I Believe

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The Dream

December 15, 2027, Staff Sergeant Doug “Cobra” Wilson wakes up to the sound of helicopter blades. Doug grunts as he looks around, hoping that the is flying in a Blackhawk helicopter he’s riding in has landed, only it hasn’t. His body tells him to go back to sleep but his mind tells him not to, the helicopter could arrive at its destination at any moment.

Doug is a member of a Ranger Unit called the Black Mambas. The Black Mambas are the best of the Rangers. They take on the hardest and most dangerous missions. Today the Black Mamba’s mission is to secure a building on the docks that is housing terrorists in Yemen. The plan is to separate into three squads. First squad will land on the docks and set up security around the building. Second squad will land on the roof and clear the building from the top down. The third squad, Doug’s team, will land in the courtyard and secure the building from the bottom up. The second and third squad will meet in the middle floor of the building.

In Doug’s helicopter his men are going over last minute preparations. “Sweet Home Alabama” is playing on the radio, keeping everyone entertained, especially Doug, his friend Sergeant Nick Poster. The only person who isn’t enjoying the song is First Lieutenant Tom Silversmith, the Platoon Leader. He gets up the turns the radio off, infuriating everyone.

“What did ya do that for?” Doug yells at Lieutenant Silversmith.

“We will be at the drop zone in sixty seconds.” Lieutenant Silversmith answers.

“About time, I was starting to think we were never going to get there.” Nick shouts.

They have been in the helicopter for three hours. Everyone is beginning to get a little air sick. The Rangers cock their weapons and prepare to repel down the rope. They wait for Tom to signal them. The door slides open and the Rangers slide down one at a time. Doug is the first to repel out of his helicopter. He is always the first one. Doug slides down the rope with one hand on the rope. This is one of the rare times when no one is shooting at him. When Doug gets on the ground he notices that except for the Rangers, there is no one around. He gets the feeling that they are walking into a trap. Third squad moves quickly to the door without any problems. The squad splits into two teams, Alpha and Bravo. Bravo team provides security while Alpha team prepares to breach the building. Out of nowhere, Doug hears gunfire down on the docks.

“Man down, Private Beans has been hit. We’ve got six hostiles on the docks.” Echoes in Doug ear piece.

“How bad is the injury?”

“He is alive but we need to get him to a doctor immediately.”

“Can you handle them?” Doug asks.

“Yes sir”

“Alright, keep them at bay. We’ll go as fast as we can.”

A dozen terrorist suddenly jump out of a tool shed. Third squad opens fire on them. Alpha team takes cover and supports Bravo team. Doug looks up on top of a shed in the court yard and sees a machine gun. It opens fire on the Rangers. Private First Class George Grieves takes a bullet in the leg. He falls down to the ground in the open.

“MAN DOWN!” Doug yells to the medic.

Doug runs over to where Grieves is lying. He grabs Grieves and starts dragging him to cover. But before Doug can get him to cover Grieves is hit by machine gun fire, killing him instantly. Doug is also hit by machine fire in the right shoulder. Doug goes straight down to the ground clutching his arm.

“Second squad, where are you? We could really use your help.” Nick yells into the radio.

They are responded by shots coming from the dock. Doug looks back and sees that first squad is still involved in the fire fight at the docks.

“Third squad, we really need your help down here.” Doug yells.

Shots ring out from the top floor of the building. The machine gunner and two other terrorist fall down dead.

“Staff Sergeant Wilson, my men have finished clearing the top floor of the building. You have our support.” Colonel Patrenski, the leader of the Black Mambas, shouts down to Doug.

“I owe you one Colonel.” Doug shouts back.

Doug pulls out his Colt .45 caliber pistol with his left hand and fires at the terrorist. He shoots one of the terrorists as he pops his head out. The medic runs to Doug to see what can be done about his arm. What medic sees doesn’t make him feel good.

“What are you waiting for?”

“This wound is much more severe than you realize.” The medic answers.

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know where to start. The bullet shattered when it hit your arm. One of the fragments hit a major artery. The bullet broke through the bone. On top of that several nerves have also been hit.” The medic answers.

“Well just do something. Get me back in the fight.”

“That’s not a good idea. The wound is too severe.”

“Just do something and do it quick.” Doug shouts.

