[Yes, Josephus is named after that Josephus. I, and therefore Daimon, happened to watch one of the episodes of A&E's Mysteries of the Bible on him and his politics one day, and the name stuck.

I don't know if the style works at all. It's not my normal style.]

The enormous screen flashed war. Out there somewhere someplace they fought an unseen undying enemy. Brave men and women, they were making the world safe for Hell. They were fighting the horror who wished to change their lives. They were dying for prince and duke and God and this was the most important thing in the world. His ears rang with slogans and jingles. Fight Heaven! Keep Our World At Peace! Paper drives and stamp drives and tin drives and tire drives. Keep our boys at the front.

It had been going my entire life. I can not remember a time without war. I am assured that it is very important. I can almost believe it.

Look kids I thought as I stared across the canteen. Look there and see what war has brought you? It is there for you on the screen. A bullet and you have no arm. A shell and you have no leg. A burst and you have no eyes. Gas and you have no mind. Dying fathers and bleeding brothers and screaming sons. There sits armless mothers clutching headless babies to their breast, begging for answers where there is none. And they do it all for our safety and our happiness. Do you see any veterans full of tales of victory? This is a demonstration my son it is assured to be very educational. Don't cry little daughter come away from the corner. Come look at what war has brought you. Come see what lies behind the slogans and the flag wavings. Doesn't this make you feel good inside?

Eager to fight eager to die. I don't want to die. I have only one life to give and I want to give it living and breathing and working with my hands and being. My life is not yours to take it is mine and I want to live it. I don't care for the slogans and the guns and the trucks. I don't care what someone else decides. The enemy has never done anything to me I don't live in their world and they don't come to mind, I have never seen the world that they fight over why would I want to die for something I have never seen?

We make and bind our books and send them to the front and they are inspirational. They are good books. We send no bad books. We remind the soldier of why they are there so that they will be willing to jump into another trench and breathe in another lungful of poison gas. We do this with smiles because they are fighting for our freedoms from the tyrant God and his rules. We do it because someone has told us that we are right and the people here are happy. They always have smiles. They are happy.

I cannot justify it, so I will merely eat my lunch. And I do. It is not bad.

The enormous screen had moved on to other scenes. Watch and see the relentless march of advertisements and slogans and ads and daytime shows to keep you cowed and sitcoms to make you laugh. When the sports teams come on, people cheer for their favorites and chide their enemies and feel better about themselves. It is a sence of unity where they are divided as if they will gain the trophy to put on their own mantels. It is part of the dizzying cycle. We are all happy.

I think, I am happy. And then I put away my tray and start back to work.

I am happy. I have hands to work and feet to walk and eyes to see. This the state provides me. I am fed and warm and happy. There is pain and corruption around me, but if I just don't look at it then I know that I will continue to be happy. The State assures me of this. And I believe it, for I really am happy.

Written in ink: "I don't know if this works. Does this work? I'm tired. I don't care. Look at it tomorrow."

Flaming edge graphics from Our Domain Gallery of Graphics
The "In Nomine" and "flaming feather" graphics are
(C) 1997 Steve Jackson Games, Incorporated.
Used with fnord.