There Are No Atheists in a Foxhole

There Are No Atheists in a Foxhole

By Allan Muenzler

The war between the Christians and the Hedonists had been going on for nearly a century, and the Christians were slowly being driven back to their last remaining stronghold on Earth, Vatican City. The fall of England to Hedonist forces had resulted in great celebrations and debaucheries throughout the island even as the Atheist Death Squad hunted down every last clergyman and executed them. But the Archbishop of Canterbury, an extremely clever Irishman, was able to gain passage on an airship bound for the Hedonist capital of Hannover by disguising himself as a celebrant dressed in a rubber chicken suit. Once in Hannover, the Archbishop contacted the head of the Puritan Spy League and saluted him in the correct fashion, his right thumb in his ear and his left thumb in his nostril.

The head of the Puritan Spy League arranged for the Archbishop to be smuggled to Vatican City in a crate of pickles along with the stolen plans for a secret weapon that the Hedonists had been trying to build. This secret weapon, called the Cloning Machine, could supposedly clone anyone from history or from old television footage, and the Archbishop had a few good ideas on who could be cloned to help the Puritans win the war. However, the head of the Puritan Spy League forgot to drill airholes into the crate of pickles so that when it finally arrived in Vatican City, the Archbishop of Canterbury was quite dead, although well preserved. The stolen plans for the Cloning Machine were still intact, and the Christian Science League immediately began production, even as Christian forces retreated to within a fifty mile radius of the capital city.

Meanwhile, the Papal Council began deliberations on the new course of action open to them. Pope Insanus II would cackle and clap his hands while he urged the cloning of Godzilla, who "could put an end to this war right now." The head of the Christian Right, Jherry Falwehl, kept insisting on the cloning of the original Jerry Falwell, who "could put the fear of God into any man." Minister Chamberlain, the leader of the army, argued for the surrender of all Christian forces, saying, "Peddhaps thah will be leehnient on us then." The head of the Puritan Spy League, hiding in the corner, secretly plotted to clone the Budweiser girls so he could prepare for the imminent Hedonist victory by engaging in some good old- fashioned debauchery.

Amidst this great debate, which was being recorded by the historian Plutarch for the benefit of the future ages, the chief Christian scientist slouched into the room. "Sirs," he squeaked. Silence gripped the room as all five heads swivelled toward him. A bead of sweat trickled down the scientist's wrinkled forehead.

Pope Insanus II giggled and exclaimed, "Is it already time to play with my toys?"

"He's not your playpen mate, your grace. He's here to give me my daily enema," explained Jherry Falwehl, licking his lips slowly.

Minister Chamberlain was curled up in a ball beneath the great table in the conference room, trembling and repeating, "I sirreender. Doan't hurt me."

The scientist furrowed his brows and shook his head. "Don't you remember me? I'm the--"

The head of the Puritan Spy League stepped out from his hiding place in the corner, pointing to the scientist and saying, "He's the chief Christian scientist, your grace."

"The head of the Puritan Spy League!" exclaimed everyone in the room as they turned toward the new voice.

"The one and only." He pointed to the scientist. "Now I believe your chief scientist has something to tell you."

"Oh, yes. Please speak, good man."

The scientist wiped his brow and spoke. "There is a problem with the Cloning Machine. Well, actually with one of its ingredients."

"Well, spit it out, man."

"Well, erm, the machine requires marijuana to work." The scientist shrugged. "And we have none. We are Christians after all."

Pope Insanus II started to slobber and cry. "Oh, we are ruined, ruined, ruined."

The head of the Puritan Spy League turned to Jhery Falwehl and asked, "What about your stash, sir?"

Falwehl turned crimson as he sputtered, "How do you know about--"

"I know everything, Mister Falwehl. I am the head of the Puritan Spy League, after all."

"Yes, of course you are." Falwehl turned to the Pope and hurriedly squeaked, "It's for medicinal purposes only, your grace." He held out his slighty swollen pinky finger. "For my pinky sprain, you see."

"Of course, Jhery." Pope Insanus II nodded to the scientist. "Confiscate Mr. Falwehl's stash, my child."

"There's probably only enough for one clone, though," Falwehl interjected.

"Hmm. Well, we'll need the head of the Puritan Spy League to acquire some more marijuana for us."