The medic stabilizes Doug as best as he. Second squad shows up when the medic finishes. The remaining terrorists run away when they see the Rangers coming. First squad sets up security around the building. Doug’s squad moves up to breach the building. Lieutenant Silversmith turns around and sees Doug standing with the squad.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

“The mission always comes first.” Doug answers.

“Fine, just stay in the back.”

By this time First Squad has cleared the third floor. Third squad busts down the door and enters the building. As soon as the Rangers enter they receive fire from two terrorists. The Rangers respond back with quick and accurate fire, instantly drop one of the terrorists. The other takes of running injured into another room. The Rangers follow and kill him. When the Rangers go clear the next room Doug stays in the middle room to rest. The blood loss is starting to exhaust him. Doug sees a terrorist running up the stairs to the next floor out of the corner of his eye. Doug shoots him in the leg. Nick then puts two in his chest, one in his head. The terrorist falls down the stairs like a sack of potatoes. By the time they clear this floor five terrorist are dead. Doug moves to the stairs to cover his team. A terrorist pops out of the corner. Doug puts three in his chest. He tries to reload his gun with one hand. He finds it close to impossible. Doug has to rest because of all the blood he’s lost. He lets his team continue up the stairs without him. They meet up with first squad on the next floor. With the two combined squads, they blow through the floor with ease. Nick comes to the last door on the floor. He looks behind him and sees Doug coming up behind him. He sees the exhausted look on Doug’s face.

“You don’t look too good man. Why don’t you get to the medic?” Nick asks Doug.

“I’ll be okay. I can make it through this mission.”

Nick kicks down the door and enters the room. But he stops when he sees a terrorist with a female hostage. He is using her as a human shield. Nick doesn’t have a clear shot. The terrorist shouts a Nick to drop his weapon. But before the terrorist can finish his sentence a bullet takes off the top of his head. The terrorist lands on the ground in a heap. Nick turns around and sees Doug behind him with his pistol. The woman runs out of the room. Two Rangers grab her and take her outside.

“Thanks Doug”

“No problem”

Doug sits down in a chair to rest. The loss of blood is getting to him. Nick stays to help him. The rest of the Rangers start looking for Intel. Lieutenant Silversmith stays in the room. He sees an opportunity to do something he’s wanted to do for a long time. Out of the corner of his eye Doug sees Tom pull out a suppressed pistol and aim at Nick. Doug pushes Nick out of the way, but it’s too late. Tom shoots Nick in the back. Nick falls to the ground, injured, but not dead. The Kevlar saved his life. Before Tom can fire another round, Doug kicks the pistol out of Tom’s hand then elbows him in the face. Tom falls backward on to the floor. Doug points his pistol at Tom’s head.

“What are you doing Tom?” Doug yells.

“Simple, Terrorist groups pay a lot of money for secrets about the U.S.A.” Tom answers.

“What about this mission Tom?”

“The plan was for the terrorist to set up defenses to prevent you for coming in. We just showed up half an hour ahead of schedule.”

“Then why did you just try to kill me and Nick.” Doug asks.

“Because I really don’t like you Doug. You two have always been going against my orders. You especially have always stood against me. I’ve wanted to kill you for a long time now.” Tom answers.

Doug smiles when Tom says this. He drops the magazine and unloads the bullet in the chamber. He takes a defensive stance.

“Then why deprive yourself of some pleasure. “ Doug says smiling.

“Are you kidding me? You can’t even use your right arm and you’ve lost so much blood. You can barely even stand.” Tom replies.

Doug just stands there smiling.

“Then you should be able to beat me no problem.”

Tom lunges at Doug and knocks him to the ground. Tom gets Doug in head lock and began choking the life out of him. Doug’s vision starts getting blurry as he comes closer to unconsciousness. Doug can’t get Tom’s arm off him with just his left arm. He concentrates on moving his right arm. He manages to get his right arm to move. He grabs a piece of metal lying on the floor and slams it into Tom’s head. Tom releases his grip around Doug’s neck, a big mistake. Doug pulls out his bowie knife and stabs Tom in the stomach. The knife goes all the way through his body. Doug looks deep into Tom’s eyes and sees fear. Doug then rips the knife across Tom’s stomach ripping his guts out. Tom collapses on the floor and his guts.

