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Martyrdom: It's Not For Everyone

06. Dear Jews: Sorry 'Bout the Persecution. No Hard Feelings? Signed, God



"Well, I never expected to see you again."

"Yeah... me, neither."

Kenny is seated in Bebe's living room, holding a cup of lukewarm tea. He's a little afraid to drink it, not knowing if Bebe is angry enough to add a little rat poison to the mix. As for Bebe, she's sipping it through pursed lips, glaring at him over the rim. There are toys scattered about the floor, like a big flashing sign that says "YOUR SON IS HERE."

Kenny clears his throat. "Look, I'm not going to pretend I haven't made a few mistakes in my life, but you knew I never wanted kids. I told you what horrible parents mine were, and I thought you got me. I thought you didn't want kids, either. You were always talking about pursuing a career. I thought we were on the same page. And then you turn around and tell me you're not getting an abortion—"

"Kenny!" Bebe snapped, slamming down her tea cup. "I DID get an abortion!"

Kenny snorts. "Oh, my mistake. I guess I just got confused when you continued to inflate for nine months then went into labor."

"FOUR TIMES, Kenny! I had an abortion FOUR TIMES before I came to you and told you I couldn't! Whatever... disease you have, you gave it to Halden!"

He stares at Bebe. "... Oh."

"And, God, the SIDS! Every other week! And the colic, and the pneumonia... I didn't know what to do! You were the only person that understood that... that condition, and you were too busy getting high and slicing your throat on stage to give a crap about what I was going through!"

Bebe angrily grabs her tea cup and Kenny's and storms out of the room into the kitchen. Kenny sinks back into the couch, stunned, and almost jumps when something grabs his leg. He looks down, and lo and behold, for the first time in his life he lays eyes on his toddler son.

"... Oh."

The boy looks remarkably like Kenny, with more wave in his hair, undoubtedly influenced by Bebe's unruly mass of curls. Kenny can hear her in the kitchen, viciously cleaning dishes.

"So," Kenny says, for lack of anything better to say, "Halden Stevens, uh? Sorry you got saddled with such a white trash name."

The kid starts gnawing, and drooling, on Kenny's leg. Kenny sighs.

"I know I'm coming across as an asshole, kid, but seriously... you're better off without me. I'm not exactly a role model. Christ, look at how much I fucked up Stan's life just by being there. I'd do the same thing to you."

Bebe reenters the room, picks up Halden, and gives Kenny a hard look.

"I think it would be better if you just left, Kenny."

"Yeah," Kenny agrees, and lets himself out. He walks to the local hospital, pretends to be a grieving loved one, is led to an unconscious old man's room, and, once alone, steals his morphine drip. While in a drugged stupor Kenny contemplates that, if he were the kind of man that could settle down with one girl, Bebe would have been that girl—but he's not that kind of man.

And as for Stan and Kyle:

"Dude, I just don't want any part of it," Kyle says, waiting for the crosswalk light to change.

"But Kyle, it's Cartman. He's trying to become the Pope for some reason that hasn't been explained yet but probably will when we reunite!" Stan says while they enter the airport.

"Why should I care? I'm not Catholic."

"But he killed the other Pope... and fed it to me," Stan protests.

"I'm sorry about that, Stan, but I just don't want to get involved. The last time I did, I ended up stabbing Jesus in the neck."

"Uh... what?"

"Oh, didn't I ever mention that?"

"Look, man, as I understand it, Kenny is a prophet and Cartman's plan somehow includes getting him out of the way."

"Kenny, a prophet? I very much doubt that." Kyle handed Stan a carry-on bag he'd stuffed full of necessities and the plane ticket he'd printed off of online. "Look, Stan, I'm helping you get back to L.A., and that's it. I've got a nine to five job I don't want to lose, and besides, we're in our twenties now. Don't you think we're getting just a little too old for this shit?"

Stan sighed. "But... Wendy betrayed me. There's nothing left for me in L.A."

"Except the career you've been pursuing for a year and a roommate who shouldn't get saddled with three times the rent he's used to without any warning or notice."

Kyle was always good at manipulating Stan's Good Guyitis. And since Stan can't in good conscience abandon Loren Swanson, he nods. (Bet you forgot about him, uh? Sadly, the world would have remembered him for his contribution to American literature if Stan had just stayed out of L.A.)

Kyle waits with Stan until he boards his plane, then takes a taxi home.

And this is where we intervene.

"Hello, Kyle."

Kyle looks around, startled, but of course doesn't see the source of the voice.

"No, you're not crazy," we assure him. "This is God."

Oh, I bet you didn't see that coming, did you? Well, what better narrator than the one that knows everything everyone is thinking and can manipulate time and space to suit the story? Incidentally, we do love Pope jokes. Here's one: What happened to the Pope when he went to Mount Olive? We'll let you ponder that until the next chapter.

"No way," Kyle protests to his empty apartment, because we want him to. "Prove it."

And because we want him to want us to prove it, we do: we endow him with the knowledge of 501 martial arts; we change him from straight to gay just long enough to picture several old male friends in that way, then back to straight again; we erase Uriel's existence from the story; and we take him from Fraggle Rock to the moon to a year ago in a hotel room just in time to see Cartman, elaborately dressed in drag, bash the back of a drunken mob boss' skull in, back to Kyle's own apartment in present time. He curls on the floor, his senses assulted, vaguely attracted to Bob Woodruff, and concedes that we are, in fact, God.

"What do you want with me?" he asks, which is a fair question.

"Kyle," we tell him, "Kenny isn't a prophet."

"Ha," Kyle says. "Called it."

"You are."

"I'm sorry?" Kyle says, desiring clarification because we desire him to desire clarification, so that we may clarify it not only for him, but for you as well.

"When Uriel heard Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael talking, he caught snatches of it and thought what they were saying was that Kenny was a prophet, and that Cartman wanted to kill him so that he wouldn't lose followers when he became Pope. In actuality, they were discussing you, and who should be sent to help you stop Cartman from enacting his master plan. Uriel decided to beat Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael to the punch, and he left immediately to watch over Kenny."

"I still don't get it."

"Cartman doesn't know you're a prophet—he just wants to kill you. By complete coincidence, you're the only one that can stop him, and fulfilling his dream of killing you would eliminate the only threat to him becoming Pope. He asked Wendy to spy on Stan because he knew Stan would make the biggest fuss if he tried to kill you, not Kenny. Wendy was just bitter about how Kenny treated Bebe and thought they could lock them up to lure you out, and keep them from assisting you."

"But why did Uriel think it was Kenny they were talking about?"

"Because he heard Kenny's name. Actually, Kenny is a demigod, not a prophet."

"You gotta be shitting me."

"I shit you not."

So we allow Kyle to know what becomes of Halden Stevens: that he starts out virtuous, working in a hospital and donating body parts for transplant nearly everyday, as well as draining his body of blood. However, while Kenny's experience of growing up below the poverty line humbled him, Halden's middle-class existence made him develop (ironically) a God complex. In the end, the Super Best Friends freeze him using Joseph Smith's ice breath, and Santa keeps him locked up in his fortress of solitude. They would have killed him if Kenny hadn't pled on Halden's behalf, and they only agreed to it on the condition he join up. At the age of 45, Kenny finally accepts his superhuman status and gets clean, thanks to the Super Best Friends' taser-method of rehabilitation.

"So what do I do now?" Kyle wonders. We send him to a motel in Denver and, for good measure, put him in a martial arts getup.

Kenny happens to exit his motel room the moment Kyle appears and Kyle, sickened a little by the whole experience and startled to see Kenny after his brief, gay fantasies, throws up in the plastic plants.