
"Look," Theorotica started, "I know this looks weird and I don't understand it either but if
you just give us time to straighten everything out..."
"No time!" Satan replied, "I'm going to talk to your boss." And on that note he promptly
"You're the Purgatory God?" Asked a Minion.
"No he's not." Theorotica answered.
"Yes," Said Apathicon.
"Come with me." She commanded, walking back towards the gate.
Not wanting to stay in hell and having the option to go, Apathicon chose to follow Theorotica.
They went along the brimstone path and proceeded out the Gates of hell.
Re-entering Purgatory, a rather bewildered Apathicon took a good look at the outside of the
"You know, some grass maybe a tree or two would be nice out here. Spruce things up." He
"It's hell," Theorotica reminded, "It's not supposed to be nice it's supposed to be ugly."
"I've been through worse." Apathicon stated.
"I've been to catholic school." He added sharply.
"Right." Said Therotica, "Okay, down to business."
"You heard me," She continued, "I have to protect a Mortal on earth from some nasty pagans and
you are going to help me."
"Uh...no." He answered.
"Uh...yes," She responded, "The fate of Earthland is at stake here and if I don't do my part
nobody else will or could."
"Well then I hope you have fun," Apathicon replied.
"Look this is not an option for you." She said.
"Well it better become an option," He retorted.
"No, you see I need to get to Earthland and in order to do that I need the permission or help
of a God. Seeing as I've been expelled from Heaven I no longer have such help, this is where you come in." Theorotica
"What? What come in?" He responded, "I'm dead, I lived, I suffered, I died, I am now dead so
get off my back."
"You really don't get it, do you?" She asserted, "You think that death is the end? That's
it? Everything you've done before is just done in vain? What kind of shallow...?"
Alright! I'll go just please shut up!" He stated loudly, "God, this is as bad as being in hell."
Theorotica smirked a devilish grin signifying her victory.
Our heroic pair arrived on Earthland soon afterward. The city was bright and clear a very
pleasant afternoon. Spring was in the air and everything reminded Apathicon of the day he died. The two were on
a busy street in front of a coffee shop, the same one Theorotica helped Nikki at and fought Auntie Venus.
"Okay," Started Apathicon, "So now what?"
"We watch and wait."
"Sounds like fun, you know I could be drinking beer." He added.
"Don't you ever do anything productive?" She inquired.
"Well I was making my philosophy 'til you interrupted."
"Philosophy?" Theorotica asked sarcastically, "Whatever."
"Whatever." He contemplated, "You know, that pretty much says it all."
"Okay." Said Theorotica, "There she is, come on."
She pulled him along and led as the two entered the coffee shop. Inside was Nikki, Theorotica's
last assignment. She was standing in line waiting for her order.
"Last time I had her stuck in an elevator for hours," Theorotica said.
"I bet everybody loved you for that," He responded.
"It was the best way to keep an eye on her." She defended. "So innocent, I'll never why she's
been chosen for such a dastardly plan."
"Dastardly??" He inquired.
"Dastardly, for reasons unknown the pagan God of war wants her to bear a warchild and bring
forth mass destruction." She said plainly.
"I don't get it."
"Appearently, You see by destroying most of mankind he hopes to eliminate all those who
believe in other beings. Thus all souls would turn back to the old Gods."
"The pagans?" Apathicon responded.
"That's right." She answered.
"What's right?" He asked.
"What about the Pagans?" He asked.
"They want to destroy mankind."
"And in doing so gain their following." He said with confusion.
"Yes." She confirmed.
Nikki received her coffee and sat down at a table by the window. Theorotica and Apathicon
watched as they sat at nearby table.
"Mortals are so neat," Theorotica started, "look at her, just staring out the window, so peaceful."
"Like you know." She responded.
"I am a psychiatrist or at least I was," Explained Apathicon, "I do know a thing or two about human
"So what do you suppose she's dreaming about?" She asked.
Apathicon leaned over and whispered into Theorotica's ear.
"Get out," She reacted, "Gross."
"Well, I never said humans were pure." He defended.
"Well, well, my dear niece returns." Said a voice from a behind. Auntie Venus had entered
the coffee shop.
"Hello, Auntie Venus." Theorotica greeted snidely.
"Auntie?" Apathicon commented.
"Yes," Venus said as she sat down to join them, "Theorotica is my niece and you must be the
new God that has the netherworld in a tizzy."
