The Seven Men sat around the table with the head seat being left vacant. No one sat in that seat because it was reserved exclusively for the Elected One. Once the vote had taken place and the Elected One had taken his place, the newly vacated seat would be filled by new nominations from the remaining six members.
The Elected One's chair had become vacant quite suddenly and this meeting had been called as a matter of urgency to decide on the Successor.
The longest standing member had called the meeting and automatically held the Chairman's role in such an extreme case.
The Chairman was one of Four of the members, although substantial in their commitment to the cause, who knew for themselves, that they stood no chance of taking the revered position. They respected and admired all of those present but held an almost awesome admiration for The Three.
The Three, were picked by the Elected One for their achievements and were privy and party to many confidences and decisions not afforded the other members.They had earned their places by their unrelenting and unbroken promise to serve their Lord and Master. They displayed this commitment on a daily basis whilst retaining the admiration of their Earthly followers.
The vacant position in The Three would be filled in the same way.
The Chairman cut short any further hesitations and called the meeting to order.
"Gentlemen, Dignitaries, Heads of State, and duly Elected Members, I call this meeting to order and thank you all for attending at such short notice" he said firmly.
"As you are all aware, the position of The Elected One has become vacant rather suddenly due to the untimely demise of our Brother, who in spite of protestations from our associates, was executed in an unfair display of supposedly "Righteous Powers." Long may he serve our Lord and Master."He continued, "We are here today to hear from The Three. Each will be given no more than three minutes to state his case, whereafter, we will vote to appoint the new Elected One. Once such appointment has taken place we will take our combined vows, to serve, honour and obey The Elected One as the sole and deserved spokesman for our Mighty Lord and Master."
A folded piece of vellum paper was handed in turn to each of the members.
" I ask that no conversation takes place either during our after the presentations and that you each should make your mark in favour of the recipient, fold the paper in quarters, and then pass them to myself. I will then count the votes and announce the Successor. Any questions?"
The room remained respectfully silent as the voting vellum was positioned before each of the members.
"Will the first candidate, please rise and present your credentials." The Chairman commanded.
The first Candidate rose from his chair, cleared his throat with a small cough, and started his oratory.
"Gentlemen, I will cut across all niceties and merely present to you my achievements. You can be the judge of my splendour." He opened, smiling over the top of his designer spectacles.
"I'm not a young man anymore, I'm in my eighties, but what glorious years they have been for My Lord and Master.
I started out as a young rebel leader who rose up against the Regime and bore arms to bring to the People of my land, the environment, so badly needed, for me to succeed in my mission.
During my rebel days, I commanded thousands of men and women who killed and maimed, both the oppressors, and many innocents. By gun, by bomb, by slaughter or by genocide, I strove diligently to do His work.
I converted the simple minded and persuaded the intelligentsia. I put pressure on the world, to act to remove the Old Regime.
Eventually, I won the right to take part in Elections, and my converts and crony supporters, voted me into the position I still hold today.
What have I achieved in this time, you may ask?
This powerful country, once called the "Bread Basket of Africa" rich in it's mineral wealth and overflowing with human resources, is very close to achieving my final objective.
I have removed all the illegal Farmers who occupied the land and replaced them with, not only my good servants and stooges, but also with incompetents and idiots.
The proof is in the reading. The numbers speak for themselves.
I have decimated the crops. I have decimated the resources. My economy looks like a Monopoly game, and the end of sustainable life as the people knew it, is not too far away.
Yes, I've had opponents and dissenters, but I've dealt with them accordingly. I proudly speak of the slaughters in the lands of my dissenting supporters who decided to try to oppose my rule. Many thousand lay dead in the fields and dirt roads as evidence of my supreme rule.
When I drive the streets of this land, the people bow down to me and are taught to avert their eyes.
I have banished the outspoken and have imprisoned those that dared to try to rise against me, either in force, or in writing. My prisons are filled to capacity.
My time at this meeting is running out and I therefore ask you, no, tell you, do not oppose me.
Rise with me and forever be rewarded in the eyes of My Lord and Master."
The speaker retired to his seat, a fine line of sweat beading his tailored, moustachioed top lip.
The Chairman thanked the speaker and welcomed the second candidate.
"I will not bore you all with my background, but enough is said by the very state of the world today.
I laugh at the financial and other support I managed to achieve from the Western Agencies, approved and condoned by their Presidents and Prime Ministers, to wage war on the Invaders during their attempted invasions.I even managed to get their support in training my loyal men to become the warriors they are today." He said, smiling through his long, flowing beard.
"Yes, they armed me, they trained me and they supported me, until it no longer suited me and achieving my ultimate goals.
Today, I am amongst the worlds most wanted men.
Why you may ask?
Because I have now converted that power and knowledge into one of the worlds best tactical machines.
My wars are fought at a different level.
What have I achieved?
I hold the world in the grip of terror.