"As good as done, sir," answered the head of the Puritan Spy League as he once again disappeared into the corner.

So then the debate over who should be the first clone raged once more, but unfortunately Plutarch the historian had already fallen asleep and those debates were forever lost to mankind. Nevertheless, the Papal Council finally agreed on who the first clone should be.

That is how John Wayne found himself in the cloning facility in Vatican City. He was a tall man with chiseled features and brawny shoulders, yet his eyes twinkled with an obvious love of life and his smile could melt the heart of many a lady and Minister Chamberlain, also. The Pope was the first person to greet John Wayne when he emerged from the Cloning Machine and he clasped the leathery hands of the living legend. "Welcome to Vatican City, my child."

"Ah'm pleased ta be here, sir. But ah'm not eggsactly sure how ah got here."

Pope Insanus II tittered and continued to grasp John Wayne's hand. "That is not important, my child. What is important is that we need your help."

Jherry Falwehl entered the room, adding, "Godless men, the Hedonists, are slowly destroying the last vestiges of Christianity in the world. If you don't lead our good Christian men, then God will cease to exist in the hearts of men."

"Well, that sounds damn un-American, pilgrim." John Wayne patted Falwehl on the shoulder and turned to the Pope. "Ya can count on me, sir. Ah'll put the fear of God into these men and then ah'll end this here war right now." The Pope and the head of the Christian Right both smiled, knowing that they had made the right choice.

"Good, good," murmered the Pope. "You may leave for our front lines immediately."

"Say, do either of ya gentlemen have a ceegar? Ah sure could use a good smoke about right now."

Jherry Falwehl turned red and screamed, "No! All tobacco products are outlawed by Papal Degree 1134! Smoking is a sin, as is swearing, looking at women with lecherous eyes, stealing, thinking about women in a lustful way, lying, imagining yourself with two women at the same time in the same bed, dancing, touching a woman on any part of her body, especially her breasts and buttocks, using illegal drugs (except for medicinal purposes), pre-marital sex, sex with a woman in any position other than the missionary, enjoying sex with your wife, sex with men, sex with little boys, sex--"

"I think he understands, Mr. Falwehl," the Pope intervened, much to the relief of John Wayne.

"Sounds like ya'll've outlawed a lot of stuff, but ah gess ya gotta give up some personal liberties when yer fightin' godless men. Ah'm off to win this war, gentlemen." And with that, John Wayne left the cloning facility and headed for the front lines of the Christian- Hedonist war, accompanied by Minister Chamberlain.

As they made their war to the foxholes, John Wayne tried to hide his snicker when he asked, "Why are ya carryin' a desk, Minister?"

The minister's eyes were wide and he searched the sky for something. "In case the Hedonists stayrt shelling us agayn, I shell have sumtheeng to hide undah." He smiled triumphantly as a mortar shell landed directly on the desk he was carrying. The explosion hurled John Wayne ten feet away and when the smoke cleared, all that was left of Minister Chamberlain was a slightly dented office desk.

The Christian soldiers were in their foxholes, listening to the bombardment of the shells and fervently praying to God when John Wayne arrived. They all stopped their prayers and looked up at their savior, who was silhouetted by smoke and dust and sunlight. John Wayne stood silently, surveying his troops and ignoring the bullets and shells that whizzed by him. "Who's in charge here?"

A short rotund man with a handlebar moustache stood up and raised his hand. "Well, goldarnit, I sure as heck am in charge, sir. I'm Colonel Sanders, the most rootin- tootin rightous soldier this side of the Atlantic, darn-tootin right I am." He extended a greasy hand.

John Wayne grimaced as he shook the squishy slippery hand of the Colonel. "Well, yer men are mine now, Kernel. Ah want ya ta stay close to me. By the time this here war is over, yew'll be a genral, mark my wurds."

"Sir, may we return to our prayers? I'm all for high-falootin praise and all but God'll be angry if we don't pray enough, darn-tootin right he will."

John Wayne's features darkened as he frowned. "No, ya may not return to yer prayers. God'll be an awful might more pissed if ya don't win this damned war. Men, we begin our counter-attack now. We're gonna put the fear of God into these damned atheists. Follow me, soldyurs. We're gonna kick some heathen ass."