Nick helps Doug to the helicopter to be taken to the hospital. Only one Ranger dead: Private First Class George Grieves. Two Rangers, including Doug, are injured. The Rangers load all the Intel on the three Black Hawk helicopters. Doug vision starts getting blurry. He feels exhausted and sick. Doug tries to jump in the helicopter but collapses. Corporal Dave Grant and Private Zack Haynes jump out to help him. When they get him on his feet, Doug tells them that he is okay. He takes one step then passes out.

Two years later on Jeremiah, Katrina, a member of the Rottweiler Clan, is standing in the middle of the forest. The setting sun and the shadows of the woods make it difficult for Katrina to see. But Katrina is using her ears and nose instead of her eyes. Katrina knows that she is being followed. She has been able to smell them for a while now. They are too far away to hear. All she can hear is the wind blowing through the leaves. It is quiet, to quiet. Suddenly she hears movement deep in the woods. Katrina takes a defensive fighting stance. She looks around but her eyes spot nothing out of ordinary. But Katrina’s ears pick up movement and her nose detects seven opponents. She tightens her grip on her hatchet and knife. She is armed two weapons: a small Viking hatchet and a bowie knife. Strapped to her sides are a short sword, two daggers, and ten throwing knives. Katrina has a bow strapped to her back as well. She slowly and cautiously moves toward the sound. Sudden a darkly dressed figure jumps down from a tree above her. Katrina jumps back and the figure lands on the ground in front of her. Before her attacker can recover Katrina spins and slams her hatchet into his chest. The figure falls down dead. Another attacker tries to sneak up on Katrina from behind but she senses him coming. She spins and throws her hatchet at her attacker. The hatchet hits him in the head. Two more attackers jump out of the bushes and rush at Katrina. Katrina pulls out a knife and throws it at one of her attackers hitting him in the head. The other attacker continues to charge at her. Katrina grabs her sword and effortlessly deflects the attack. She lets him attack her. Katrina easily blocks every attack. She senses another attacker coming from behind. Katrina waits till he is directly behind her then spins around and stabs him in the chest. She rotates and blocks another attack from the previous attacker. She finishes him off with a swift slice across the chest. Twenty yards away, two more attackers jump out of the bushes with bows and shoot at her. Katrina effortlessly dodges both the arrows. She grabs her bow and then hits one of them before he can get another arrow off. The final attacker drops his bow, pulls at a sword and charges Katrina. Katrina drops her bow and waits for the figure to get close. The figure stabs at her chest but Katrina spins and the knife misses her chest by inches. Katrina grabs her attackers arm and delivers a powerful elbow to the forearm breaking it. She then sweeps his legs out from underneath him. He lands on the ground with a thud. Katrina jumps on top, grabs his arm, and twists it back. Her attacker screams out in pain.

“Do you give up?”

“Yes, I surrender.”

Katrina lets go of him and walks away. She looks up at the audience sitting high up in the branches above her. There are at least twenty of them. One of them stands up.

“Exercise complete, good job Katrina.”

“Thanks Judas”

Her attackers slowly stand up and take off their hoods. Each of them is a Rottweiler trainee. The whole thing was a training exercise. No one was in any real danger. The weapons are real but are all covered with protective material. Even the knives and arrows had adhesive materials applied to their tips. The trainees jump out of the trees and form a circle around Judas.

“You can leave now Katrina. I got it from here.” Judas says.

“Ok, if you need any help just ask.”

Katrina walks into the bushes and disappears. As she walks away, Katrina can hear Judas talking about her.

“There goes a real warrior. You recruits should strive to be as good as her someday.”

An hour later Katrina is walking through the middle of the Rottweiler village looking for something to eat. Out of the corner of her eyes Katrina sees her cousins Zathora and Salvador waving at her. Katrina walks over and sits down.

“So how did it go Katrina?” Zathora asks.

“It was no problem. I made them look like a bunch of idiots.”

“You always do.”

“Unless I have forgotten Zathora you are almost as good as I am. You have come close to beating me a few times.”

After a while Katrina notices Zathora looking at something. Whatever she is looking at is disturbing her.

“What is it Zathora?”

“How did you get used to it?”

