Smite Thee With Badgers!

"You know, I always did enjoy the temple" said Brock wistfully, looking around the Inner Sanctum of the Badger Temple.

"On the contrary, our records show that you put frogs in the organ, greased the isle and exchanged all the candles with white-painted fireworks" said the demon in an absent-minded way while inspecting the altar. It was in the shape of a badger, and where a self-respecting mystic altar would have had bloodstains, this one had cheese stains. It made you despair. "Why did you think all those lightning bolts kept striking near you?" He added.

"Dunno. Anyway, they kept hitting unclad Don instead."

"The Gods move in mysterious ways. Especially if they're drunk."

They were silent for a while. Brock seemed to have something on his mind, his badger had dozed off and was twitching in its sleep, and the demon kept inspecting the altar. Brock swore it tried to crawl away once or twice.

"So what, exactly, are we doing here?" Brock asked, leaning against a statue of Ohsoree the Shy.

"Well, you will go through with the ritual as planned, I make a deal with the Spirit of Badgers, and we take over the world."

"But why don't the Badger Priests do anything? They must suspect that something's wrong, surely?"

The demon straightened up and looked at him. "Did you ever wonder why people here dress in black with a white stripe down the middle?"

"Because that's what badgers look like?"

"No. It stems from a ruler called Stefan the Stinky, who mistook skunks for badgers, and they've dressed like that ever since. What does that tell you about the local intellectual level?"

"So that's why they didn't suspect you're a demon, even when you disembowelled that acolyte!"

"Yes, sorry about that, my mind was wandering and…"

He stopped, and turned rigid. Brock turned to the doorway and saw that the Badger Priests had brought the necessary things for the ritual. All of them.

"Oh dear, Are you sure we need the sheep?" Brock asked after they had left again.

"Yes, yes," said the demon. "I doubt my superiors will be happy about me, I mean us, becoming almighty."

He braced himself and crept crablike towards the sheep. Then he stretched out a trembling hand and gently touched the sheep.

"See? The mind can overcome the sheep!"

He looked the animal squarely into the eye, and it promptly keeled over and died.

"Ops."

"Don't worry, I'll order another sheep."

"Quickly please." The dead sheep was currently lying on it's back with its feet gently curling and uncurling.

Another sheep was produced and the carcass attempted carried out, although it exploded halfway to the door. Then the preparations began.

The frogs were securely tied. The sheep was covered in so much mustard that it skidded slightly. Brock grasped the cucumber.

"And now" said the demon, trying to keep away from the sheep "We begin."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

In a cell much lower in the temple, the three companions sat around and despaired. That is to say, Galadork despaired in a pompous, self-centred way, Dementis was absent-mindedly twirling his beard and Trish was filing her nails.

"Oh, woe unto us, who failed our geas!" Cried Galadork.

"Grease? What about grease?" Dementis said, interested.

"No, foolish wizard, I said geas!"

"Isn't that, like, a type of bird?" Said Trish, not looking up.

"We must escape!" He said, ignoring her.

"Why? This cell is nice and comfy," said Dementis calmly. "And anyway, it's not soundproof."

"What has that got to do with anything?" Said a confused Galadork, seeing that the situation was clearly beyond him. Of course, that was not a difficult task. As a knight, he spent his days fighting horrid beasts and saving fair maidens, and as long as he didn't confuse the two, he didn't need to think much.

"The signal."

"What signal?"

As if on cue (this is a story, after all) shouting and wailing could be heard from outside, as well as the patter of thousands upon thousands of little paws, such as may be made by a legion of badgers running in one direction.

"That signal."

He rose and waved his hand at the door, which opened. "And now, if you would care to follow me…"

He strode out of the doorway, and, because he was not a man accustomed to striding, tripped over his own robe and fell face first to the floor.

"Can we skip the falling over part?" asked Trish.

"No."

"Oh."

