(The following is a transcript of a lecture given by official Jihad historian Dr. Jason Carmichael to the incoming class of recruits at TRES Corps Headquarters on January 12, 1999.)
WHO ARE WE?
At first glance, it seems like a dumb question. We’re the Jihad! But, if a thoughtful Jihaddi approaches the idea, they find it’s not as simple as it seems.
We are an organization made up of many different types of sentient beings, recruited not only from the four cor- ners of the world but of the multiverse, and we have a healthy respect for differ- ences. With all this tolerance for the eccentric, how do we manage to keep the Jihad together?
It is simply thus: B’harne must be destroyed, all else is irrelevant.
ISIS the binding thought. How- ever, a thoughtful man would ask why this is the binding thought. For that answer, gentlemen, you need a bit of a tour of Jihad history, and that is why I am here. I hope at the end of this tour you will have some idea of the nature of the Wyrm we oppose, why we — the Jihad — came to be, and how we got here from there. So with no further ado, let us begin.
We don’t know a whole lot about the Beast we oppose. We don’t know where he came from or even what he truly is. Here is speculation he is a demon from the deepest pits of Hell or some truly malevolent spirit. We re- ally don’t understand his nature, or why he chooses to fight the way he does.
Any attempt to answer any of these questions or even approach the Wyrm himself has one of three consequences:
Either the Wyrm is slain temporarily, or the one approaching the Wyrm has ended up either dead or spongified.
We can surmise from the above fact that B’harne must be a very private whatever he is.
But some conjecture and piecing together what we do know, we find that first of all he is probably not of this Earth. Second, he has some kind of alliance with the Lyrans — although the details of the alliance are unknown to us. We also happen to know that the Lyrans hate and fear humanity to the point they wish to destroy us, but we aren’t quite sure why. ird, B’harne cannot be killed permanently with any weapon we have short of Lord Owsen’s Barney-Slayer — and even that is am- biguous as we’ve never really had a chance to test it. Fourth, he has two associates that are similar to what he is — B’haby B’hop and B’heeJ’hay. It isn’t really a lot. But most importantly, we know the effects B’harne has on humanity — and if you haven’t seen it, I hate to tell you that it isn’t pretty. Luckily for us, he wasn’t as much of an issue in the past as he is today… or hu- man history may have taken a different and more unpleasant course.
Perhaps he didn’t really get a chance to destroy this world as he so desperately wished because there was no simple way to destroy the world in those days. Communication between parties was slow and painful, and even the dual inventions of the telegraph and the radio still didn’t change the fact that it was difficult to get a message out to a lot of people in a way that didn’t involve them thinking about what they had just read or heard.
Ah… but then television came into the mix. You’ve heard all the deroga- tory names for it, I have no need to go intothose. Forthefirsttimeinhuman history, we had a medium that instead of encouraging thought, encouraged people to sit and look at the images until their brains turned to pabulum. And it’s really no surprise that we see the rise of B’harne in conjunction with the maturing of this technology.
Now, before we get into a debate over the merits of television, I want to point out that it is not completely an evil. It does serve a purpose for entertainment and education. However, in the form it has now, there is not much use for the imagination or the intellect. And that is the weapon that the Beast counts on… to be able to invade the
brain and take over without his victim even realizing what is going on.
It’s hopeless, right? I mean, there’s no way we’re going to convince the mundanes to give up their television sets and go back to reading and listening to the radio. In fact, if you tried such a campaign in Mundania, you would be laughed out of your seat. And reveal- ing the true nature of the Beast is an impossibility as well. I mean, c’mon, a children’s television character is out to destroy humanity as we know it?
Even if you did get past the absurdity of your postulate, the panic that would ensue would play right into the Beast’s hands.
So the war must be secret. But who can be trusted with that secret, and be willing to be the good guys, doing a job that must be done with absolutely no recognition?
ENTER THE JIHAD
Unfortunately for students of history, there isn’t much in the way of ac- tual tangible history left from the early days of the Jihad. While I was present for a large portion of it, even my care- fully kept notes were lost in an accident, and I only have the memories of my- self and others to rely on. e prob- lem with memory, especially in a liter- ate culture, is that it tends to become myth rather easily, and the distortions from mythologizing something make it harder to make out what the original truth was.
But two facts seem most impor- tant in the lead up to the Jihad. First, the Wyrm seems to have decided that the best way to bring about his Purple Kingdom was to reveal himself to the world — not as the slobbering form of evil incarnate that we know him to be, but a sugary-sweet children’s television show character. In some ways, this choice of guise turned out to be lucky for us, because it has helped us keep our War out of sight of the mundanes, but on the other hand, it also turned out to be unlucky because the primary audi- ence for a children’s television show is the young and impressionable minds of children.
Soon after B’harne’s show went on the air, sometime in the mid to late eighties, a man whom we Jihaddi would come to know as the High Prophet, but who at the time was nothing more than your ordinary construction worker, would begin to have the first in a se- quence of dreams and visions about some evil loose on the world that would destroy humanity if it wasn’t checked. At first, he wasn’t sure about these visions would you have been if you were living a perfectly ordinary mun- dane life and you started getting odd visions about a kid’s television show character being the incarnation of pure evil?
Luckily for the Jihad and the fate of humanity,theHighProphetwaswilling
to put up with these visions, and as they continued unabated, he began searching out others who might be having these same visions. It was made easier by the fact that his visions seemed to want him to search out these others. Over the course of a couple years, he found them all — a priest, a soldier, a doctor, a teacher, a physics Ph.D student, and an airline pilot, and from that humble Seven came the organization that you are all a part of today.
In 1990, after several meetings with those others who shared his visions, the High Prophet uttered what we know today as the ree-fold Truth, which included the statement I gave you at the beginning of this speech. With the ar- rival of the Truth, he was finally able to call forth that most noble undertaking. He called a Jihad — a Jihad against the Evil that had come to torment Earth. e war began at this point, the same war you and I are fighting today.
e early days were a pretty heady time to be part of the Jihad. Missions were taken on solo and in pairs. None of the structure that the current Jihad relies on to be able to function existed at that point, and people were pretty much cast to the wind, doing simply what had to be done in those days. Granted, the opposition forces weren’t very well organized at that point either, which was probably the one saving grace for the nascent Jihad.