“How did I get used to what?” Katrina asks.

Zathora points to a bunch of guys sitting at a table a short distance away. They are all staring at Katrina and Zathora.

“How did you get used to all the stares?”

Katrina laughs quietly to herself. She and Zathora are two of the most beautiful and powerful warriors of the Rottweiler Clan. Katrina is twenty – nine and Zathora is twenty - five. Katrina knows that she is almost past the normal marriage age. Zathora is still in the middle. Salvador, who is seventeen, gets a lot of stares from the younger women.

“I just ignore them.” Katrina replies.

“How do you do that?”

“Simple I remember how bad my marriage turned out.”

“You are still holding on to your marriage? Katrina you have got to let that go. We all make mistakes.” Zathora responds.

“I know that God has forgiven me for it, but I just cannot forget about it.”

“Ok, can we please change subjects?” Salvador says.
“Sure, I hate talking about it anyway. Now seriously Zathora, the best advice that I can give you is to try to find that one man that God has planned for you. When you find him take it slow. Do not make the same mistake I did.”

That night as soon as Katrina falls asleep she starts having a dream. She sees herself standing on top of Mount Zion. Katrina can see for miles around her. The view takes her breath away. But suddenly the Earth starts shaking violently. The surface cracks open and out of the depths pours out millions of Lizards. The Lizards attack the human civilization and slaughter them. In minutes the human race is almost whipped off the face of the planet. Katrina falls down on her knees and prays to God.

God, what can I do to stop this from happening?”

Suddenly a bright light shines above her. Katrina looks up and sees a sword covered in gold and precious gems. She recognizes it instantly.

The Sword of God

You are correct” A deep but comforting voiced replies out of nowhere.

Katrina looks around for the person that the voice belongs to but finds no one. She suddenly realizes that God is speaking to her. Katrina falls down on her knees and worships Him.

Who is the one my Lord?”

I will reveal to you ways to know who he is but I will not show you his face. There are some qualifications that you can tell others and there are some that you can reveal to two people who you can choose. The qualifications that you keep to yourself are so that you may know immediately who it is. You are to guide him.

But why me Lord? I am not worthy of this responsibility.” Katrina asks.

I choose you for two reasons. While you are guiding him he will also guide you. I choose you because you are worthy of this task.

Suddenly the skies open above Katrina and God shows her the four qualifications that she is supposed to reveal. First, she sees eleven humans climbing up onto Jeremiah. Every one of them is armed, some more than others. They make their way to the Rottweilers and live with them for a while. Nine of them look like they are in their twenties. The other two appear to be in their fifties. Next, she is shown all ten of them demonstrating their combat skills at some point during their stay. Of the eleven only six will stand out amongst the others. Both of the older men and four of the younger ones are in the group. Third, she is shown that all eleven of them will go back to Earth. However four of them will come back shortly after leaving. The four younger men who showed that they have outstanding combat skills are the four. Once they are back on Jeremiah, they will go through the trials to become part of the Dogs. Two of them will try out for the Rottweiler clan, one for the Mastiff clan, and one for the Greyhound clan. Finally, she is shown that the chosen one will be the best fighter of the four.

Not a lot of detail in those qualifications.” Katrina says.

Correct, I do not want it to be obvious because I want the others to be trained to the same quality as him.

The sky opens up again and Katrina is shown what she supposed to keep to herself. These qualifications are revealed in much greater detail. First, Katrina sees herself and three other Dogs being attacked by a Bear. She sees the eleven humans fighting alongside them. Katrina sees the bear knock her down and come at her. Suddenly one of the humans jumps in the way and kills the bear. All she sees is the bear fall down dead. Second, Katrina sees that his right arm is missing. In its place is a prosthetic arm. Third, Katrina sees a tattoo on his neck. The tattoo is a knife. A snake is wrapping itself around the knife. The snake appears to be a Black Mamba. Fourth, Katrina sees her sin displayed in the sky. Looking at it makes her cry. The chosen one appears out of nowhere and whips the sin away like it never happened. Finally, Katrina sees herself standing on a porch on Jeremiah. Suddenly the chosen one walks out and approaches her. Katrina sees herself wrap her arms around his neck and kiss him. The sky closes up leaving Katrina standing there dumbfounded.

