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Good Books

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  • john_m_burt
    Jay Garrick and Alan Scott were on the sort of terms that Jay felt no reluctance to enter Alan s apartment unannounced, but he drew the line at vibrating
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 8, 2003
      Jay Garrick and Alan Scott were on the sort of terms that Jay felt no
      reluctance to enter Alan's apartment unannounced, but he drew the
      line at vibrating through his walls. Thus he climbed the stairs and
      entered Alan's study at normal speed. He found his old friend
      surrounded by books, apparently recently unpacked from a crate that
      stood open in the middle of the room. Alan looked up from his desk,
      where he had been staring at three books in particular as though they
      were a family of scorpions.

      "Good to see you, Jay," Alan said without smiling. "I finally got
      aroudn to looking at the crate of books I bought the last time I was
      on Earth-3."

      "I suppose that explains the long face, Alan. If I never see or hear
      from that place again it'll be fine by me."

      Alan nodded.

      "I feel more or less the same way, but you never know where you might
      have to go some day, so I figured it was a good idea to do a little
      research. That barrier between worlds may not hold forever, you
      know."

      Jay picked up a book titled "Poor Benjamin's Almanack for 1985",
      flipped through it at super-speed. He shuddered as his mind absorbed
      the information it contained.

      "I see what you mean. Still a nasty place, though."

      "You haven't seen the worst. Look at these."

      Alan picked up a book, its white leather cover stamped in gold "Holy
      Writ", opened it to a bookmark and read,

      "'On this night, the blood of a child of the unbelievers shalt thou
      drink, for they are thy cattle.'"

      Jay's jaw dropped as Alan reached for the second book, titled "Al
      Azif".

      "'Any man who dies in the course of slaying the infidel shall be
      granted two and seventy virgins to serve him in Paradise.'"

      Alan moved on quickly to a volume titled "The Book of Stalking Forth
      by Night".

      "'Before Enlightenment, dominate the weak and undermine the strong.
      After Enlightenment, dominate the weak and undermine the strong.'"

      "Alan . . . ."

      "Jay, these are the books that form the basis for the major religions
      on Earth-3."

      "But that's all . . . ."

      "Filth. Loathsome and vile, like nothing ever seen in any scriptures
      on our world, or Earth-1. Maybe now we can start to understand just
      why things are as bad as they are on that world."

      Jay was silent for a long time. Then he suddenly gave a snort of
      surprise.

      "Say, you remember those steel-jacketed Bibles they used to give the
      GIs during the war?"

      "Sure. I got one when I was in the Army."

      "So did I. And you know, I've never been really religious, but I got
      in the habit of carrying it with me as the Flash. Always had it,
      until a couple of years ago when my outfit got pretty well shredded.
      That was how I wound up attending a Justice Society meeting wearing
      one of Johnny Quick's suits. I figured it was the least he owed me."

      "Johnny Quick? You mean you lost it on Earth-3?"

      Jay chuckled nervously.

      "Yeah, I wonder if anyone ever found it?"

      Johnny Quick made a visual confirmation that the visitor to his
      palace was indeed Power Ring, and disabled the defenses to let him
      in. The Emerald Extortionist's face was especially grim as he tossed
      a cheaply-printed pamphlet to the Scarlet Slayer.

      "I took this off one of those idiots who've been making so much
      trouble in Eclipse City. Have you ever seen anything like this? Do
      you have any idea where filth like that could have originated?"

      Johnny Quick opened the pamphlet at random and read aloud, "'Blessed
      are the meek . . . .'"
    • BLACKWOLF
      Oh man this is good! ... ===== ^ ^ * * (-) __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? SBC Yahoo! DSL - Now only $29.95 per month!
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 9, 2003
        Oh man this is good!
        --- john_m_burt <john_m_burt@...> wrote:
        > Jay Garrick and Alan Scott were on the sort of terms
        > that Jay felt no
        > reluctance to enter Alan's apartment unannounced,


        =====
        ^ ^
        * *
        (-)

        __________________________________
        Do you Yahoo!?
        SBC Yahoo! DSL - Now only $29.95 per month!
        http://sbc.yahoo.com
      • aarnathx
        (Sound of applause) VERY good story! Bravo!
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 13, 2003
          (Sound of applause) VERY good story! Bravo!
        • john_m_burt
          Onward, holy soldier, drench the land with gore Mercy is a weakness all the gods ahbor Bayonet the babies, rape their mothers, too The gods to whom you
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 7 3:41 PM
            Onward, holy soldier, drench the land with gore
            Mercy is a weakness all the gods ahbor
            Bayonet the babies, rape their mothers, too
            The gods to whom you sacrifice will hallow all you do
            File your bullets' noses flat, poison every well . . . .

            Lana couldn't stand it any more. This hymn was even worse than the
            last one, which had praised "a goodly King who loved his folk, and
            guided them with the rod, the stake, the axe . . . ." She rose from
            the rear pew and dashed out of the temple, clutching at her stomach.

            She stopped at the filthy, litter-strewn curb, fighting the urge to
            vomit. Behind her they had started on yet another verse, and she
            heard all too clearly,

            Onward, holy soldiers, rend and tear and smite . . . .

            Shuddering, she forced herself to appear calm. It wouldn't do to
            draw attention to herself. That was the first lesson she had learned
            after becoming trapped on this world.

            It had been six months now since the red-skied day when Lana Lang had
            slipped from the streets of Crown City to this hellhole of a town
            called Steel Harbor. She had done her best to survive in this
            horrible upside-down world. Coming to this temple had been her
            latest attempt to understand it. She was afraid the experience had
            told her more than she wanted to know about these people.

            She looked up at the symbolic gallows that crowned the ugly pile
            where the celebrants were now singing something revolting
            about "rooting at the Master's trough".

            "You're not an Augustine, are you?" said a voice behind her. She
            turned, startled, and saw a crippled beggar smiling at her. Warily
            she said, "No, but I'm interested. I want to know more."

            She pointed up at the gallows.

            "That's th Augustine symbol. Is it in memory of one who was hanged
            that way?"

            The man looked startled.

            "'One'?" he asked, incredulous.
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