"Well, I don't know about a 'tizzy'," Apathicon said, embarassed.
"What are you doing here?" Theorotica asked.
"I'm on official business," Venus responded, "So lets not have any unpleasantries."
"Wow," said Apathicon, "You do know her."
Theorotica responded with a look of poison.
"Yes," said Venus, "So, Apathicon, how is Purgatory this time of year?"
"He wouldn't know." Theorotica interjected, "He's here now and you should be elsewhere."
"Please, Theorotica," Venus responded, "I'm here to make two Mortals find happiness. No
need to get defensive."
"Fine, bring them happiness, just do it somewhere else."
"See, there they are," Venus said pointing to a couple that walked in, "They are on their first
date and It's time they found love." She waved her hand towards them and immediately the the two Mortals fell into each
"Aah, young love is the best," Venus commented, "Well my work here is done. Ta tah."
She then vanished.
"Good riddance," Theorotica stated.
"So, it's as easy as that." Noted Apathicon.
"This 'love' thing," He started, "Venus comes in waves her hand and presto all is good
in the lives of humans."
"Yes," He continued, "Look at them. First date and he's practically at second base.
He hasn't even bought her a coffee. Do you know how many times I've paid for dinner? A whole dinner with
drinks and everything? And what do I get for my efforts??!! 'I don't like you.' 'You're not my type.' 'Never
call me again.' What kind of stupid?...."
"Shut-up." Theorotica commanded, "The last thing I need now is to here some whining from a 'so-called
"Hey! I've had a rough time," Defended Apathicon.
"You really have no clue, do you?" She asked.
"I have plenty of clues."
"Right, okay, look here comes the good guy." Theorotica stated, pointing to a man walking
in the door.
"Him??" Apathicon inquired.
"Captain of the football team? Oh, right, how cliche." He added.
"He's a solid guy and he's been approved by our Council." She said, in defence of her choice.
"OH, please," Apathicon said, almost getting sick, "Why not a scientist? or maybe an artist?"
"Right, she could bored into safety." Theorotica said, "Look, they're starting to get along.
I guess four hours in an elevator would work for anyone."
"Four hours?? It took four hours to calm her down?" Apathicon asked.
"Well, I wouldn't exactly say she's 'calm'," Theorotica added, "But at least she's tolerable."
"Oh God," Apathicon said, begging for mercy. "Look, Theo, I can call you 'Theo' right?"
"Okay, Theo, look, human women get hysterical when they have to deal with certain situations."
"They're NUTS!!" He said bluntly, "Whatever you have in mind it's not going work with
"And the fact that football boy is leaving alone." He added.
"He...What??" Theorotica turned her head and looked. An appalled look fell over her
face as she watched the guy walk out and get into his car. "What the..??"
up and walked over to Nikki's table. She sat down and stared at her blankly for a moment.
"What was that?" She started as she sat down across from her, "Do you have any idea what I went
through to get the two of you this far?"
Nikki, of course, could not hear the Guardian and calmly sipped her coffee as she looked out
the window and sighed. Theorotica was a bit perturbed by the outcome but calmed herself down and tried to reason with
"Okay, time for some ancient techniques," She said then concentrated on Nikki to achieve a psychic
link. Soon the thoughts of the Mortal entered her mind and Theorotica began to see things from her point of view.
"Right," Theorotica commented, breaking the link. The pair sat quietly for awhile meanwhile
Apathicon got up to retrieve a newspaper.
"I'll be doing the crosswords," He said on his way back to the table. He sat down and
did just that.
The afernoon proceeded without incident. Another quiet day in another quiet coffee shop.
Completing his puzzle, Apathicon got up and approached the pair.
"Well, I guess that's it." He said.
"That's not it." Theorotica answered.
"Theo, it's over." He gestured with his hands, "I'm going back."
"You can't go back...." She began to explain as the two immediately returned to Purgatory.
"You again." He commented with some joking annoyance, "Okay pull up a chair." He waved
his hand and created a lawn chair, lounger style.
"As i was explaining," Theorotica started without sitting down, "You can't just come and go
as you please."
"How come?" He asked.
"Because I cannot just stay in Earthland without a God's permission."
"Fine," He replied, "You have my permission and I have my beer, everybody's happy."
"It doesn't work that way," She started, "Permission is only granted through the Legion of Leagues
of Angels and...Forget it, it's too complicated."
"Well, fine," He concluded, "Look, you gave it your best shot, she screwed it all up and life goes
on. Do not blame yourself."