I fall in love with the chosen one?” Katrina asks a little shocked.

Yes you will. You will fall in love with him on your own terms. You will guide him and he will guide you. Do you understand?

Yes, I do.

Suddenly Katrina wakes up from her dream. She gets up and walks outside. Katrina stands outside for hours thinking about the dream. The sun hasn’t risen yet. She hears someone coming up behind her. Katrina turns around and sees Zathora standing there behind her. She looks tired and exhausted.

“Katrina, what are you doing up this early?”

Katrina looks up at the sky and smiles. She has just found one person that she will reveal her whole dream to.

June 30, 2020, Doug Wilson is working on his Grandparent’s dairy farm in Arkansas. He is helping them haul hay in a large pasture. Doug’s youngest cousin Jake Johnson, several other farm hands, and friends are there helping out. They have been working in the heat all afternoon. The sun is making the working conditions absolutely miserable. Doug has a thermostat on his watch; it reads a hundred and two degrees. To make things worse, the hay makes their skin itch and difficult to breathe. But Doug doesn’t care. This is the kind of work that he enjoys doing. It keeps him occupied. However Doug is having some difficulty with the work because of the bullet wound to his right shoulder from his last mission with the Black Mambas. The wound was so severe that the doctors had to amputate it while he was still unconscious. They had to cut off his entire arm, including the shoulder. However, the doctors were able to put a prosthetic arm in its place. It was a little awkward and heavy at first, but with some therapy and modifications Doug eventually got used to it. He had his oldest cousin Frank Johnson, an electrical engineer, modify it. Frank waterproofed everything, put armor on it, and adjusted the reaction speed and strength. He modified the arm to where Doug can adjust the strength from a minimum of one hundred pounds to a maximum of five hundred pounds. Frank also modified the reflexes to work the same as a normal human arm. While he works, Doug notices the stares that the others give him. Most of them are not good looks. But Doug is used to being stared at. People have always looked down on him. Doug is smaller than all the other workers. Most of them stand several inches taller than him. His long hair, beard, and pony tail don’t make it easier. The others make fun of him behind his back for looking like a mountain man. However none of them even dare to mess with him. They all know that Doug is a master at multiple martal arts, particularly Jeet Kune Do and T’ai Chi. Doug is a third degree black belt in both martal arts. He has also studied Tang Soo Do, Hapkido, Aikido, Brazilian Jujitsu, and several styles of Kung Fu. When he was in the Army Doug took the opportunity to study the fighting styles and martal arts of the region he was assigned to.

The whole time he works Doug’s focus is on two things: doing the job right and what he is going to say at church tomorrow. A few weeks ago, Pastor Brian Shelton asked Doug to give him testimony during the morning service. Pastor Shelton thinks that Doug’s testimony is one of the best examples that he can use for the lesson tomorrow. Doug is actually a little nervous about sharing his testimony. His life is not one that he is proud of. Doug gets so distracted that he throws a fifty pound bale of hay at Jake who is on top of the trailer stacking the bales. Jake barely dodges the bale.

“Doug, get your head out of your butt. We have a job to do.” Jake yells at him.

Doug snaps out of his trance and gets back to work. It takes all ten of them till dark to get all the bales transported to the hay barn and stored. By that time, they are all covered in hay, sweaty, and exhausted. They load up in the trucks and drive back to their vehicles parked at Doug’s grandparent’s house. Doug and Jake arrive back of their grandparent’s house just in time for supper. Grandma Lynn makes them take off their boots and take a shower with the hose before they enter and get their food. As Doug sits down to eat he hears something on the news that gets his attention.

“About twenty hours ago, scientists in Germany observed a strange occurrence. There is a Texas – size meteor hovering a mile above the planet. More on the story at eleven.”