Colonel Sanders returned to his kneeling position and rapidly muttered several prayers. John Wayne looked down at him and said, "Kernel Sanders, what the hell do ya think yer doin'?"

The Colonel looked up sheepishly and replied, "Sir, not to be some sort of high- falootin stingy rulebook officer, but you said, three, no, four, goldarnit, four cursin' words and I'm gonna hafta pray for your soul, you understand."

"Kernel, ya shouldn't be worrying about my soul. Ya should be prayin' fer the heathens' souls 'cause we're fixin' ta be sendin' them ta hell! And yew'll have yer soul ta pray fer if'n ya don't get yer ass outta that foxhole and help lead yer men against these bastards."

The colonel shook in his boots but he obeyed the commands of John Wayne and got out of the foxhole. John Wayne smiled and ripped a Gatling gun off of a mangled jeep. "Let's go, men. Fer God and country!" And with that, John Wayne led his men against the Hedonist forces.

The few survivors of this carnage described John Wayne as a demon, standing amid fire and smoke, holding the Gatling gun in one hand and an M-16 in the other, mowing down Hedonist troops like ducks in a shooting gallery. Nothing seemed to faze him as he marched relentlessly forward, mowing down all opposition, never looking back. A Hedonist tank rolled towards him, firing its cannon, but the shells missed, exploding all around him. He blew away another battalion of infantry and then leaped behind the tank. Its cannon tried to swivel around, but John Wayne, grunting, picked up the huge machine and threw it into a Hedonist helicoptor that was trying to sneak up on the Puritan front lines. The resulting explosion lit the sky for miles and the Hedonists began to doubt their superiority.

After ten days of constant fighting and little sleep, John Wayne and his men reached a heavily guarded warehouse. Easily dispatching the sentries, he entered the warehouse and found several tons of marijuana stored inside. Leaning against a crate was a tall man smoking a joint.

"Why, I'll be flabbergasted, it's the head of the Puritan Spy League," exclaimed Colonel Sanders.

"What the hell are ya doin'?"

"Chillin'," replied the head of the Puritan Spy League.

"Arntcha supposed ta be procurin' those drugs for the Cloning Machine?"

"And waste perfectly good dope? I think not, sir."

John Wayne frowned at Colonel Sanders. "Kernel, ah want ya ta arrest this man on treason. And then make sure this marijuana gets to Vatican City where it can be put ta good use."

"Yes, sir, darn-tootin' right it will." Colonel Sanders began barking orders to his men and then pulled a fried chicken breast from his food rations. He took a huge chomp out of the breast and offered it to John Wayne. "Chicken, sir? It's a high-falootin' family recipe of secrets herbs and spices, rootin-an-tootin and all that."

"No thanks, Kernel, ah'm in tha middle of a damn war."

"Well, it's your damn loss, sir, darn-tootin' right it is." And the Colonel took another bite of chicken. His face blanched as the rest of the troops stopped their work and stared in shock at the Colonel. "Holy sweet Jesus, did I just curse? Oh, my, God, please--" And then Colonel Sanders began to choke on a chicken bone. Everyone looked on in horror as the Colonel grabbed at his throat, fell to the ground, and thrashed about for a few minutes before dying. The men were shaken.

John Wayne realized that now was the time to push, now was the time to finish the war, before the effect of Colonel Sanders' tragic death could demoralize the troops. "Alright, men, follow me, we're gonna end this damned war right now!" And with that, John Wayne once again leaped out onto the battlefield and resumed his warpath to the Hedonist Field Command.

After three days of bloodthirsty fighting, a lull in the war appeared and John Wayne took this time to address his men. He turned to his rear, but nobody was there except for the shivering form of a soldier with a large wet spot on the groin of his fatigues. "Where's alla the men, soldyur?"

Tears poured out of the soldier's eyes as he whimpered, "They all ran back to the foxholes to pray after Colonel Sanders passed on to his heavenly rest. I'm sorry, sir, but the only way we're gonna be saved is if we pray. I'm so scared."

"What's yer name, soldyur?"

"Lieutenant Patton, sir."