"You know, you're right," She started as she grabbed a beer and sat down, "Life does go on.
Soon the pagans will unleash their warchild on the Mortals and war of inconceiveable proportions will result and many Mortals
will die needlessly."
"Good for them," Apathicon added, rasing his beer in a toast.
"Of course this means that all agnostic Mortals will end up here. They'll turn to
you for answers and advice and hound you day and night and you'll never get any peace.."
"Are you trying to guilt me into something?"
"Heavens no!" She defended, "But as you said, 'life goes on' and many souls will arrive here
and stay with you....Eternally."
"Eternally? You may have a point."
"Mmmm." She said, taking a drink, "But if you help me prevent this 'Warchild' Eathland will
be spared the carnage and before you know it I'll be back in Heaven and you'll be back here in your lawn chair all alone and
doing whatever is you do."
"Okay," Apathicon started, "I'll help you. When all this is over you leave?"
"Just go?" He asked.
"No questions? No arguements?"
"Not one." She confirmed.
Apathicon paused for a moment to take one last swig of beer, "Okay, let's go."
Earthland, night has fallen on the city and the Mortal Nikki is preparing for an evening out.
Theorotica and Apathicon appear in her apartment, seated on the couch and watching her television.
"What is tha..? Oh my stars." Theorotica said, amazed by the images on the t.v.
"You've never seen television?" Apathicon asked.
"Yes," She answered, "But never..."
"Hey, a porno." Apathicon said.
"Interesting but why are they using a leather couch?" She inquired, "Oh, that's why."
"Yes," Apathicon confirmed, "Mortals will do anything."
"You should talk," She began as she pulled out her laptop, "You've got quite the file here,"
"No," She said keeping it away from him, "Appearantly your college days were a little naughty."
"Yeah, but I paid for it." He added.
"They made you suffer?"
Theorotica shook her head in confusion.
Nikki stepped out of the shower and walked into the kitchen. The pair watched as she opened
the fridge and pulled out a beer.
"A woman after my own heart," Smiled Apathicon.
"You don't need to see this." Theorotica stated, putting her hand over his eyes.
"Hey!" He protested.
"Ssshhh," Theorotica responded, as if Nikki could hear them and watched as she went
into her bedroom. "Okay."
"Okay? She's gone." Apathicon retorted.
Quietly the pair sat and continued watching the video that was playing in Nikki's VCR.
"Where did this chick learn to wash a car?" Apathicon inquired, "Start at the bottom and
go up. Great, now she's gonna leave streaks."
"You have a definite panache for missing the point." Theorotica stated observantly, albeit
"There's a point?"
"Sort of," She explained, "It is human interaction."
"It's inter-something," Joked Apathicon.
"I can't figure out why she'd be watching this," Theorotica questioned.
"Probably frigid," Apathicon responded, receiving a playful slap.
"Serious," He continued, "She fantasizes about stuff like this happening to her but every time
the opportunity arises she freaks and ruins it all for herself. I've seen it happen."
Theorotica just stares blankly at him for a moment, "Your theories are whacked."
"Not my theories," He defended, "Sigmund freud's."
"I met Freud," Theorotica recalled, "He gave a lecture to us in 'Guardian training' telling
us what to expect."
"Yeah, that must've been cool." Smiled Apathicon.
"No," She replied anticlimatically.
"Hey, the movie's over," He pointed out as the T.V. screen turned to black, "I wonder what's
on?" Apathicon tried to grab the remote control, "What the??" His hands passed right through it.
"You can't grab it," Giggled Theorotica, "You're a spirit."
"Now I'm at the mercy of the T.V.? This just gets worse." He commented.
The VCR stopped and displayed the program on the channel.
"Alright, Hockey playoffs." Apathicon said excitedly.
"Oh, goody," She reacted with sarcasm.
"Hey? See that hip-check? Now THAT'S interaction," Apathicon pointed out.
"Oohhh! They scored." Apathicon complained.
"Isn't that good?" She asked.
"No," He answered, "That's Detroit, I don't like Detroit."
"You should meet my cousin." She stated.
The time continued to pass by and soon the game was over. The two spirits remained patiently
on the sofa, waiting.
"Did she die in there?" Theorotica asked, with a mix of concern and intolerance.
"Women take a long time to get ready but just to be safe, I should look in on her."
"Sit down," She commanded, "I'll look."