I bomb and maim by sacrificing my followers for the good of their religion, in the knowledge that they will receive martyrdom and eternal life. A very effective ploy, even if I say so myself.
I have taken down airplanes, I have taken down buildings, and I have taken down the supporters and followers of those that empowered me.
I work in His way. In a cold, silent, but commanding way that leaves the world desperate for a new path to follow. A world full of potential converts for the next phase of His Ascension.
Gentlemen, I let you judge for yourselves. Let fear be the deciding factor."
The second candidate sat down and remained smiling.
"And finally, our third candidate will present his case." The chairman announced.
Normally, a prepared, written speech would have been placed before him. He didn't feel exposed without one - the written ones were all a show for the people, to say "Hey, this is not only me speaking, this is the voice of the People!" His cronies knew him well and supported his ultimate goals.
"When my Father stood before you many years ago, he mapped out his Ultimate Goal, knowing that he couldn't be a part of that final plan.
What he did promise you, was that his work had not been in vain and that he had placed the right people in the right places in order that I would be elected by the people to take up where he and my predecessor left off." He looked down out of habit, expecting his next prompt from a piece of paper.
"My power is demonstrated even moreso, by my re-election in the face of rising pressure to unseat me. They fear my achievements.
What have I achieved?
With my allies and partners in this plan, we have set the world at war.
We have even trained our attackers, my learned and respected fellow Member, in order to justify our actions and turned a blind eye to the massacre of thousands in order to further our goal.
Then we have turned them on our own people, on the people of the world.
We can now justify our presence and our actions just about anywhere in the world, where we choose to portray these terrorists as presenting a clear and present threat.
When we're there, we do His work in many ways.
First, there are our own people, hundreds of thousands of them, waiting to be picked off by the next kidnapper or suicide bomber.
Then there's the locals - train them up, put them out there and between them, they'll reduce the numbers, it doesn't really matter which side they're on. We've always got someone shooting at someone else.
And then there's the Allies, their troops, their citizens, their children, all helping me to fight this "War on Terrorism." Their assistance lines them up as the next target for these terrorist acts.
What next, you might want to ask me?
I hold the key. I hold the power. I hold the football, as they call it!
When the time is right, and I know when that time is to come, I can achieve the ultimate goal.
A world that is ready and worthy of His occupation.
Thank you Gentlemen, I know you'll do the right thing." he concluded.�
"Gentlemen, May I remind you that the votes of The Three may not be in favour of yourself." the Chairman reminded the Candidates.
The voting didn't take more than a couple of minutes with all the vellum papers, neatly folded now, sitting in the Chairman's hands.
"I thank all of the Candidates for their presentations and know that it is most difficult to summarise such wondrous achievements in the short time allocated to you," he smiled.
"I also want to thank the other Members for their votes and for their sterling work in fighting for our causes in their own special way."
"So, without further ado, let me announce the results" he said, opening the stack of voting papers, one by one.
He read and placed the papers into two piles, each containing three papers.
"It seems Gentlemen, that we have a tie so far, making it essential for me to cast the final, deciding vote."
"Let me start by saying that each of The Three, presented a fine and strong case for this position and that there will be no losers in this Election.
Each of us, every Member, has a job to do, and each of us will achieve a place at His side for our continuous work towards His Cause.
My decision, is based on this Ultimate Cause.
How can we, in the quickest possible time, achieve these ends?
By electing the candidate with the best global reach. With the best credibility and support from the rest of the Leaders.
I therefore place my vote with Candidate number three and welcome him to take his seat at the head of this table where I will bestow upon him, the title and the honour, he so well deserves.
The Successor rose, smiling, and took the four paces to the head of the table at a slow steady pace, grinning and thanking his supporters as he passed them.
He pulled back the seat at the head of the table and settled into it, still grinning from his victory.
The Chairman approached with a large rectangular box, inlaid with bone in the shape of a "7", and placed it on the table in front of the Successor.
From the box, he took a Black sash, which he placed over the left shoulder of the Successor.
He lifted out a small glass phial, deep crimson in colour, as well as a wafer made of a dark black flour.
He started his chanting and the inauguration of the Successor.
"Sanguis bibimus, corpus edimus, tolle corpus Satani."
"We drink the blood, we eat the flesh, raise the body of Satan." the Members chanted as the Chairman placed the contents of the phial and the black wafer on the lips of the Successor.
"Ave Satani!" The Chairman praised.
"Hail, Satan!"� The Members stood and chanted.
"Ave versus Christus!" The Chairman shouted."Hail, the New Antichrist!" They shouted in unison.
The Successor smiled, looked at his watch and excused himself from the meeting.�
He had scheduled an urgent meeting with one of the Allied Prime Ministers - an ideal Candidate for the position he had just vacated in The Three. He had no doubt that he would accept such a position of honour.
The next time they convened, he should have some positive news for them, he thought to himself.