2030. The scorched remains of what used to be Earth. A lone soldier walks along the barren wasteland, a dangerous place and an even more dangerous man.
Danny marched through the smouldering rubble with a gun on his shoulder, Arizona was no place to be seen without protection, either a firearm or a condom, take your pick, you won’t get far without either one. And Danny was a gunman who wanted to get far, as he approached the barn on the horizon, he knew this could be his shot at everlasting glory, all he’d have to do was keep the damn thing in his pants. It wasn’t far away, he’d been mentally bracing himself for what he’d see when he walked through that barn door.
It had been five years since the rapture, the end days, when all the goodie-goodies and jobsworths were beamed up from this mortal realm and entered the Kingdom of Heaven. As for the rest, well, that was Danny. He’d been a believer, but never a devout man. Far from it. He’d held down a steady job, sure, he’d been loyal to his husband, but there was a reason Bruce was up in Heaven while Danny was trekking to his probable doom, right now. What awaited him on the other side of life, he couldn’t bear to think. As he cast his mind back to all the gambling, all the drinking and fighting, he couldn’t help but think it would take a lot of pity from St Peter for him to be reunited with his husband. But a man could dream. And dream is all he could do.
Once the rapture had left nothing but scroundels and scum on the Earth, things got real bad, real fast. It wasn’t long before the true battle of good and evil began. Jesus descended down from the Heavens and started assembling His army, He hadn’t been picky, hadn’t discriminated based on His soldier’s past misdeeds, that was pre-rapture, it didn’t matter and He couldn’t afford to care. The enemy He was facing damn sure wouldn’t. Satan himself was on the other side of the Western front, with his own army of demons, imps, and any man who was too far gone to believe that he still stood a chance of getting into Heaven.
It hadn’t been an easy fight, the army from Hell had taken some early gains of major industrial cities, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Houston. Not that industry had meant that much when all the fights were with celestial or demonic power, but it was still a massive symbolic blow. And it was this blow that empowered Jesus to pull out and dust off some old legislation. He was a traditionalist, the son of God, and He had blamed these losses on an old enemy, the gays. Jesus implemented Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Sure, you could fight the forces of Hell and sure, while charging down their mounted artillery, you could think your comrade was a cute little number. But if you ever let him know that you think that, it would be over and you’d booted out to the wastelands faster than you could rank your favourite Mariah Carey albums.
One slip of the tongue, one overly amorous batting of the eyelashes, and it was all over for Danny. He’d met a young man who won his heart early in the war, N’Golo, a formidable warrior Danny had fought with on the Mexican front. Danny had seen N’Golo planting a stake into the chest of some of Central America’s most legendary vampires on their special operations together, and had fallen for him across a series of intimate Guatemalan nights in each other’s arms, covered in the smell of sweat and garlic. But once Commander Jesus announced the executive Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell order, they had no choice but to go their separate ways.
Approaching the barn now, only a few feet away, and he would be face to face with Commander Jesus, the man who had separated him from not one, but two loves. Danny had never been one to hide his feelings, but if he could stifle his hate for the messiah, he could do whatever job he was being summoned for, and ride off into the sunset of Heaven, where he’d finally be able to be true to himself again. He opened the barn door.
“I love you.” Danny immediately said. As soon as the door had opened, the man standing behind Jesus’s shoulder had locked eyes with Danny, it was N’Golo. And with one look the smell of garlic and the memory of all those sleepless nights had come flooding back. Every eye in the room was scrutinising Danny now though, N’Golo didn’t flinch. “Uhhh, you! My lord.” Danny corrected, turning his neck to Commander Jesus and pointing at Him for extra clarity. “I love you, Jesus.” Seeing everyone still looking sceptically in his direction. “In the devout, Christian way, of course! Not as a man! More love the Holy Spirit than the Father or the Son, quite frankly!” This seemed to convince the guards, and their faces relaxed into the heterosexual comfortability of not feeling threatened by any unorthodox sexual preferences.
“Thank you Danny, my son.” Jesus replied, “You’ve always been a loyal soldier to me and my cause, and that’s why I brought you here. In fact, I prepared a gift for you… To reward your devotion.” Jesus slid a delicately wrapped present across the desk to Danny, who opened it with gusto. It was a calendar, and not just any calendar, a fireman’s calendar. Twelve straight pages of hunky, topless buff firemen. Danny looked back up to Jesus, who was studying his face with intense scrutiny. “Well, do you like my gift?” Jesus prodded. Danny sweated, eyes flitting about as his brain searched for the correct answer, Jesus wasn’t even technically supposed to ask that. All Danny could do was follow protocol.
“I’m not telling you.” Danny replied. He waited, biting his lip, for Christ’s response.
“Correct answer, soldier!” Jesus beamed, and pulled Danny into a manly hug. “Danny, I’ve got something to ask of you, I’m afraid. I know I give my toughest battles to my strongest soldiers, but this is beyond anything I’ve ever asked.”
BOOOOOOOMMMMM!!! KABLAMMMMM!!! CRASH!!!
“What’s going on?!” Commander Jesus asked, the building had collapsed around them, He and Danny were alone standing amidst a circle of destruction. Everyone else had been knocked down by the blow, and now struggling to breath in the dust.
“It’s a bombing raid, my lord!” One of the guards shouted. “Lucifer must have an informant! Someone betrayed us!”
Danny pushed Jesus aside, through the dust, N’Golo was nowhere to be seen.
“N’GOLOOOO!” Danny started to cry. “Where are you?” He sank down to his knees and started scrambling at the rubble, looking for his lost lover. He threw bricks and stones aside, desperately searching for N’Golo. From the other side of the room, a faint voice spoke
“Danny…” N’Golo spoke, barely louder than a whisper. Danny’s head whipped around.
“Push men! We can end this here!” Voices called from outside, the sound of automatic rifles, rattled through the air as Danny ran across the room, he only had eyes for N’Golo, trapped beneath a wooden beam. Danny gasped when he saw N’Golo’s face, he’d taken a blow to the side of the head and was losing blood at a rapid rate. He didn’t have long left.
“No! N’Golo! Stay with me! Stay with me!” Danny was slapping his face, trying to keep him awake, but he felt hands under his arms pulling him back.
“He’s gone, Danny! It’s too late, we’ve got to save Jesus and get out of here!” A guard pleaded.
“NOOOOO!” As soon as Danny was released, he dropped back down to the floor with N’Golo. “I love him!”
“YOU FUCKING WHAT???” Jesus shouted. His voice carried through the artillery and shelling.
“Not in a gay way!” Danny replied with haste, he saw Jesus pull his pistol. “But not necessarily not in a gay way!”
Jesus seemed to relax, despite the impending doom, he seemed relieved that his best soldier’s sexuality was still technically not confirmed.
“Look, child. Trust me when I say N’Golo wouldn’t want you to lose your life for him.” Jesus bent down and put a hand on Danny’s shoulder. “Let’s get out of here.” He was right, of course. Danny slowly stood up with Jesus’s arm on his shoulder. He still had the job, escape and keep Jesus alive. He steeled himself for that was to come and put his arm around Jesus, accidentally brushing Jesus’s bum as his hand rose. Jesus stopped in His tracks.
“What was that?” Jesus asked, calmly, but Danny could see the fury behind his eyes.
“It was an acci-accide-” Danny stammered, but he saw Jesus once again pulling his pistol. He cocked it and put up to Danny’s head.
“No, please! I’m not, I’m not-!” Danny begged through tears.
“I didn’t ask.” Jesus replied. His finger squeezed the trigger.
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