Before she had a chance to get up, Nikki came out of her room all ready for the evening.
Her black miniskirt and red shirt looked fashionably sharp, she was set for a night of excitement.
"See, she's ready," Theorotica said, as they watched Nikki pick up the phone and dial.
On the phone, Nikki spoke, "Hi, it's me...you're what?.......Why?!.....Okay, I'm coming over."
She hung up the phone and proceeded to the door. There she put on her 'heels', grabbed her jacket and left.
Apathicon and Theorotica followed after her and caught up with Nikki in her car. They
sat in the backseat as Nikki drove off.
"She's making a mistake," Apathicon started, analyzing the situation.
"I know, those heel's don't go at all with that blouse." Theorotica responded.
"No, No... She's going to find this guy with another woman."
"What? How would you know??" She asked.
"Just a hunch."
The car came to a stop and Nikki got out and walked briskly to the door. She stopped,
gained her composure and rang the doorbell. A few moments passed and a man answered the Door.
"Nikki?" The voice asked in a slightly irate tone. Nikki walked in while Theorotica and Apathicon
waited outside by the front door looking in.
"I told you I was with someone," The man said.
"Yeah but we can 'hang'." She responded.
"Get her out of here." A woman's voice yelled.
"You'd better go." The man explained.
"Either she leaves or I leave," The woman added.
"Okay, okay, calm down," the man said.
"That's it, she's wrecked the mood," the woman voiced cried as she ran out the condominium door,
past our heroes.
"How could you be so stupid??!!" The man yelled, "I said I was busy, I said don't
come over! What's wrong with you?? We aren't even dating."
Nikki started to break down and ran out of the condo, Theorotica followed. Apathicon stood
by the door as the strange man looked outside, angrily.
"I know it sucks," Said Apathicon, "Same thing happened to me once."
The man stood there, speechless, just shaking his head. He turned around and walked inside,
closing the door behind him.
"Of course," Apathicon continued as he walked through the door, "When this happened to me it
was after I spent a beautiful day with the girl of my choice. I brought her home and even cooked dinner for us, a whole
meal. I figured 'this is it, for real.' but no, some other broad had it in her mind to ruin everything. She
calls, I say 'no do not come over.' she does anyway and get this...She brings a guy with her. Not only does she ruin
my chances for romance but she also makes it perfectly clear that I don't stand a chance with her either. Throughout
the whole thing I kept my composure, I never yelled once, should've yelled that would've been a healthy release but
I didn't... At least not until after the two intruders took my date home at two in the morning, against my will I might add.
You yelled at her though, in my opinion this makes you a real jerk."
The man cannot hear Apathicon and continues to watch television.
Meanwhile, outside in Nikki's car, Theorotica is watching over her assignment.
"Okay," Theorotica started, "I saw all that, now explain your strategy."
An angry and confused Nikki begins to break down. Tears well up in her eyes though she
tries her best to hold them back.
"Oh geeez... Here we go," Theorotica commented.
She sat and quietly watched the girl break down, in time she wiped her eyes and regained her
control. Nikki started the car and put it in gear.
"We're going!" Theorotica shouted out the window.
Apathicon came out of the house and into the car. The trio drove through the city.
Neon lights and streetlamps lit the path to their next destination. The car's radio was an old AM only model, tuned
to an oldies station that was currently playing 'Kind of a drag' by the Buckinghams. Apathicon was singing along.
Theorotica was not in the mood and looked at him sternly.
"What?" He asked, interrupting his song, "Rather appropriate."
She just shook her head and made no comment.
They drove on and soon came to a halt outside a nightclub. The parking lot was full but
one or two open spaces farthest from the door were empty. Nikki parked the car and got out.
Theorotica and Apathicon followed, through the parking, to the door, right on inside.
The club was dark, except for the disco lights flashing from above. A stereotypical mirror ball twirled in an attempt
to give an element of class. The dance music thumped out it's lively beat as couples danced up a frenzy on the dancefloor.
Nikki made a beeline for the bar and ordered a beer. She then proceeded to a table and
Theorotica and Apathicon sat down with her and watched as she guzzled the lager.
"Wow," Said Theorotica, "Who'd of thought she could pound them back like that?"
"Yeah," Apathicon added, then looking behind Theorotica, noticed someone, "Isn't that mr. football
guy." He said, pointing.
