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God (Salvation War)

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"You shall not defy me!"
~ Yahweh, to Michael

The God of Stuart Slade's Salvation War is deconstruction of the maltheistic view of God, is, like many gods and demons in the Salvation War universe, not truly a deity at all, but rather an extradimensional alien with powerful biological abilities, including bio-electricity capable of summoning multi-colored bolts of lightning, the ability to create portals between universes and control the travel of human souls through them, and commands a vast host of other extradimensionals, believed to be angels by humans. Early in human history, humans made contact with numerous races of these aliens, and believed them to be gods and demons because of their superhuman strength and abilities they could not explain. Eventually, however, God defeated these various races of "gods", including the Olympians and Aesir, and drove them from Earth, before planting the belief that he is the supreme creator of the universe among the ancient Jews. God did this because he needed to gain energy to travel between universes, much as it is later revealed that humans do after they die, however a being of God's power needed much more energy. While this is the stated reason, it is implied that God simply used this energy to retain and gain power. Such energy could be gathered one of two ways, by human suffering, the method chosen by Satan, or through blind faith, the preferred method of Yahweh. To force this faith on humanity, Yahweh used his powers to send all who did not believe in him to Hell, actually a rebel realm that broke away from God millenia before. This method of gathering power by blind faith worked until humans began to break free from the grip of religion in the Renaissance and started to discover the true nature of the universe through science. This naturally infuriated Yahweh, who at this point literally believed his own lie that he was omnipotent, causing him to close heaven, condemning all humans to hell. In any case, heaven was not the paradise humans believed it was, but was actually an oppressive dictatorship, where humans were essentially slave to Yahweh and his angels. In 2008, God decided to declare the end of the world, and commanded all humans to die, stating that they were condemned to Hell, however, with the exception of religions fundamentalists, most humans did not not die, going on as usual until a demonic army arrived from Hell in Iraq. At this point God and Satan discovered that, while their superhuman abilities had caused them to stagnate at Bronze Age levels, humanity was now far more powerful, with weapons such as tanks, artillery, aircraft, and missiles allowing a multi-national coalition to easily defeat the demons in Iraq literally invade hell. The war ended when the humans captured the city of Dis in hell, liberated the damned souls held in the "Hell Pit", killed Satan himself, and forced the surviving demon Lord Belail to flee to heaven. While the demons suffered massive casualties, with the exception of the destruction of Sheffield and Detroit (believed based on outdated information that these were the human's main industrial centers) by volcanic eruptions teleported through portals. The easy defeat of the demons resulted in the conflict becoming known as the "Curb Stomp War".

After the fall of Hell, humanity concentrated its resources against God himself. Initially, humanity could not figure out how to generate a portal into heaven, and was struck several times with various "Bowls of Wrath" as described in the book of Revelation, including causing red tides by introducing bacteria into the oceans and augmented hurricanes. However, the humans simply use their modern technology to quickly clean up the ecological disaster, and while the hurricanes do some damage, it has little impact on the war effort. The "Bowl of Wrath" of fire is more problematic, as they could not use the volcano method Belail used in hell as heaven is not seismically active, leaving Gods angels flummoxed as to how to fullfill the prophecy. In the mean time, God orders the archangel Uriel to use his power to manipulate human minds to shut down the brain and kill, however, humans prove to be able to resist his influence, particularly if they are in large groups. Uriel is reduced to causing only a few casualties per attack, and is forced into hiding from human jet fighters and anti-aircraft missiles. Uriel is finally killed when he fails to attack Los Angeles and is killed by the experimental Airborne Laser System. Meanwhile, God sends a giant multi-headed beast, actually his pet, known as "Wuffles" to attack a military base in North Carolina. While most of the human forces are on occupation duty in hell, the reserves managed to weaken the beast with artillery and tank fire, and "Wuffles" is finished off by a squadron of A-4 Skyhawk attack jets, on of many historic aircraft which had been pressed back into service as reserves.