At eleven, Doug is up and waiting for more information on the story. When he first heard the story Doug felt something pulling him towards it. It was like somehow his destiny is there. When the report comes on Doug turns on the volume so loud that it wakes up John Morrilton, his roommate. The reporter begins with a summary of the story. According to the scientists the meteor appeared out of nowhere. What baffles scientist is that it appears to be moving not towards Earth but along the surface, maneuvering around mountains like someone is piloting it. To observe it the English, German, Chinese, Japanese, and United States militaries flew several drones over the top. The drones photographed five different environments: forests, deserts, mountains, swamps, and jungles. The photos taken by the other droves also revealed signs of life. Several of the photos captured animals similar to animals on Earth. The photos also reveal structures that could only have been built by intelligent life. However the photos have not shown any of the intelligent beings. An hour ago, one of the drones had a malfunction and it flew into the meteor. But amazingly, it flew right through the meteor like it was a ghost. Scientists are clueless to how this happened. The scientists have named the meteor “Jeremiah” in honor of the scientist that discovered it. About half an hour ago, scientists at NASA have predicted the path of Jeremiah. It is slowly decreasing speed. At this rate, NASA believes that it will stop somewhere over the Ozark Mountains. The story continues for an hour. The whole time Doug just sits there taking in all the information.

That night, Doug has a dream about Jeremiah. In the dream Doug sees himself lifted off the ground. He flies over all Earth and straight up to Jeremiah. Doug flies through the forest, jungle, and mountains. The scenery reminds him of environments on Earth. The snow covered mountains remind him of the Himalayas. The desert looks like the deserts of Africa. The jungle is similar to the African jungles. The mountains that are not covered in snow remind him of the Ozark Mountains, his home. And finally the forest is very similar to those in Eastern Europe. It looks to Doug like these environments were chosen to be here. Eventually Doug comes to a large clearing in the middle of the forest. In the clearing, there is a large medieval – like village. There is also some modern technology. Doug sees people living in the village. Doug finds them kind of weird looking at first. They have the bodies and face of humans but the fur, ears, and tails of dogs. The fur on their faces is shorter so Doug can make out facial distinctions. These Dogs look similar to five dog breeds: Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Anatolian Shepherds, Greyhounds, and Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The village that Doug comes to is inhabited by Rottweilers. Doug walks up into the village. To his surprise none of them notice him. Out of the corner of his eye, Doug notices an attractive, young Dog woman. Doug feels more attracted to her than any other girl he’s ever been attracted to. He walks right up to her.

Excuse me miss, can you please tell me where I am?

The Dog doesn’t appear to have even heard him. Doug reaches to grab her shoulder but his hand goes straight through her like a ghost.

What is going on here?

All of the sudden the wind picks up. The air becomes almost impossible to breathe. The sky turns as black as night. Balls of fire fall down and set both Jeremiah and the Earth on fire. The Earth suddenly starts shakes so violently that the surface cracks open. Out of the cracks appear an army of millions of Lizard – like people. The very appearance of the Lizard scares Doug. They stand seven feet tall, have razor sharp claws, are covered in titanium hard scales, and have the appearance of humanoid crocodiles. The Lizards attack the humans and kill millions. The Dogs assemble an army and go down to Earth to defend the humans from the Lizards. They hold them off at first but eventually the number of the Lizards overwhelms them. Doug jump down to help the Dogs but finds out that he can’t help them. Every time he attacks one of the Lizards, he goes straight through them like he is a ghost. Just as he is starting to get frustrated Jeremiah catches on fire. The fire is so hot that even the brick buildings start melting. It doesn’t take long for Jeremiah to completely burn. Doug looks down and sees the same thing happening on Earth except much worse. The Lizards are destroying everything. He hears the screams of millions of people. Suddenly Doug hears laughter above him. He looks up and sees a Lizard standing above him. This Lizard is different from the others. While the other Lizards have gray scales he has black scales. He is also larger than the others. But the biggest difference is that he carries a sword that seems to be the source of his power. He is the one causing the all the destruction. Just as Doug starts to panic he is flying off again. This time he is headed deep into the jungle. In the middle of the jungle is an old temple. Doug flies straight into the temple. On the walls he sees ancient drawings of a sword. The drawings tell him that there is a way to stop all this destruction. The sword is the solution. He comes to a room in the temple. In the center of the room is the sword that he saw on the wall stuck in a rock. Doug walks up and pulls the sword out of the stone. As soon as Doug pulls the sword all the fires stop and the Lizards disappear. Everything goes back to the way it was.

What is the meaning of all this?” Doug shouts but receives no answer.

Doug suddenly wakes up from the dream. He is covered with sweat. The dream felt real to him. Doug can still feel the heat from the fire. He feels that the dream has a meaning to it. Doug just doesn’t know what it is.