"Where?" Theorotica said, turning around, "Yeah, that's him. Okay, stay here and watch
her, I'm gonna get him." She got up and walked, literally, through the crowd. Stopping next to the football player,
She began to work her magic.
"Okay, guess who's here?" She started. He began to look over the room.
"That's right," Theorotica continued, "Keep going...and there, you remember her, don't you?
The elevator? Four hour conversation? What's her name again?"
"Nikki!" The quarterback yelled, trying to get her attention as he approached.
"Yes!" Shouted Theorotica in victory, "Now, please don't screw this up."
The quarterback stopped beside Nikki and began talking.
"Hi, you come here often?" He said lightheartedly.
She was unresponsive and stared blankly.
"Go dance with him," Apathicon suggested, imitating Theorotica.
"You're doing it wrong," Theorotica said and went right up to Nikki's ear, "GO DANCE WITH HIM!!"
No sooner did Theorotica finish her sentence when the announcer's voice came in through the
"And now, live for your evening enjoyment, we present... The Tardz!" The voice echoed through
A fellow member of his football team bumped into the guy and the two of them went to their table.
Theorotica watched in surprise as they sat down and began drinking beer with the rest of the team. She sat down at her
table and was speechless. Nikki appeared to take it in stride, like she expected him to do that. She just sat
and drank the second beer the waitress brought her.
On stage, four young men in torn T-shirts and ripped jeans stood behind their respective instruments.
For a brief second, looked as if they were going play but then the drummer tossed his drumsticks aside and the singer behind
the microphone began to make an obnoxious noise.
"Aaaarrraakkklllpffftt!" The singer went on, spitting and drooling. Some thought he was
having a form of seizure, others began to express disappointment.
"Oh, come on," A voice cried out from the audience as the rest of the band began to join in the cacaphony
of annoying vocals.
"Ehhhsssplitzzzxxwkjlks." The quartet expressed as the gibbrish continued.
"Do they even realize they have instruments?" Theorotica asked as she shook her head in confusion.
Soon Apathicon caught on to what was happening and began to laugh.
"What is so funny?" Theorotica inquired.
"Don't you get it?" He smiled, "These guys go on stage and act like this and... Well, just watch
the crowd's reaction."
Immediately a beer bottle went flying towards the stage. A woman stood up and began to
yell at the guy she was with.
"What are you doing?!" The woman yelled in anger.
"What?" Her date defended, "These guys suck!"
"They're mentally handicapped, you jerk," She yelled, "Screw you, this date's over."
Just then the bouncer came by and requested the guy to leave.
"But I paid twenty bucks cover charge!" The guy protested, "This sucks! I want my money back!"
Soon the entire table of football players got involved, including their captain. The team pounded
their fists on the tables and began to throw whatever they could at the stage. Bouncers came by the control them but
it was too late, the barfight had begun. The chaos was phenomenal, a chain reaction of spilled beer and revenge.
Nikki laughed hysterically as she dodged flying beer bottles and flying bodies that came her way. Theorotica and Apathicon
just sat back and watched the mob's actions.
"So, this is art?" Theorotica said sarcastically as things went right through her, leaving no
"Ain't it cool?" Apathicon commented with a smile.
Minutes later the club was under control as every male was kicked out of the place by bouncers.
Now it was simply the band and a bar full of young ladies.
"Wait for it," Apathicon said with anticipation of the punchline.
"Well, I guess all we needed was a warm-up," The lead singer announced as cheers began to rise,
"So, who's glad those jerks are gone?"
"YEAH!!!!" Nikki yelled out, in unison with the rest of the ladies. The band started playing
real music, classic rythm and blues and the dance floor was packed with party going women.
"What???" Theorotica started.
"It was a brilliant practical joke," Apathicon explained, "And it worked like a charm."
"C'mon, let's dance." He invited, as he got up and took her by the hand.
A confused Theorotica got up and the pair went to dance floor and moved to the sound of classic
"Worked perfectly," Apathicon stated with a smile.
"I still don't get it," She responded.
"Well, look at the end result." He pointed out the setting, "A beautiful spring night, A bar
full of lovely young ladies, cold beer and absolutely no competition. I'd do the same thing myself....If I could."
"OH, I get it," Theorotica smiled as they continued to dance.
When the set ended, Nikki went backstage to meet the band. Theorotica and Apathicon followed
along. Backstage was lively, the band, the soundman, the roadies were all there partying and talking to women who enjoyed
"That was absolutely ingenious," Nikki commented to the lead singer.
