Short Treatment 35 - Satan Is Not Dead

CATHERINE (38) is a scientist working in a small lab. She runs a small electronic device that utilizes all sorts of complicated chemicals and tesla coils, very exciting stuff. When it finishes, her computer screen pops up one word:

NO.

Cut to news reports, all crazy, with one underlying theme. “700 Club’s Pat Robertson: ‘I can’t believe you all fell for it for so long;’” “Unitarian Universalists riot, thousands dead;” “Vatican swears, ‘Seriously you guys, it’s all real, I promise;’” “Muslims and Jews unite behind new McDonalds on Temple Mount;” “Televangelist Joel Osteen escapes to secret island fortress;” “Amish embrace dark web, FBI fears illicit drug empire.”

Catherine sits in an interview, surrounded by cameras and monitors. The interviewer asks her how it feels to have conclusively disproved God. Catherine shrugs, “I just ran the tests. Anyone could’ve done it. I can’t wait to rub it in some faces on Thanksgiving, though” The interviewer expresses amazement at how absolutely irrefutable the proof is, absolutely undeniable. Does Catherine have any plans for disproving any other mythical figures? Cathrine says yes; this test technically only disproves the Abrahamic God, but she plans on hitting all the big ones: The Buddhas, Jesus, Thor, all of them.

When she leaves the interview, she’s half invited, half kidnapped into a limo taking her to a private plane to an audience with the pope. When she arrives in the Vatican, the Pope is terrified, angry, desperate - can she please, please take it all back? Just tell everyone it was all a mistake? Catherine says no - even if she wanted to (she doesn’t), she couldn’t now, it’s all public, all online. The pope is furious, calls her reckless. “You just went public after one guy was disproven. You didn’t even bother checking any of the others first.”

Now Catherine is just confused. Why does he care about her disproving the others? He’s worried the Hindus are gonna take over when the Catholic Church falls? She’ll get to them sooner or later. The pope ignores her, goes into how hard it was to make all of this up. “Do you know how hard it was to get a virgin pregnant before in vitro? Do you even care how hard it is to do just a small miracle?”

He leads her down to the Vatican’s secret basement as he explains: the entire church was just a cover, to make the Devil think there was someone out there who could totally take him in a fight. They round a corner, and see Satan himself, lounging on a sofa watching Big Bang Theory. The pope gets mad at his handlers that they’re still letting him watch TV, but the handlers tell him there’s nothing they could do - he owns all the cable companies, they can’t get the cable cut off.

Then, Big Bang Theory cuts out to a special news bulletin. Satan groans, reaches for the remote, but before he can change the channel, he sees the headline: “With God disproven, tipping at restaurants on Sundays surges 300%.” Satan grabs his Alienware laptop, searches on Bing, finds the proofs.

Catherine is confused, overwhelmed. This is a lot to process. The pope warns her that they need to leave immediately, but she can’t, she just watches as Satan looks around at the room and ceiling, uncertain. Satan shouts, “God is a big old jerk!” then cringes, waiting to get struck by lightning. When it does come, he tentatively sprouts bat wings and flies straight up through the ceiling. He blows up a couple buildings, pausing to look heavenward after each one.

As he grows in confidence, he gets crazier and crazier, until finally he’s dancing around, blowing stuff up, just having a great time.

Meanwhile, the pope grabs Catherine and drags her into a saferoom. He explains that Satan is the most powerful being on earth, and all of Christianity was put together as a ruse to fool him into thinking he needed to hide (Judaism was phase 1 of the plan, and Islam was a backup in case Christianity failed). Now that it’s failed, Satan is going to take over the world, and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.

Catherine refuses to accept that. She’s done more research into the science of myths than anyone, and she’s convinced there has to be a way to stop him. The pope turns on the news, though, and reveals how nothing is working - Satan can survive guns, tanks, missiles, nukes, everything. He’s just blowing everybody up.

But Catherine still thinks she can do it. But she’ll need help - she needs a piece of the devil to test things on. The pope tells her New Jersey is actually mostly made up of the Devil’s many offspring (“That’s why everyone there is such a dick.”), which she says might work. So they go to Newark.