The next morning, Doug goes to church but does not pay that much attention during the beginning of the service. Last night’s dream is still on his mind. What is bothering him was that he cannot figure out its meaning. He almost misses Pastor Shelton introduce him. Doug walks up on stage a little nervous.

“Many of you have known me all my life and you know my testimony. However most of you don’t know me. So I am going to get right to point. If you get anything from me let it be that God will forgive you. To give you a better understanding I am going to start from the beginning of my life. I was raised in a Christian home, in this very church. I was practically born in this church. I accepted Jesus Christ when I was seven. I grew up believing that the world was a good place. However when I was thirteen my eyes were open to the evil of the world. When I saw how truly evil the world was I lost my faith. I could not bring myself to believe that God existed with all this evil. But I kept a lot of the Christian virtues. I became really depressed. Not long after that I started smoking as a way to balance out my depression. It wasn’t long before I started looking for other ways to balance it out. I became a troublemaker. However I was kind of shy. I kept to myself a lot. But that all changed when I was in middle school. I was constantly bullied. But I remembered what Jesus said about turning the other cheek. So I just ignored it. That is until one day I got pushed a little too far. Three big kids tried to get me to fight. They said things about my family that infuriated me. I got so angry that I don’t remember anything about it. I beat them so bad that all three of them ended up in the hospital. One of them was in ICU for weeks. After that I realized that I didn’t have to put up with anything anymore. Everyone left me alone, which was fine with me. When my parents got divorced I got heavily involved in drinking. I got drunk at least twice a week. It made me do things that I wish that I could forget. I became the kind of person who enjoys tempting fate, doing things that people considered stupid and dangerous. Looking back at my youth I am surprised that I made it this far.”

Doug receives a lot of blank stares from the audience. He can tell his testimony is making a lot of people think bad things about him. Doug continues on anyway.

“I joined the Army when I was seventeen. I started out in the Infantry. I did a year long tour in Afghanistan. I was in a few major battles and many skirmishes. My tour was almost cut short when I was injured. I am not going to get into detail on it other than I almost died from the injury. Even though my service was very distinguished, I did a lot of things that went against the Geneva Convention. I am not going to into detail on that either. While I was in the Infantry I enjoyed the thrill but didn’t find it as much of a challenge as I had hoped. It wasn’t long before I got to try out for the Rangers. I passed the training as the top student. On Ranger missions, I served with such distinction that earned me an amazing reputation among the Rangers. I had the potential to make it into the Special Forces. However, I became friends with a guy named Nick Poster. Nick was the kind of guy who tried everything once, moved from woman to woman, and who did all the drugs at parties. He drove me way down the moral road. I become more involved in drinking than I ever had before. But I drew the line when it came it drugs and keeping my virginity. I made a promise that I would never do drugs and that I would wait till I was married. I keep my promises.”

Doug hears several people muttering in the audience. It drags his confidence down a little but he keeps on going.

“My life improved a little after I became sniper qualified. I was attached to a Delta Force team as their sniper. I couldn’t join the Special Forces because of the injury that I mentioned earlier. I cannot tell you what missions I did or where I went while I was with Delta Force. Being with Delta Force provided me the opportunity to get away from all the things that caused me trouble. When I was detached from them I kept away from alcohol, most of the time.”

Doug pauses for a moment. The hardest part of his testimony to tell is coming up.

“Almost two years ago, I was discharged from the Army. I got shot in the shoulder and as you can clearly tell I lost it.”

Doug points at his prosthetic arm. He hears a few chuckles in the audience.

“I planned on making the Army my career. The injury put an end to that. I had been in the Army for ten years. It was all that I knew how to do. In my depression I went off the deep end. I did a lot of drinking and raised a lot of hell. I did a lot of things I’m not proud of. I spent a few nights in jail. I tried to change but found it impossible. Everything I tried just brought me down even more than I already was. And that was just in a three months time frame. But early one Sunday morning, March 23, 2019 to be exact, all that changed. I woke up with a hangover and found that I was at the front door of this church. I suddenly realized that there was only one way to change. As I got up Pastor Shelton walked out and saw me there. He let me inside and took me to the altar. I knelt down in front of the altar, admitted that I was a sinner, and asked God to forgive me of my sins. Then I asked Jesus to come into my heart. That day was my twenty – eighth birthday.”