A mortar shell landed nearby, scattering shrapnel and smoke. "Well, Kernel Patton, yer now second-in-command of my army." Patton nodded his head as he looked behind him, hoping that somebody else would show up. "And it's okay ta be scared, Kernel. Hell, ah even git a little scared evree now and then. But sittin' in some foxhole prayin' fer God to save ya isn't gonna save yer life. Ya hafta fight yer fear by bringin' it ta the enemy. Ya hafta become angry at them fer tryin' ta take yer life away. That's why these damned heathens are winning this war. Yew men are too scared ta fight so ya pray all the time, hoping fer God to come down and save ya. Ah'm sorry, Kernel, but that's not gonna happen. That's not how God works. Ya hafta save yerself before God can. These heathens don't have a God to depend on fer their salvation; they hafta depend on their fella soldyurs and themselves. That's why they're winnin', Kernel."

Colonel Patton slowly stood up and gripped his machine gun. "You're right, sir. It's time the Christians fought back. Screw God." He looked about, waiting for lightning to strike or for chicken bones to attack his throat, but nothing happened.

"That's the spirit, Kernel. Now what say yew and me take this fight to these atheist bastards."

The Colonel nodded his head vigorously and so the duo of John Wayne and Colonel Patton once more resumed their personal war against the Hedonists, slowly, inexorably moving towards the Hedonist Field Command, single-handedly destroying the combined land and air forces of the heathens. Just a few miles from the main atheist base, on the banks of the Rhine, they entered what appeared to be a peaceful and deserted valley. But a trap had been laid for the dynamic duo by the Hedonist illusionist, David Silverfield, who, using mirrors and other tricks learned from Sigfried and Roy, was able to hide a large force of Hedonist troops in the valley. That was how John Wayne and Colonel Patton found themselves surrounded by thirty Pershing tanks and twenty Apache gunships.

"Ah'm all outta bullets, Kernel."

"Me, too, sir."

"Any suggestyuns?"

"Fight, sir, with tooth and claw."

"Or surrender, Kernel. Put our lives in God's hands."

"Screw God, sir."

"Kernel, that's the spirit!"

Colonel Patton smiled at John Wayne and repeated, "Screw God!" And with that, he launched himself at the nearest Pershing tank. All thirty tanks and twenty gunships opened fire, and when the smoke had cleared, nothing was left of Colonel Patton and somehow in the melee John Wayne had been knocked unconscious.

News of the hero's capture soon reached Vatican City, where the Papal Council was thrown into despair. That night, Jherry Falwehl snuck into the cloning facility and cloned the original Jerry Falwell. Pope Insanus II was outraged because Falwehl has beaten him to it. Now he would have to wait another week for the next shipment of marijuana so he could clone Godzilla. Jerry Falwell began speaking to the remaining Puritan forces in the foxholes outside of Vatican City, and they quavered and prayed and cried out for salvation.

Meanwhile, John Wayne regained consciousness only to find himself in a foxhole with his hands and legs bound. "Where am ah?"

A tall thin man with an upturned nose and a thin mustache smiled down at John Wayne and replied, "Why. sir, you are at Hedonist Command. I am Field Marshall Montgomery, the commanding officer here. Jolly good show, sir, you nearly wiped out half of our army. Jolly good show indeed." The field marshall was dressed in a metallic string bikini that barely covered his genitals and he was smoking a pipe.

"Jolly good show," laughed a buxom blonde woman dressed in a Hedonist Army uniform. Her top was undone and the field marshall's hands were roaming inside, squeezing her breasts.

A burly soldier with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth hopped into the foxhole and saluted the field marshall. He was wearing a lavender dress and a pair of bunny ears adorned his head. "Sir, the Puritans have a new clone."

"What? Not another John Wayne, I hope?"

"No, sir. It's the original Jerry Falwell."

"Oh, really. Well, Captain Nelson, what's he doing?"

"Well, the wanker's got this huge megaphone and he keeps chastising the men about their sins and imploring them to pray. One of my men has him dead to rights in his sights. He wants to know if you want Falwell dead."

Field Marshall Montgomery laughed and shook his head. "No, no, not at all. If our bloody luck continues, the fool will win this war for us."

John Wayne grimaced and nodded his head toward the captain. "Say, Kaptin, could ah trouble ya fer a smoke?"

Captain Nelson glanced over at the field marshall, who nodded his head, and placed his cigarette in John Wayne's mouth. "There you go, sir."

