And yea, while God tended to the affairs of mortals, the angels and the cherubim
and the good souls -- and the bad souls who foundeth their way through the Golden Gates of
Heaven with bribes and promises of chocolate -- looked about the sacred realm and
Where does he hide the holy wine?
The Book Of X-Men III:ii-xxi
(The Even Newer Testament)
GOD plays poker
The mansion still reverberated with shock and amazement at the arrival of the Lord
of All Creation. Birds were hushed in their trees, awed beyond the ability to
sing. Clouds drifted by, carefully silent lest they incur the wrath of the Great Creator.
Remy's motorcycle stopped roaring. Bishop stopped bellowing "I Wanna Be Loved By
You" in the shower. Rogue found an old rosary in the garden and took up religion.
Logan invited God to play poker.
"Full house, sevens high," Logan announced with satisfaction, spreading his
cards on the table.
God looked at his own hand. "DOES THAT BEAT ... THIS?"
"Here, bub, lemme see..." Logan looked seriously at God's hand. Straight
flush. Logan's expression didn't change by a hair.
"WELL? DID I WIN?"
With a regretful sigh, Logan shook his head. "Sorry, pal. Better luck next
"THIS IS THE TENTH GAME TONIGHT."
"Some people just don't got the gift for it," he explained sympathetically.
"You're not doin' too bad, though. 'Nother round?"
God looked doubtfully at the cards. "HOW MUCH DO I OWE YOU SO FAR?"
"About ... twenty keggers, if I'm figurin' straight."
"HOW 'BOUT TEN AND A RAIN OF MANNA?"
Logan shrugged and started dealing. "That'll do. Beer?"
"IS IT FATTENING?" Logan looked up from the cards.
"WELL, SPANDEX IS VERY REVEALING YOU KNOW ... CAN'T BE TOO CAREFUL..."
Meanwhile, Jean was doing terrible things to the lawn as she got back into celestial
"I AM PHOENIX!" she cried, bursting into flame, so on, and
so forth. "I AM FIRE AND LIFE INCARNATE!"
"I am He-man." Bobby muttered under his breath. "I -- have -- the
Jean put fiery hands on fiery hips and glared at him.
"Am I going to have to get God out here?" She demanded.
"Oh God -- I mean -- no. Please. Anything but
that." Jean was slightly shocked at the violence of his reaction. "He keeps
trying to make me wear sweaters." Bobby explained plaintively. "I keep taking
them off, and y'know, losing them, but every time I see him, he
snaps his fingers and bam! I'm wearing a sweater again. I told him I don't get
cold, I told him I get claustrophobic in warm
clothes, but he's obsessed, man..." his voice dropped and he looked around as if
afraid to be overheard, "and geez, Jeannie ... they're so ugly.
I mean, who knew God had such bad taste in clothes, you know?"
"I think they're very nice." Jean said, a little defensively. "They do
look a little funny over our costumes, I admit..." She glanced down at
her own apparel. Somehow the daring, skintight, red and green Phoenix costume just didn't
look as -- well, as dangerous, as it used to.
Not when coupled with a pink and purple check patterned sweater.
In fact, she admitted to herself, she now looked rather more like an colour blind
aerobic instructor than a superheroine and celestial avatar.
But she'd be damned (quite literally) if she'd say that where God might hear.
"What've ya got?"
"THREE KINGS, TWO QUEENS."
Logan clucked regretfully. "Pair o' twos, bub. Read 'em an' weep."
"YOU WOULDN'T BE CHEATING, WOULD YOU?"
A hairy hand clamped against a barrel chest, eyes wide. "Ya wound me."
"And Friends. It's just not funny anymore."
"And beards. Outlawed, for sure. And flares. And premature baldness."
"It's just something I worry about, okay? Oh yeah, and you've got the whole,
mutant-human conflict thing down, right?"
"I was wondering if you'd ever get to that..."
"And George Lucas has to make the three Star Wars sequels after all!
"These are your priorities?"
"Get into the spirit Cece, it's not -- Oo! Wait, I thought of another one! The
Spice Girls must die!"
"...Okay, that's a good one."
Doctor Reyes scribbled industriously (and illegibly, she's a doctor after all), on her
notepad as Bobby bounced up and down beside her. Scott entered the room, glancing
nervously over his shoulder. (He'd left the toilet seat up again, and Phoenix the
celestial avatar was on the warpath.)
"Oh, sorry, I thought this room was empty..."