"You liked that, huh?" He said humbly, "So what's your name?"
"Seth, nice to meet you," He said, holding out his hand to shake hers.
Nikki moved his hand aside and gave him a serious hug, "You just saved my evening."
"Glad to be of service," The musician smiled as he held her close.
"Well, I guess he checks out," Theorotica said, checking her palm-terminal.
"What are you people? The CIA?" Apathicon asked.
"Well, our leader is omnipotent." She responded.
The two continued to make the best of the evening as they watched over Nikki. A sense
of calmness gradually came over them as they realized she had finally found someone she liked and liked her as well.
The night ended with a final slow dance and Nikki again proceeded backstage to be with her new guy.
The rear exit was opened and the band began to 'load up' their van with their gear. Congratulations
were passed around on another well done performance. Theorotica and Apathicon watched from a bit of a distance as Nikki
helped out with instruments. They were impressed as to how well they hit it off and started to believe the assignment
was finished, until...
"Hey! There he is, the freak that ruined my night!" A voice said as the captain of the
football team stepped out of the darkness. Soon other members of the team were with him, Seth and Nikki were surrounded.
"Good, now be a good little monkey and go to war," A more commanding voice stated.
"Uncle Ares?" Theorotica asked with concern.
"Uncle?" Apathicon questioned.
"Yes, Uncle," Ares said sarcastically as he stepped into the light with the three fates, "You
can't choose your family."
"You didn't really think you were going this one, did you Theorotica?" Venus asked as
she too entered the scene.
A certain element of fear and tension fell over Theorotica.
"This little faggot wants to be a rock star?" One of the football players threatened, "Well
tonight, say hello to Jimi Hendricks."
"Yeah, Jimi's the name of bubba's tire iron." A fellow member added.
Apathicon looked over the scenario and began to realize something. If Seth was to die now, he
would have to spend more time on earth and may never back to his beer. 'That would really suck.' He thought, then formulated
an idea. He walked up to the football captain and began to talk to him.
"What do you care?" Apathicon asked, "Beating up this panty waste is a waste of time.
Nobody here cares if you beat up this punk, you want respect go take on somebody who's huge."
"You know," The captain started, "I don't wanna waste my time with this pussy."
The rest of the team looked confused.
"Shane," One started, "this was your idea, remember? Remember what he did?"
"What he did was keep you from putting up with this broad's crap," Apathicon said.
"Now you stop that." Lachesis commanded.
"Come on shane, look at this dingbat, this punk saved you a ton of suffering." Apathicon continued.
"Yeah, forget it," Shane commented, "Anybody who dates this stupid broad must be brain damaged."
"What the?.." Venus questioned, "My spell should've worked."
"Obviously not well enough," Ares stated, "Okay, the rest of you, FIGHT!"
The rest of the team advanced on Seth and Nikki as Apathicon waved his hand.
"Peace through apathy." He declared as the Mortals began to back down, "I can't hold them off
forever," He said to Theorotica, with a wink.
She sprung into action and approached Seth and Nikki, "Okay, normally I'd give some courage
and say fight but you are heavily outnumbered now. Run, run now and go home."
"I have an idea," Seth started, "We're leaving."
He grabbed Nikki's hand and began running with her. A football player picked up a stick
and threw it at them, "And don't come back!" He yelled.
The team calmed down and tried to understand the strange event. None of them have ever
felt so much apathy.
"Well, that's what I get for trusting a Mortal." Ares said with disappointment, "And you! Some
purgatory God you are, why couldn't you just watch?"
"I dunno." Apathicon responded.
"Right," Said Clothos, "I'm leaving,"
The other fates concurred and left as well, now it was down to four of them.
"Well, even numbers," Said Theorotica, "A new concept in battle for you, isn't it uncle?"
"This is far from over, Theorotica," He said, "The war is just beginning and next time I'll
find better Mortals, ones who aren't cowards."
"Right, you do that," Said Apathicon, "We'll be waiting."
Venus and Ares disappeared and only Theorotica and Apathicon remained.
"How did you?..."
"I'm not sure," Apathicon answered, "I've never done that before, maybe I really am
"Well, I'm glad you did something," Theorotica commented, "Even if it was nothing."
The two of them walked along the alley, trying to get caught up with the Mortals. The
warm spring night was pleasant, stars shone on in the clear, dark sky. Quiet was surrounding them as they
walked peacefully through the city without a word to each other, in a very comfortable silence.