"Thank ya, Kaptin."

Field Marshall Montgomery smiled, saying, "You may return to your men, Captain Nelson." The captain saluted and leaped out of the foxhole. "Now, the question is, what do I do with you, the living legend, John Wayne?"

"Well, ya could start by untying the ropes around my hands and feets, so ah can get back ta my war."

"Oh, sorry, my good man, but I can't do that. You were quite effective against my troops and all. I'm almost afraid I'll be forced to execute you." The field marshall slyly smiles. "Unless, of course, you can be talked into joining the forces of the Hedonists and leading my men. We could use a legend like you, for motivation and such."

"Ah guess yer going ta hafta execute me, then. John Wayne never switches sides."

"There's something to be said for being on the winning team, though."

"Fer some people, maybe, but not for me, Feeld Mar-shull. Ah request that ya execute me as soon as possible."

Montgomery sighed and murmered, "Perhaps a little time among us will change your mind."

John Wayne puffed on the cigarette and muttered, "Don't count on it, sir."

A week passed as the Hedonist forces continued to massacre the Puritans, until the only Puritan stronghold left was the Vatican itself. Barricaded behind the doors, Jherry Falwehl and Pope Insanus II conferred over their next course of action while the original Jerry Falwell held a megaphone to his mouth and shouted out of the windows at the surrounding forces of the Hedonists. "Repent or be cast into Hell, my friends! Salvation can be yours if you stop smoking! God will save you if you abstain from sex!"

Field Marshall Montgomery found the entire situation quite humorous. He even hired some exotic dancers from Dressden to perform a live sex-act show in front of the Vatican. "Bloody marvelous," he exclaimed, patting John Wayne on the shoulder.

One of the ladies approached the living legend and winked seductively. "Hello there, soldier. Anything I can get for you?"

John Wayne tried to ignore her almost plastic-looking breasts and concentrated on her rather homely face. "No thank ya, ma'am. Unless--" The dancer stroked her dark mustache. "Hey, yer the head of the Head of tha Puritan Spy League!" he whispered harshly.

The dancer put a finger to his lips and shushed John Wayne while he removed his fake breasts. Hidden inside was a pair of scissors and some duct tape. He handed the items to the tall prisoner just as Field Marshall Montgomery approached. The Field Marshall frowned at the breastless dancer and examined his face.

"Say, aren't you the head of the Hedonist Spy League?"

The dancer removed his blonde wig and exclaimed, "The one and only!"

"Jolly good show, chap. Your information regarding the wherabouts of John Wayne and Colonel Patton proved bloody invaluable." As Field Marshall Montgomery led the Head of the Puritan Spy League, also known as the head of the Hedonist Spy League, away, discoursing on the advantages of sexual intercourse with two-legged animals as opposed to the four-legged ones, the head spy was able to smuggle one more item into John Wayne's hands; a gold-plated lighter with the words Harley Davidson etched on it.

A finger poked John Wayne in the back as soon as the Field Marshall was out of sight. Turning, he beheld a long-haired man dressed in a plaid kilt and wearing a genuine Ben Hogan cap. "Yer dressed pretty funny, even fer a Hedonist," he remarked.

The man in the kilt frowned and trilled, "Ah'm nae Hedonist, ya doss radge. Ah'm frae Scotland. And ah'm a prisoner ah war, lak yersilf." He offered his stubby hand. "Mae name's MacGyver."

"Pleased ta meet ya, MacGyver. Ya have any ideas on how to escape?"

"Well, ah noticed ye hiv a pair ah scissors, some duct tape, and a lighter. Ye mind letting mae barrow thise items. Ah might be able ta cook a little something up."

John Wayne handed the items to MacGyver and watched as the humorously-dressed man began to wrap the duct tape around the Harley Davidson lighter, cutting the tape into strips using the scissors. "Why don't ya jist cut my bonds, MacGyver? Then we can make our way outta this place."

MacGyver stopped and chuckled. "Eh, ye doss radge. That would be too easy, now wouldn't it? This will be infinitely more exciting." Shrugging, John Wayne watched as all but the tip of the lighter was covered with duct tape and then the scissors were impaled into the bottom of the black device. "Ye see, it is a bomb, now, and we can use it to blow up this camp."

