Holy War
rating: +36+x

The five cloaked figures moved through the forest without sound, their crouched frames almost floating through the morning twilight. Nearing the edge of the forest, the leader of the group turned, and indicated to the others to stop. “Brothers, we go forth today as defenders of the faith. Beyond these few trees lie the greatest enemies our faith has ever known, heretics preaching against everything we believe in. It is our God's very will that today we lucky chosen will go forth and destroy this bastion of hereticism. In the name of the Broken God, we will succeed!”

Jacob rolled over, turning his face to the window next to his bed. As the sun began to peek through, he sighed. Might as well get up now. Slowly, the farmer lifted himself out of bed, his old bones creaking with the movement. Standing with similar speed, he began to dress himself. I think I'll tend to the cows first today…

The cloaked figures closed up behind the barn, the sun casting their long shadows up and ahead of them. The leader looked to the other cultists behind him. Lowering his hood, they looked to him with a deep respect. The Deacon's face already showed the blessing of the Broken God, his camera-like eyes, and machine jaw gleaming in the morning sun. Looking at him, the others noticed how his mortal skin seemed to just hang over his superior clockwork parts. The other cultists then lowered their own hoods. Smiling, the Deacon looked to his fellow cultists. “Brothers, let us make haste. We do not want to let these enemies of our God know what has hit them.” Standing, the Deacon drew a dagger from his cloak, the others following suit. “Let us strike.”

Jacob reached up to the shelf to grab the old bucket from the shelf, grimacing as he did. Just a few more years, he thought to himself, finally heaving the container off the shelf. Turning to make his way out of the barn, he stopped. “How long have you been standing there?” Finishing turning, he looked at the man standing just inside the barn. “Just moments.” The old man nodded as the assassin came forward, brandishing his knife. Bringing his knife back, he prepared to strike. However, he found himself unable to attack. Looking down, he noticed how strange it was that his intestines were wrapped around a pitchfork, and then everything went black.
Sighing, the old Farmer retrieved his pitchfork from the dead cultist.
“Not again.”

The cultist walked down the street, pouring kerosene as he chanted the sacrificial mantra he had been taught when he first joined the Church. “…and let this offering to Him be used to restore him, for the purifying flames shall bestow unto their spirit the honor of forever being his… Oh. Hello.”
Standing on the porch of a small building, a woman looked at the assassin. He began to grin like a Cheshire Cat.
“You will make an excellent sacrifice, won't you?”
Slowly pulling the blade from his robe, and setting the can of kerosene on the ground, he closed on the woman. Defiantly, she stood, not making a single move. “Perhaps you want to be his sacrifice?” Still standing defiant, the woman seemed to just glare at him, not reacting to his threats. The cultist closed on her, and prepared to pounce. Finally, the cultist lept forward and jammed the dagger in the young woman's throat. The blade lept into her throat, and then stopped. Confused, the cultist yanked the blade back, and stabbed again. Brusing the woman's long hair out of her face, the mannequin's painted-on visage glared back at him.
“Son of a bi-”
The wet sensation over the cultist's head caused him to turn in rage, thinking it to be some kind of joke. Screaming, he realized too late that kerosene is a liquid.
The old man sighed as the flaming cultist ran into the gift shop, setting it ablaze.
“Probably woke everybody up with that screaming.”

The cultist ran quickly into the barn, seeking refuge in one of the few buldings in the town that wasn't on fire. “If the damned Deacon will not aid me in an escape, I will make one myself. Perhaps one of these horses…”
Quickly, the cultist levered open the door, and looked at the mighty creature before him. Doing as he had seen in the movies, he threw himself onto the horse, landing on the creature lopsided. Grabbing onto the creature's mane, the horse suddenly began to react. The assassin yelled in fear as the horse began to buck. Struggling to keep his hold, the man maintained his failing grip on the the heaving creature. He didn't notice the old man behind him. With one swift strike from a shovel, the cultist was knocked free from the horse, the creature still trampling the dirt floor. The second strike with the bladed edge of the shovel ensured he would not get up.
Sighing, the farmer turned to leave the barn.
“Well, at least that's over.”
“Not quite.”
The old man groaned as he felt the Deacon plunge his blade into his gut from behind. Pain filled his body as it slid through his gut, causing him to collapse. Finally, the Deacon pulled his blade from the old man, and began to walk away. As his vision faded, the old man muttered one last thing:
“This…. statement is…. false.”
The last of his blood having drained from his body, the old man collapsed.
Stopping, the Deacon turned to look at the old man.
“This…..? Statement…..? is……? False……? This……? Statement……?”

This morning, local police were called to the Blue Falls Amish community after reports of a bloodbath. Local police arrived to discover that all of the inhabitants of the small community had been slaughtered, homes burned, and many of their bodies showed marks of ritual mutilation. One possible suspect has been found in one of the surviving buildings, currently at the St. Jonah medical center. Some sources report that satanic groups may be to blame, however…..

"Sir, that's the 5th village this month."
"Your point…?"
"Sir, the shapes carved into those bodies, the graffiti on those walls…"
"What of them, Agent Macready?"
"Those are marks of damnation, the same ones used in their scripture to mark 'Heretics.'"
"So what?"
"Sir, if I didn't know better, I'd say the Church declared war on their one true enemy."
Turning, the senior agent looked at Macready.
"Sir, I think the Church just declared war on the Amish."

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