In Newark, they find CAMERON (18), who’s just the worst - he smokes handrolls (“Weed is so pedestrian.”), he watches movies on his phone at full volume on busses, he hasn’t showered with soap in six years, and he likes cats more than dogs. Turns out, he’s actually genetically 75% Satan, which makes him perfect for Catherine’s testing. She and the pope convince him to help them by promising they can get him a subscription to the secret Pornhub that’s only for billionaires and is mostly just videos of people talking about difficult childhood experiences over footage of exotic plants being sprayed with weedkiller.

Meanwhile, Satan has taken over most of Europe, and is now advancing on Asia. Curiously, there are a few neighborhoods he’s avoided, random pockets of peace amidst the chaos, but no correlations can be drawn as to the cause.

With Cameron to test on, Catherine makes a breakthrough - it seems like Satan can’t be hurt, but he can be repelled by expressions of pure, genuine love. The only problem: Such pure love doesn’t actually exist in the world. They’re going to have to synthesize it in a lab.

In order to do so, though, they need to find the most loving people they can. The pope arranges to get some of Mr. Roger’s fingernail clippings, Catherine tracks down the Dalai Lama, and Cameron hunts down Mario Lopez’s hand mirror (“Nobody loves anybody more than Mario Lopez loves himself. And who can blame him, he’s beautiful!”).

The pope goes to meet his contact, only to find Mr. Roger’s clippings have accidentally been thrown out because, let’s be honest, saving anyone’s fingernail clippings is kinda gross. His contact has access to a bottle of Ghandi’s spit, but it’s stored in a vault in India, which the Devil is rapidly advancing on. The pope decides to risk it and heads over there.

Catherine goes to India on her own, looking for the Dalai Lama. When she gets there, it turns out the Dalai Lama has gone to Tibet to protect it. She has to go to Tibet to find him.

Cameron goes to Los Angeles and goofs off.

The pope sneaks into a small village behind the Devil’s line of conquest. The people there are all enslaved by demons. The pope manages to ingratiate himself among the demons by turning water into wine and performing other entertaining miracles.

Catherine meets with the Dalai Lama. It turns out, he’s actually kind of a dick. He’s drunk and quick with some uncomfortably sexual remarks towards Catherine. She goes off on him, saying how she’d come to try to save the world, but if he’s like this maybe the world is doomed. That gets him to sit up - he tells her, yeah, no, he’s not very loving, but he knows a guy. He introduces her to TSOMO (50), an old monk who cries whenever he thinks about one time when he almost accidentally stepped on an ant. Catherine takes Tsomo back to her lab.

The pope gets a hold of Ghandi’s spit, but getting out is harder than getting in. He’s forced to fight the demons, leading an uprising after blessing a bunch of spray bottles to use as weapons. He gets grabbed by a demon, but manages to escape by blessing his own sweat. He gets out and heads back to Catherine’s lab.

Cameron wakes up in an alleyway, still drunk from the last party. He answers his phone when Catherine calls, and tells her yeah, no problem, he’s got it and he’ll head back. He breaks into a nearby shop, steals a handmirror, and heads back to the lab.

Catherine works on her anti-Satan barrier, but no matter what she tries, nothing seems to work.

Then they get news: Satan found out about the pope’s uprising, and through that got wind of their plan. He’s on his way now. They’ve got an hour at most.

Catherine gives up. Even if things were working, it would take more than an hour to synthesize pure enough love to beat the devil. She advises that they all make peace with the end and figure out how they want to spend their last hour.

The pope leaves, but Cameron doesn’t have anything better to do. He tags along with Catherine to go see her parents. Catherine obviously doesn’t really want him to come, but he’s so pushy.

They get to her parents’ house, and their dog runs out, so happy to see her! She scoops him up and hugs him, and then looks to see Cameron recoiling, almost in pain. She realizes she doesn’t need to synthesize anything - dogs already have the purest love in the world.

Catherine goes to all the neighbors, and then the pound, gathers all the dogs she can find. When Satan arrives, she surrounds him with puppies, giving him no escape. The puppies lick him with pure affection and happiness, their tongues burning him like acid. He dies an agonizing death.

Peace returns to the world; the demons are easy to fight off now that everybody knows to just bring puppies everywhere. Holy water mixed with dog slobber winds up killing demons immediately. Everything is good.

Catherine returns to her lab to disprove everybody she can, to make sure nothing like this happens again.

Then Odin crashes into her lab. “Now that Satan is dead, I will reign supreme!” Catherine rolls her eyes and gets ready for a fight.

The end.

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