Several people stand up and applaud him. Doug motions for the audience to calm down. He is not done speaking yet.

“The next year and a half my life completely changes. I quit drinking cold turkey. I still smoke just not that often. I became a full – hearted follower of Christ. My old friends don’t even recognize me, especially Nick. But I don’t care. I live my life for Christ and that is all I need.”

Several amen’s echo from the audience. Doug walks down off the stage and takes his seat in the front row. The audience stands up and applauds him.

After church Pastor Shelton pulls Doug aside. He can tell that there is something on Doug’s mind.

“You did a good job Doug.”

“Thank you Pastor.” Doug replies. “Can I talk to you about something?”

“Sure, you can talk to me about anything.”

Pastor Sheldon takes Doug to his office. He closes the door behind them so no one hears what they talk about.

“Ok Doug, what do you want to talk about?”

“The dream is back. This time it is stronger than ever.”

“Are you talking about the dream that haunted you when you were a child?” Pastor Sheldon asks.

“Yes”

“How long ago was the last one?”

“It’s been about seventeen years since the last one. But this time it was much clearer. It felt completely real, like I was actually there. I can still feel the heat from the fire.”

“Tell me about this one.”

Doug tells Pastor Sheldon about his dream. He does not leave out a single detail.

“Doug, you know that only God can give us the interpretations of our dreams right?”

“Yes, I am just asking for your advice.”

“Okay, before you go to bed tonight pray for God to reveal the meaning to you.” Pastor Shelton answers.

“Thank you, I’ll be sure to do that.”

That night, before he goes to bed Doug prays to God about the dream’s meaning. Not long after he falls asleep, Doug dreams that he is standing in the middle of the same clearing of his dream. Only this time the clearing is surrounded by a thick fog. The fog is so thick that Doug can barely see twenty feet in every direction. Doug wanders around trying to get his bearings for what seems like forever. Suddenly Doug sees a person standing in the distance. Doug slowly and cautiously approaches him. When Doug gets close enough to him he realizes something. His brain doesn’t recognize the person but his heart does. Doug takes off running towards Him. He kneels down before Jesus Christ and starts worshipping him.

Stand up my son. I have something to tell you.

Doug immediately jumps up.

Is it about my dream?” Doug asks.

Yes, I am here to tell you its meaning.

What does it mean?

Each part of your dream has its own meaning. The part of the dream where you saw yourself flying over Jeremiah means that you are to climb up to it. Once you are on Jeremiah you are to find them.” Jesus explains.

Doug knows that Jesus is talking about the Dogs.

But how am I supposed to find them?

You don’t they will find you. After you’ve found them you are to learn from them. You will spend two months with them, return to Earth for a little bit, and then return to Jeremiah.

Why” Doug asks.

There are things that you need to know before your attempt your destiny.

And what am I supposed after I return to Jeremiah?

Become one of them. It will be revealed how you are supposed to accomplish your task.” Jesus answers.

And what am I supposed to do after that?

You will receive more instructions later.

Ok” Doug replies. “What about the part of the dream with the Lizards and where everything is destroyed?

That part of the dream was to show you what will happen if you choose not to accept your destiny. Everything you saw will happen if you deny your destiny.

And what is my destiny?

Your destiny is to defeat the Lizards once and for all.” Jesus responds.

And how am I supposed to do that?

The sword you saw in the final part of your dream is the Sword of God, a sword that possesses the very power of God. With it you will achieve your destiny.

Why not just give it to me?” Doug asks.

I will not give it to you because you are not ready for it. You lack the confidence, faith, and skills to possess it. Remember the part of the dream when you attacked the Lizards and went through them like they were ghosts?

Yes, that was the worst part of the dream.

That was to show you what would happen if I gave you the Sword of God right now. It would be completely useless. Do you understand?” Jesus replies.

Yes, but I have one more question. When am I supposed to go onto Jeremiah?

It will arrive on July 13.

Doug suddenly wakes up. He looks around and sees that it is already morning. Doug feels fear deep inside him. But in his heart, there is no doubt that he can accomplish this. Doug knows that he just has to believe.

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