Saviors 101


-a Deities Anonymous novel-The Gods sent Dana Murphy to Seattle to save the Earth. But, no one remembered to tell her that. The problem? In a fit of ennui, the Software that Runs the Universe launches the Armageddon subroutine. Now, all Creation won’t last the week.Dana’s assets:• The Best Friend – dropped out of Girl Scouts to drive race cars• The Boy Friend – an aerodynamics major who goes with the flow• The Nerd – wrote the hottest new on-line game• The Devil – who’s in hiding.• A pint-size angel with a talking disorder—she never shuts up.• A poet and a prophet with over five thousand years combined experience at being dead.The forces of evil are amassing. Then the gods start bickering...

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Prologue the First
Prologue the First 21 years (and 9 months) until Armageddon No one thought that letting Escher into Heaven was a mistake, but many questioned Michelle’s decision to put him on the Heavenly architectural committee. The Devil Incarnate admired the result of her efforts to mess with the minds of Heaven and Hell. The redesigned meeting room that spanned the border between Heaven and Hell was Escher’s masterpiece. Few immortals shared her feelings and some couldn’t even form a coherent sentence while here. Which had been part of the point. She was the Devil after all and did have a reputation to uphold. She dropped into the plush red leather chair at the head of the table. “Michelle.” Her name echoed nicely in the empty room. It translated out of the ancient Hebrew as “Who is like God?” A joke few understood anymore, nonetheless she gleefully answered her echo. “Me!” She followed the path of the second echo as it bounced around the room. The others she’d managed to contact would be along soon. Most, she suspected, checked their caller-ID and chose to risk her wrath rather than pick up the damned phone. If a half-dozen immortals showed up, she’d be lucky. She’d been more patient during the early millennia of creation, cleaning up after God’s various disasters. He’d made a fine primordial soup but couldn’t have gotten life out of it to save His soul. The crucial impetus, as usual, had been up to her. The images of life’s progress since that moment were depicted in intricate mosaic above the chair to her left. Primordial ooze, single-cell colonies, swimmers, crawlers, walkers, and eventually tawny teenage tennis pros in short, white skirts endorsing soft drinks. The Celestials Association for Better Redemption, CABER was coming apart. The council’s title had been invented by the batty Celtic Goddess Sheela Na Gig who liked watching burly men tossing telephone-pole sized logs. Of course once they witnessed the sport, many of the other Goddesses admitted old Sheela had a point about caber tossing. Even in modern times, it was a popular outing among the female deities to go to Highland games and watch strong men in kilts grunting over something besides women. And Escher’s design didn’t help appease the hundred thousand petty rivalries. The long, white table folded back upon itself in such a way that no immortal was ever more than two seats from any other, no matter how many were in attendance. It was awkward to carry on a decent grudge by ignoring an immortal enemy when they were sitting elbow-to-elbow. The table looked normal enough as long as you didn’t think too hard. But that wasn’t what invoked the most complaints. Nor was it the mosaics that covered walls, ceiling, and floor in a mind-bending cacophony of color. In addition to evolution, which had called upon the God of science as its defender, the history of every religion that had a recognized God or Goddess was laid out in the miniscule tiles. And all these flowed together until each turned into the other and almost every one turned into the same tawny teenage tennis pros in short, white skirts endorsing soft drinks. Escher really had a thing about them, somewhere between idolization and stark terror. And there was no way to separate the tennis pros from Zeus. He’d been a rabid womanizer since birth, so this wasn’t as unlikely as your average shmoo supposed. He hadn’t been spotted since entering a go-go bar wearing a paisley shirt in November of 1966. Not that anyone missed the old bastard. Escher’s portrait of Michelle always made her smile every time she tracked it down in the ever-shifting mosaic. Two hands taller than Yahweh, they stood near each other, but not too close. Yahweh: the short, round man, the creative artist who had thought up so many cool and beautiful ideas. And herself, the tall woman with long dark hair and vivid green eyes. Not a slip of a woman, but neither Rubenesque. Just a good solid woman, with a figure that had made many a mortal weep. And more than a few immortals when she’d set her mind to it. The portrait showed a woman of stamina rather than a frail wallflower. A woman with muscles made strong by cleaning up the messes Yahweh had left down the ages. But it wasn’t this swirl of religion and creation that made the brains of the immortals really hurt and go begging for a God-sized dose of salicylic acid. The feature that really twisted up most of them also happened to be Michelle’s favorite part of Escher’s design. It was the long rows of arched windows that looked down upon all creation. The simultaneous views from varied angles could be disconcerting at first. Out one window, the rolling meadows of Heaven spread forever. The next revealed the Big Bang in that silent instant when pure dark was giving way to pure light but no sound had yet been heard. Another looked down upon a hummingbird’s nest in a lilac bush just north of Neskowin along the Oregon coast. A close-up view down the throat of a volcano on Io, one of Jupiter’s moons, made the Hell that she’d developed look like a toddler’s paradise. What really bugged most Gods was that while they could walk the length of the room in a few dozen steps, the windows went on forever without limit. And there was still plenty of wall space for the ever-entwining mosaic. It made the controlling-type Gods downright twitchy. The few immortals who were at peace in this room either depended on a sense of humor, as she felt herself prone to do, or were so connected with the Cosmic Oneness that they found it beguiling. Those not so equipped made a point of staring fixedly at the table. That way they saw the world as being entirely in their control; a blank white slate to scribble the future upon with colored crayons, preferably the full sixty-four-color set with the sharpener in the back. She slouched down in her favorite chair, kicked off her sandals and rested her feet on the table in order to wait more comfortably; immortals were rarely punctual as they thought they had all the time in Creation. Michelle let her eyes rest upon a view of the moon buggy for Apollo 16 sitting idly at the foot of the Descartes Mountains. A brilliant practical joker had turned it around in the direction opposite to the way the astronauts had parked it, but so far no one had noticed. She, at least, appreciated her own humor. Being the Devil Incarnate had its perks.

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