"It's okay." Bobby waved him in. "We're just making a few notes for
"Yeah." Bobby beamed cheerfully. Cecilia rolled her eyes. "Well, we just
thought, y'know, while he was on Earth and everything, he could maybe fix some
stuff." Scott took the outheld pages dubiously, and looked them over.
"...End to famime ... death to all mimes ... no more war ... no more gameshow
hosts..." Scott put the papers down with a sigh, rubbing his forehead. "Um...
look, this is all very ... enterprising of you, but ... how can I
put this...?" He paused a moment, summoning tact. "Somehow, I just don't think
God will take well to being given a "To Do" list."
Bobby was crestfallen. "But ... they're just suggestions, Scott..."
"But Scott," He pleaded, "the Spice Girls."
Scott looked down at the list again. No more Spice Girls ... mmm...
But he wasn't the leader of the X-men for nothing. He straightened his spine. He
gathered his strength. He put on his sternest face.
"Well..." he said very firmly, "...I guess it couldn't hurt to
God stared in bewilderment at the huge pile of IOUs beside Logan on the table. So far
the Canadian had the deed on Purgatory (which God didn't really want; it was a pretty
boring place), the Golden Arches (a cunning sleight-of-hand on God's part,
meaning that Logan now held the rights to every McDonald's sign in the world, rather than
actually having rights to the splendiferous Golden Gates), and the seventh ring of
Heaven (which God didn't really remember putting there, so figured it couldn't be very
important). It was very hard for the Almighty One to understand this. God was
normally one of those people who picked things up rapidly. All in all, He was used to
being ... well ... perfect. Without trying. He'd conquered the challenges of Super Mario
Brothers without breaking a sweat. He could program a VCR without referring to the
instructions. It was beyond comprehension that He would fail so utterly at poker.
"Lay 'em down."
God laid out his cards. "FOUR ACES AND A WILD TWO."
Logan looked at him pityingly. "This just ain't your day, is it?"
"...YOU WIN AGAIN?"
Sighing, Logan spread his hand on the table. "Royal mix-up. Two Queens, a King, a
Jack, and a four of diamonds."
God shook His head slowly. "I JUST ... DON'T UNDERSTAND..."
Logan smiled encouragingly as he collected the rights to God's firstborn. "Maybe
this just isn't the game for ya. I can give you a chance to win it all back, though. How
"You'll love it."
Just then, Sam walked in and caught the proceedings. His eyes widened as he looked at
the cards and the stack of winnings by Logan's arm. A small, strangled "Eep!"
escaped from his chest. God looked up, still frowning.
"WHAT IS IT, SAMUEL?"
Sam smiled tremulously at God. "N-nothin', sir. Ah just ... Mr. Logan, sir, can Ah
talk to you for a second?"
Logan, busy shuffling cards and lighting a cigar simultaneously, didn't look at him.
"What about, Guthrie?"
Trying to keep the smile for God's benefit, Sam tugged ineffectually at Logan's arm.
"All right, all right ... hold your damn horses..." Logan stood and nodded at
God. "Back in a sec, bub. No stackin' the deck while I'm gone."
Sam dragged Logan into the next room, then rounded on him sharply. It took him a minute
to manage to get words out of his mouth. "You ... you ... YOU are cheatin' GOD!"
Logan chewed his cigar for a moment. "So?"
"But He's ... He's ... Ah mean ... that's..."
The short man shrugged impatiently. "It's a game, kid.
I'll give 'im back his stuff at the end."
Logan slapped his shoulder companionably. "You worry too much, Guthrie. Need to
learn to relax." Then he turned and walked casually back to the table, sitting down
and glancing questioningly at God.
"Ya didn't use that whole 'knowin' everything' thing t' eavesdrop there,
God shook His head quickly. "YOU ALREADY EXPLAINED THAT DOING SO
WOULD BE CONSIDERED CHEATING."
"It's a real pleasure playin' with you, bub."
Sam's heart was pounding, his face was hot, his eyes were wide...
In short, he was a bit upset.
"He's ... cheatin'... GOD," he muttered to himself. "That's just so ... wrong."
In the other room, he could hear the good-natured game-talk as the cards were dealt again.
Sam's Sense of Justice (tm) suddenly sprang up and slapped him in the
face. (It was a rowdy Sense of Justice (tm)).
"All right, Mr. Logan," he said quietly. "Ya wanna mess with God? Well
you're gonna hafta go through me first."
Resolute with new decision, Sam strode into the room, pulled out a chair, and seated
himself firmly at the table. God said nothing. Logan didn't show apprehension, but Sam
noted his sudden blink-blink of surprise.
With a small, grim smile, Sam told them -- "Deal me in."
~end part three.
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