Although he doubted that the makeshift bomb would work, John Wayne still blurted out, "What about us, MacGyver?"

"Oh, us? Well, we'll be martyrs, ah guess." He smiled as he flicked the lighter. John Wayne watched impassively as the lighter would not light. "Ach, dammit, the demn thing won't work! Whit type of lighter is this, anyway?"

"A Harley Davidson lighter."

"Ach! That explains it!"

At this moment, while MacGyver was still trying to light the bomb, Field Marshall Montgomery returned to the camp with a can of sardines. "Sardines, sir? They're excellent for the breath." He slurped one of the reeking fish into his mouth. "Sad things, really, being cooped up and crushed in this small can. We should really start a Save the Sardines campaign."

"C'mon, light, ye blasted boamb," muttered MacGyver.

Field Marshall Montgomery blanched as he noticed the makeshift device in the Scotsman's hands. "A BOMB!!! You'll kill us all, you fool!"

"Maybe." Then John Wayne pointed toward the Vatican. "If that doesn't kill ya first." Field Marshall Montgomery's eyes widened as he looked at the Vatican.

"Oh my God."

What had been the Vatican was now a pile of rubble. From somewhere withiin the crushed frame of the building, the original Jerry Falwell's voice could still be heard admonishing the troops of the Hedonists. "The Father shall forgive if the children come home and stop playing with the little girls in the neighborhood! Thou shalt not pick your noise with your middle finger!" Pope Insanus II was laughing insanely, a huge lump on his head from a falling piece of debris. Jherry Falwehl tried to muster the remains of the Puritan army, in a vain effort to save themselves from both the advancing heathens and the creature above him.

Standing in the middle of the ruins of the Vatican was a ten-story tall creature with green scaly skin and piercing red eyes. Godzilla had been cloned. The great lizard roared and shot a jet of flame out, engulfing fifteen Hedonist Apache gunships and sending their burning remnants to the ground, one of the enflamed helicoptors crashing into Captain Nelson's foxhole, sending a pair of scorched bunny ears into the air. Field Marshall Montgomery was paralyzed with fear as he watched Godzilla step on the original Jerry Falwell, finally ending the zealot's calls for religious reformation. A thunderous roar, almost as loud as the sigh of relief that accompanied the passing of the original Jerry Falwell, filled the streets and foxholes of Vatican City, sending everyone, Hedonist and Puritan alike, running for cover.

But there was no cover, no escape, from Godzilla. Jhery Falwehl picked up a discarded rocket launcher and began a one man attack against the giant lizard, but the last thing he saw was its open mouth with all of its teeth descending on him. "What bad breath," he remarked as Godzilla chomped down on him. Pope Insanus II was still laughing and yelled, "Go, my creature! Destroy all of the unbelievers!" Godzilla turned its crimson eyes toward the tiny form of the Pope and opened its mouth to roar. "Oh shit," murmered the Pope as eyebeams melted through his body, engulfing him in flame.

"What do we do against that?" cried Field Marshall Montgomery as his troops scrambled out of the way of the insane creature.

"Untie me and ah'll stop that damned creature," John Wayne calmly said. Without saying a word, the field marshall quickly untied the living legend and gave him a cigarette and a machine gun. John Wayne took a puff of the cigarette and threw the machine gun to the ground. "Ah won't need that. But ah will need that." He pointed to an abandoned Pershing tank. "And ah need ya ta drive it, sir."


"Yes, yew, Feeld Mar-shull. Ah don't know how ta drive a tank."

"But, sir, I'm so bloody scared."

John Wayne grabbed Field Marshall Montgomery by the front of his metallic bikini. "Are ya a yella-bellied Puritan or are ya a fightin' mad heathen?"

"I-I'm not sure, sir."

"Whut? Ah didn't hear ya, soldyur?"

"I said, I'm a fighting mad heathen, sir!" The field marshall turned to the young girl in the army uniform. "Daphne, I need my uniform!" While Montgomery changed clothes, John Wayne loaded up with cannon shells and other weapons and kept a close eye on Godzilla, who was eating the remaining Puritan and Hedonist troops. Every so often it would pick its teeth with a broken-off church spire.

The living legend turned to MacGyver, who was still trying to ignite his bomb, and asked, "Are yew coming with us?"

