The gavel fell with excessive force, echoing like thunder throughout the meeting hall and nearly splitting the marble podium on impact.
“Satan is not pleased with our most recent mission,” the Sergeant Major roared—causing some of the novice demons to cower in the shadows. “We must devise a more effective strategy. Or there will be consequences.” As he lifted his arms, a wall of fire burst forth—encircling the soldiers.
Cries of horror erupted throughout the room as the hungry flames threatened to devour the entire troop.
“Silence!” The Sergeant’s voice boomed across the hall. “We are to incite fear, not succumb to it! Do you not understand our purpose?” Marching forward, he grabbed one of the younger privates by the collar and pushed him toward the platform. “Recite our mission statement!”
With quavering voice, the trembling private answered: “To s-steal, k-k-kill and d-destroy. To l-l-lie, d-deceive and d-distract. To m-m-misrepresent the Enemy before all p-p-people and h-hide his word f-from their v-v-vision.”
Shoving the private to the floor, the Sergeant growled. “You have forgotten the most important part!” His yellow eyes flashed like lightening as he cast a menacing glare at the remaining soldiers. “We are to erase the memory of the Enemy and his kingdom from the earth, and to corrupt the identity of his beloved people. Now who can devise the most strategic way to accomplish this task?”
“Sickness! Famine! War!” Answers reverberated against the stone walls from all directions. “Greed! Hatred! Poverty! Disaster!”
“How unoriginal.” The Sergeant frowned. “These tactics have been used for centuries, and yet the name of the Enemy prevails. We must be more…creative.”
“Addictions! Lust! Perversion!” More voices echoed through the hall.
“The Enemy’s people have learned to recognize such carelessly obvious tactics. Remember, evil must be cloaked in light.”
A dark figure in the back of the room rose from his seat. “Why don’t we target their diet?”
“Their diet? Don’t be ridiculous. Obesity and its resulting ailments already consume much of the population, while starvation rules the rest. What greater havoc can we wreak in that arena?”
“I speak not of their physical diet.” The dark soldier’s voice carried effortlessly across the room. “I speak of the most strategic of battlefields. Their minds.”
The Sergeant rubbed his hands together and narrowed his eyes. “Proceed.”
“Remember Balaam. When he could not curse the people of God, he chose a greater strategy.”
Placing his hand beneath his chin, the Sergeant paced the length of the platform. “And with what method shall the seduction unfold?”
“Entertain them. Using our greatest ally.”
Pausing, the Sergeant raised his brows and looked at the soldier.
The Sergeant continued pacing. “I am hesitant to use the Media. It has been used to advance the cause of good. A number of their forces have allied themselves with the Enemy, to his great advantage. His message has spread across the globe in a magnitude beyond our control.”
“True. But if we gain control of the airwaves, we gain control of minds. A human proverb says, ‘You are what you eat.’ But they speak in mere physical terms. They are unaware that what they digest mentally affects their values, their desires and their self-image. If we can convince them to base their identity on the values of the Media, they’ll forget their identity in their so-called god.”
“And the battle is practically won.” Pausing at the podium, the Sergeant leaned forward. “And how will we implement this strategy?”
“Easy. When people are entertained, their guards are down. While they’re laughing, crying or just mindlessly watching—it is our open door to infiltrate their minds. We’ll have full reign to preach our message, while the people remain oblivious. They will grow to accept and believe things they never before imagined.”
“Make evil look good and good, evil? Brilliant.”
“What greater way to accomplish this than through the Media? No one will suspect we’ve taken control. Of their diet. And of their minds.” The dark soldier stepped out of the shadows, and the surrounding flames shed light on his face. Horror consumed the soldiers, and the Sergeant fell to his knees.
It was Satan himself.
“Go forth, soldiers of darkness.” His voice roared above the fire. “It’s time for the minds of the world to go on a diet. Our diet. Fulfill your task. Before the Enemy prevails.”
And his soldiers marched out on their secret mission.
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