Little does Yahweh know, he also has an enemy in heaven, the archangel Michael, who, influenced by observing human culture, runs an underground club and organization distributing goods from Earth, including everything from spices to liquor to heroin. Michael intends to rebel against God and take power in a new pro-human regime (and introduce cell phone service in heaven!). At the same time, however, Michael knows it is only a matter of time before humans, who had already learned to generate portals to hell, figure out how to create portals to heaven. Michael attempts delay the human invasion by encouraging his Earthly source of drugs, the Republic of Myanmar to invade their Thai neighbors. This invasion, however, is easily repulsed by the Thais, who counterattack using weaponized portals to move troops. After the fall of Myanmar, the US Army provides a nuclear warhead to be placed with a shipment of drugs to be picked up by Michael in Naypidyaw, the Myanmar capital. The attempt fails, however, as Michael realizes what the device is, and abandons the shipment, which detonates and destroys the city, inadvertantly fullfilling the "raining fire" "Bowl of Wrath".

Afterwards, God sends his second pet, "The Scarlet Beast", as well as an angel armed with a biological weapon known in the Bible as the "Whore of Babylon" to attack Jerusalem. The Beast and the Whore cause severe casualties, but the beast is wounded by an ex-Hamas terrorist, who attacks the beast with a suicide truck-bombing. The monster is finished off by Australian air forces using the a nearby airfield at the time, however, another angel manipulates an Israeli submarine commander into believing the beast has destroyed Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, and that he must use a nuclear missile to slay the beast. The Isreali commander nukes the city, and is believed to be a traitor, and is hunted by multi-national forces. It is not until the commander is killed in an airstrike and recovered in hell that the truth is revealed.

After the incident at Tel Aviv, more "Bowls of Wrath" are unleashed, including dust storms, and massive boulders dropped from portals, however, Michael's rebellion in heaven gains momentum, with him gaining an ally, Lemuel of the "Holy Court" (essentially God's secret police), as well as eliminating several pro-Yahweh angels with bombs made from C-4 covertly taken from Earth. These attacks, along with defeats that the hands of humanity, eliminate Yahweh's followers, weakening him further, but causing him to be prone outbursts of rage, to the point that one of the stonemasons in Yahweh's chamber builds a bunker and sells tickets for entry whenever Michael enters the chamber to give reports. In one outburst, God orders that the escaped demon, Belail be employed to design horrific concentrations camps for his enemies.

One such victim is Lemuel's girlfriend, Maion who is tortured to within an inch of her life and only barely survives to be rescued. Lemuel realized only one thing could possibly save her: human technology, and creates a portal from heaven to Washington DC and surrenders. Lemuel's girlfriend is rescued, but human intelligence discovers the portal and discovers the coordinates need to the create a portal into heaven.

Shortly afterwards, a multinational military force enters a portal into heaven, including both nations of Earth, as well as "second lifers" liberated from hell and even demons who sided with humanity after their defeat. Yahweh musters a force of angels and human levies (all of who were alive prior to the end of the Middle Ages), however, Earthly small arms, tanks, and aircraft prove far superior to the ancient weapons, bio-electricity and sonic "trumpet blasts" of the angelic host, causing thousands of casualties among Yahweh's army. Yahweh orders a second larger force be deployed, led by his son, Jesus Christ himself only for them to be annihilated by an American nuclear missile.

Realizing that the humans were even more powerful than he thought, Michael realizes he must go on with his rebellion before the Eternal City itself falls victim to a nuclear attack. Having weakened Yahweh by eliminating his supporters, and strengthened his own bio-electricity by tranferring energy from his allies through a method mental synchronization through the use of human music, Michael enters Yahweh's throne room and engages in protracted battle with God himself. The battle between the strengthen archangel and the weakened god is a stalemate until Michael's allies arrive and add their force to the attack, their combined power overwhelming Yahweh and killing him.

The body of Yahweh is disposed on in the Lake of Serene Tranquility, a massive body of water in the middle of the Eternal City, and Michael orders the gates of the Eternal City opened, allowing human military forces to enter the city. Shortly after Michael's coup, a human naval force lead by an American aircraft carrier battlegroup is transported by portal into the lake. A crewman of the escort destroyer, the USS Turner Joy, a former Christian who saw the events of the last few years as a personal betrayal, expresses regret at not being able to "get Yahweh under (the ships') guns". Ironically, little does he know, he gets his wish in an unexpectedly literal way- the ship passed over Yahweh's body, ending up literally UNDER the ship's guns.

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