They charged towards the Inner Sanctum, getting slightly lost and needing to look for a privy on the way, but once they came to the upper levels, they were met with a splendid sight: A river of badgers were running through the corridors, heading towards where the ritual had been held. The three companions followed them, but due to another unfortunate trip to the privy ("I, like, totally can't help it!"), they came late. They were just in time to see the last badger slip through a fiery portal, which then closed.

They were silent for a while.

"So," Dementis said at last. "We didn't fulfil the prophesy, vanquish the Lords of Hell, or were of any use whatsoever, but look at it this way: How would life be if we removed all evil?"

"Happy and painless?" Galadork said, unusually insightful.

"Well, yes, but wouldn't it be boring?"

Trish frowned, appearing to think about something and clearly unused to the experience. "Where's Brock?"

A piece of rubble slid away, revealing a small badger that appeared to be overly depressed, slightly trampled but most of all, small.

"I think he got what was coming to him."

Trish looked at the badger and squealed. "Oh, it's so small and fluffy!"

She ran over and picked it up, hugging it. "Oh, I'll keep it forever and love it and pet it…"

The badger seemed to brighten up.

"… And I'll call it Mister Fluffy and dye it pink and do it's hair and share him with all my little sisters…"

"Yes, he definitely got what was coming to him," Dementis said, eying the panicky look on the badgers small face. "Come on. Let's go home."

"… And I'll feed it cat food and buy him a little cage and…"
"Come on Trish."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Outside the temple, the former Head Dachs (now just Head) looked upon the bare heads of his people.

There wasn't a badger in sight.

"My people" he said hollowly. "The badgers have abandoned us! What now shall we worship?"

And the people of Melesium wailed, clearly in a deep religious crises.

Then, like a sign from the gods, something emerged from a nearby house.

It was covered in feathers. It had a beak. It was plump.

It was a large chicken.
"That was supposed to be tomorrow's lunch," Count Blaireau said weakly, but was quickly hushed.

The High Priest knelt down and grasped the chicken gently and raised it above his head. Then, with shaking hands, he began to lower it.

And the chicken blessed him like a pigeon unto a statue.

Later that day, as three companions and a badger left the main gate, the citizens started to rebuild their city. The new one would be mostly white, with some interesting decorations.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The demon looked upon the Pits of Hell and saw that it was horrid. Of course, it was meant to be horrid, demons had literally slaved for years to make it horrid, but this was somehow worse.

Now, Hell was filled with badgers. There didn't seem to be any way to get rid of them, and they had already started to dig holes. He could hear fiends roaring in the distance, the kind of roars that suggests that as soon as the roarer has vented his frustration on anyone nearby, they'll get down to business with whoever made them angry in the first place, and it won't be pleasant.

This sort of things makes a demon think. The though about a long holiday arrives fast, but-

Hello, hello!

-Not quite fast enough.

"Greetings, Lord Atan. You know, I can explain…"

Really? Well, there suddenly seems to be a lot of badgers around despite that fact that I told you to kill the Badger Lord.

"Yes, about that…" said the demon nervously.

You didn't, I don't know, try to gain absolute power and dominance over everything from Heaven and downwards, incidentally overthrowing me in the process did you?

"Well, maybe just a little…" The demon admitted.

Oh, I'm so glad you feel you can be honest with me! Now lets talk punishment…

And that is the story of why Hell is filled with badgers.

(A/N) HURRAY! The last chapter has been finished! Hopefully it was as amusing and unlikely as I'd hoped.

And now for the apologies.

A thousand apologies to all my faithful readers (If any of you are still alive) for the long wait. I can only claim a serious writers block, and more homework than seems humanly possible.

But I suppose that teaches me not to keep postponing my Bio Journals.

So the story has reached it's conclusion, the badger lord has been badgered, and all is reasonably well.

Now: Who can tell me how many badger references this story has hidden in various names? They should be in three or four languages at least.

The one who finds the most will get absolutely nothing at all, except my silent gratitude of course.

Well, that end's this Authors Note. Thanks to all those that's read this story, and double that to all those that have posted reviews. Feel free to so now.