“Wuhan? He sells bunk Viagra that is made in Wuhan?”

Before Stephen had a chance to respond to Kitty, Lance came running into the dining room, laughing and pointing at their table. “You! You are a genius! That is absolutely brilliant!”

He was pointing at Miss Kaboodle, who smiled, and explained to Stephen, “I do believe your clever boy has figured out the secret to KILLGOD!.”

Pulling up a seat at the table, Lance looked at his father and said, “This girl is the Dorothy Parker of gaming.” Then, turning his attention to the Dorothy Parker of gaming, he said, “It’s so smart. So simple. So profoundly simple, that it’s simply profound. But you’ll never make any money from it. As soon as someone else figures it out, they will tell the Internet, and everyone will know.”

“I told you, I am not a money worshipper. The point is not to make money. The point is to make the point. Before the game even goes public, the Internet will be all about it. All the phony baloney religious nuts will be braying like drunken donkeys. They’ll be screaming for it to be banned, demanding legislation to stop its release, accusing me of being a hate criminal, sending death threats by the thousands, tens of thousands. Then, when someone finally figures it out, and no one will do so as quickly as you did, all those lunatics are gonna have to eat every one of their words. But, wait a minute. How far did you get? Did you actually get to Heaven and KILLGOD!?”

“No. No, I just figured out the first level. I had to come and find you as soon as I got it. But all the rest of the levels have to be the same. If not exactly the same, then pretty much the same, rigt?”

“Kinda, but not really. Certainly not for the Vatican, and Heaven levels.”

Stephen interrupted to ask what the Hell they were on about.

Kitty explained, “The purpose of the game is to KILLGOD! You have to kill him, before he kills all of us, or forces us into submission, mindlessly worshiping him, at the insistence of his oversized, and voracious ego.

“One of the archangels has discovered that God is going to unleash Armageddon on Earth. He is tired of people not worshiping him 24/7, and has decided to kill us all.

“The archangel, who may, or may not be part of a fifth column, tells Satan about God’s evil plan. Satan says that’s enough of God’s shit. It’s time to kill the narcissist, once and for all.

“Satan calls Jesus on the carpet, and tells him the job falls to him. Satan explains the mission to Jesus. Jesus says, ‘Jesus Christ, what an asshole!’

“Jesus is all for killing the old man. So, the player’s character is Jesus. In order to get to the old man, Jesus must first go back in time to his birth, and avenge the deaths of all the people who have been killed in his name.”

Lance took it from there. “And I was thinking Jesus has to kill all the people who have killed in his name. But I get to the first level, and Jesus really sucks at fighting. He keeps getting his head chopped off by his blood thirsty disciples who are trying to convert the heathens.”

“That’s funny,” Stephen interrupted briefly.

“Yes, it is,” lance admitted. “At first it is frustrating, because you wanna get into the action. You wanna kill, kill, kill.”

“To stop the killing,” Kitty added.

“Yes! So you can get to the next level, and kill some more!” Lance laughed. “So, it’s very frustrating, because Jesus is just so inept. Like, comically inept. The more times he fails, the more comically inept he gets. And then, after about fifty tries, Jesus accidently drops his sword, trips over it, and falls onto one of his murderous followers. He throws his arms out, and ends up with his arms wrapped around the guy. And then he hugs him! That’s when all the fighting stops. All the others killers stop killing each other.”

Stephen bowed down to Kitty, and said, “Because violence is not the answer.”

“No. Of course it’s not. Love is the answer. That’s the whole point of the whole stupid game. I came up with the idea after the first time I read Riff n Raff.”

“Of course you did,” King smiled. “The whole point of the book is that love is the answer. And it inspired you to make this game, which brings the same point to a lot more people, because more people game than read. It’s contagious.”

“Love is contagious,” agreed Kitty. “It’s the virus that has to go viral.”

“Okay, so I do need to work my way through the rest of the game,” said Lance. There’s more to be learned.”

“There is,” Kitty confirmed. “But, remember, it’s a beta. I am looking for ideas about how to improve the game. How to drive the point home, over and over again, on every level, until even the most violent miscreant understands. So, bear that in mind as you’re playing. It is a work in progress.”

“I love it!” Lance said, offering a high five, which Kitty took him up on, with a satisfied grin. Then the boy grinned maniacally and asked, “Wait! Do I get that cookie now?”

The black eyed tart laughed, “You don’t get no cookie, you don’t get this cookie,” she corrected, pointing at her cookie, “for that, kid.”

Disappointed, the boy asked, “So, when I KILLGOD?”

“Not exactly, but do let me know when you do KILLGOD!, and I’ll see if I can come up with an appropriate reward for you.”

Liking the sound of that, Lear said, “Okay. I’m on it like white on snow.”

As he rose from the table, Kitty said, “Wait. I’ll come up with you. Stephen, what’s your plan?”

King looked at the almost empty bottle of riesling, shrugged, and answered, “I am gonna finish this off, get another, or another two of these, and go see what trouble Madge has gotten into in my absence. Care to join us?”

Kitty laughed silently, thinking, ‘In your dreams, old man!’ but replied, “No. I have a headache. And need to wash my hair. When I’m done, I am crawling into bed with a good book. His,” she said, pointing at Lance.




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