MacGyver gave John Wayne a cross look and replied, "No, ah think not. Ah've almost goat this thing figured oot."

The field marshall saluted John Wayne, saying, "I'm ready, my good man." He actually looked quite soldierly in his uniform, although he was still eating the fetid sardines.

"Well, let's kick some lizard ass, sir," John Wayne drawled as he followed Field Marshall Montgomery into the Pershing tank. The field marshall sat at the controls and John Wayne rode shotgun, his upper body sticking out of the manhole on top. "Fer God and Country!"

The tank started with a lurch and rolled down the street toward the lounging Godzilla. Behind them, they heard an ecstatic "That's whit's causing the problem!" followed by a loud explosion as the remnants of the Hedonist camp exploded.

As they rounded a corner, the giant lizard glared at them and roared. "I've got the bugger dead to rights, sir!"

"Feyer!" yelled John Wayne as he opened up with the machine gun on top of the tank. The tank fired its main cannon, catching Godzilla square in the chest, ripping away scales and flinging cold yellow blood across all of Vatican City. Young Daphne, trying to adjust the metallic bikini to her voluptuous breasts, was frozen instantly when a drop of the chilly substance engulfed her. Godzilla took a few steps back, stunned by the force of the blow. Another shell exploded against its chest and the green behemoth stumbled back some more.

"How are we doing this, sir? The other shells didn't even scratch the wanker's bollocks."

John Wayne smiled as the tank fired again, sending Godzilla back a few more steps. "Ya just gotta believe, sometimes, Feeld Mar-shull! Ya gotta believe in somethin'. There are no atheists in a foxhole."

And so, the Pershing tank commandeered by John Wayne and Field Marshall Montgomery continued its assault upon Godzilla until they reached the edge of a cliff high above the deep blue waters of the Tyrrhenian. Shot after shot flew into Godzilla's chest, but the beast refused to fall back into the ocean.

"Why won't the bloke fall over?" asked the field marshall.

John Wayne shrugged as another shell ripped into the monster. "Ah guess belief'll only carry ya so far."

"What now, my good man? We're out of bloody shells."

"We fight with tooth and claw, sir."

"But how?" the Field Marshall asked as he realized he was also out of sardines. John Wayne had no chance to answer the field marshall's question as Godzilla brought his scaly green foot down on the Pershing tank. "Jolly good show, oh dear," murmered Field Marshall Montgomery just before he was crushed within the steel coffin of the tank.

John Wayne barely escaped the doomed tank by jumping clear of Godzilla's foot. He dusted himself off and took a final drag of his cigarette before flinging it on the ground. Godzilla picked up the crushed tank and peeled back its exterior, slurping up the squishy remains of Field Marshall Montgomery.

"This isn't fer God and Country anymore. This is fer Kaptin Nelson and his brave men; this is fer Kernel Patton and his sacruhfice; this is fer Kernel Sanders and his secret recipe; this is for Feeld Mar-shull Muntgumry and the perdy lady wearin' his uniform; this is even for Jhery Falwehl and Pope Insanus II; it's not about God anymore."

John Wayne leaped in the air toward Godzilla, yelling, "Screw God!" The force of his push knocked the giant lizard off of the cliff and into the sea, where both John Wayne and Godzilla disappeared beneath the sparkling blue water, never to be seen again.

The surviving armies of the Puritans and the Hedonists reconciled their differences in honor of the man who had saved the world from destruction by a giant green lizard. The John Wayne Peace Accords soon degenerated into a drunken orgy where both Christians and heathens debased themselves with the exotic dancers from Dressden and smoked the large stash of marijuana that had been set aside for use in the now defunct Cloning Machine. Peace enveloped the earth once again.

No one ever saw John Wayne again. Some say he drowned in the waters of the Tyrrhenian. Others say he crawled out of the sea, lit a cigarette, and decided to take a well- deserved break from the course of human affairs. A few even claim he was kidnapped by aliens as he toppled into the ocean and even now is the subject of brutal sexual tortures. But, really, those people are crazy. There's no such thing as aliens.

The End

Copyright 1997 by Allan Muenzler

Allen is a denizen of #theWritersClub channel on DALnet (where he hides behind the nickname of VonBek) and can be contacted there or e-mailed at:

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