The Second Horseman of The Apocalypse held a rare news conference at his estate today, warning that the Apocalypse Alert level may have to be raised.
The Second Horseman met with the reporters arrayed outside the gates of his secluded ranch, arriving in a red Mustang convertible matching his solid red ensemble.
Approaching the crowd with sword in hand, the Horseman created a brief panic before noting, “Opps, sorry, I forgot how jumpy you people are,” and idly tossing the sword into the backseat.
“I’ve been asked by the other Horsemen to alert you that it may be necessary to elevate The Apocalypse Alert level in the coming weeks to Florescent Orange,” he announced. “That is all, now get the hell out of here!” Before he could drive away, however, the Second Horseman was bombarded with questions from the frenzied press. The clearly irritated Horseman pointed a bony finger towards one of the reporters and barked, “OK, you….what?”
“Mr. Horseman. Isn’t this warning that it MIGHT be necessary to raise The Apocalypse Alert level kind of vague in itself? Can we or can’t we expect the level to be elevated?”
“Listen to me,” War began, “vagueness is the nature of the world. You MIGHT have paid more attention all along. There are dozens of other issues that if you insisted on more clarity at the time, you wouldn’t be in this mess now. NEXT!” War glanced around the mob, selecting another with a subtle nod.
“Thank you, Mr. War,” she began.
“Just WAR!!!” screamed the Horseman.
“Right…. War. Um…what is this ‘mess’ that you allude to?” she asked.
“The way the other Horsemen and I see it, you clowns are getting awfully close to falling off the edge of the table, so to speak,” the Horseman responded with his characteristic candor.
“Falling off the edge of the table?” she queried subtly.
“Yeah, you know…burning down the house, sleeping with the Dodo, taking the Pompeii Plunge!” the Horseman cynically clarified.
“What happened?” yelled someone from the crowd.
“Paradigm shift. Listen, did you even look at your press kits? Figure 14 shows the projected timeline based on the old model. As you can see property values on this chunk of rock were supposed to continue upwards for the next few hundred years, even when factoring in Global Warming next century. The new model indicates a much shorter timeline ever since you folks decided to go out and get all crazy. See the solid red line falling off the charts into the cosmic crapper? That’s you. We’re hoping the model shift is just an aberration, but in case it’s not, we’re prepared to raise the level.”
“Where’s the First Horseman and why haven’t we heard from him?,” one reporter queried.
“Well, that’s a freaking politician for you, he’s not here,” War replied angrily. “He was given the power of political influence. I was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other, yada, yada, yada.”
“What about the other two Horsemen?” came a snide comment from the rear.
“The Olsen Twins were busy,” The Second Horseman barely noticed his own sarcasm.
“What changes will you enact after the level is raised?” another reporter blurted out.
“As an End-game player not really concerned with the day-to-day details, I’ve got surrogates for that!” War dismissed the question with a bored wave of his hand, signaling for another.
“Has your War Plan changed?” asked a reporter discreetly positioned near the back.
“Completely. What we anticipated as a quick two or three week Apocalypse has now been revised to a long, hard, slog over a generation,” War replied matter-of-factly.
“How would you classify our current situation in a nutshell?”
“By doomed, do you mean just some of us?”
“No, you’re all doomed.”
“What if we use a pre-emptive strike against…anyone?”
“You’re still doomed! Come on, people, pick it up bit. You don’t exactly have all the time in the world.”
“What if we call you and all your doomsday innuendoes poppycock?” asked a reporter from the BBC.
“Well, you can just take a philosophical right turn at your broke ass Monarchy and go straight to hell!” War snorted cynically.
“What happens after the Apocalypse?” asked a cub reporter gesturing wildly.
“Not my department,” the Horseman replied. Scattered laughter punctuated the crowd, clearly annoying War. “You hicks think you’ve evolved to the point you can laugh at WAR?” the Horseman muttered incredulously as he abruptly returned to his car. “This press conference is over. I’ve got stuff to do today.” Suddenly the sound of one hundred hounds of hell all howling in unison emanated from the trunk of the car. “If you can’t win their hearts and minds with logic, scare their asses with special effects,” War mused sarcastically, chuckling as he started the engine.
As the crowd fell into fearful silence, red-tinged smoke emanated from the exhaust, hugging the ground, and rising ominously to the knees of the startled press. “You people just don’t get it, do you?” said War, leaning from the car. “If you don’t sort this bulls**t out and I end up having to come in to work early, you are NOT going to be happy to see me.”
With that, War pulled away up the hill, throwing gravel into the crowd and yelling over his shoulder, “And if you think my surrogates were doing a ‘Superb Job’, just wait until you see what an Old School over-achiever like me can do when properly motivated!”
The next day, the War press conference was largely buried in the one page religious sections of most major newspapers. However, one small midwestern newspaper gave it the front page headline, “War Threatens the World”. But with a circulation of only 666 it was a moot point.