The recounting of the blinded Chinese man telling how a group of elderly Korean War veterans stood their ground against a demon attack on their village, shooting it with bolt-action rifles until they run out of ammunition, then charging it with fixed bayonets.
Bill Clinton calmly taking an AA-12 fully automatic shotgun from a secret service SUV and gunning down a disguised succubus in broad daylight.
I've been married to Hilary for thirty years. Believe me, after going through that, I have no trouble recognizing a fiend from hell.
Al Bundy's sacrifice.
kitten: a quiet, steadfast male to female transgender individual, is the first person who can contact people in Hell, then the first one who can open a gate there. This latter act causes her great pain, though she rarely complains, and fights the pain to hold the gates open as long as she can, thus earning the respect and trust of the military personnel she serves with and aids. For instance, she has a cabinet full of medals, including the Medal of Honor.
And later, kitten finally meets one of the soldiers she has been helping, who had only recently found out that she was transgender. He pauses for a moment, then gives her a hug.
Minor character Gerry Links, a Private with 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, US Army ("Mango Four") ended up leader of his battered unit after Corporal Tucker McElroy was killed by his own grenade as demons swarmed him during urban close-quarters battle in the city of Hit, western Iraq... and as of chapter 51 of Pantheocide, has become a Sergeant who's legendary for downing a demon in hand-to-hand. (In actuality, he and three of his fellow soldiers breached a room with four hand grenades and assault rifle fire, then dogpiled the nearest baldrick and knifed it in both eyes.) Still, legit badass cred and a great shout out to an otherwise minor scene from the first story.
The Demons get theirs in Part 47: Sodom and Gomorrah Mk II, although the later attack on Detroit actually does damage to the human war effort — despite both Sheffield and Detroit being targeted on the basis of outdated information.
Sander and Carl Levin foregoing an escape from the besieged Detroit to create a barrier for the lava, then not flinching as a building falls onto them.
In Part 59, George W. Bush gets his own moment. Karl Rove is constantly prattling on about how to use the war with Hell for political gain throughout the story. Finally, when he suggests that the destruction of Detroit will tip Michigan into the Republican column: "Karl, shut up, just shut up." A few minutes later, Bush refers to "ladies, gentlemen, Karl", and asks to speak with Rove privately. It turns out that the Obfuscating Stupidity explanation is true in this story.
Prior to that, (spoilered for mild Nausea Fuel) it is discovered that aborted and miscarried babies do in fact go to hell. Rove sees this as sufficient evidence to overturn Roe v Wade. Bush sees the possibility of this leaking as something legitimately horrifying, orders the report classified hard, and warns Rove seriously about the consequences of leaking it.
Petraeus commanded the opening Battle of al Badiyah al Janubiyah, western Iraq, then commanded U.S. forces at the Phlegethon River (although the Russians are front and center for that), and finally ends up as Commander, First Human Expeditionary Army, where he led the consolidation of the human alliance and is now leading the invasion of Heaven. However, in three lines he summed up the story:
Abigor: "As I said, it is what Yahweh and Satan both said. Why should they lie? They are Gods, they demand faith."
Petraeus: "And I'm a General, I demand firepower. And we've seen what happens when your faith meets my firepower. The truth is Abigor, you don't know any of this. You've got no proof for any of it. You've been sold a bill of goods, just like we were for so many thousands of years. You've been fooled, just like we were."
The Battle of al Badiyah al Janubiyah (western Iraq) may have been a CMOA for the U.S. military, the U.K. ground forces, and both the the Indian and Iranian Air Forces, but the Battle of the Phlegethon River is the Russian CMOA.
In Part 68, a Russian soldier shows his dedication to duty when after his death fighting at the Phlegethon River, his soul is tossed into a river of lava. He escapes with the assistance of U.S. Marines, links up with human forces, and reports back to the very same division he was a part of when he died, not hours later, ready for battle.
“Lieutenant Edovin, Georgii Aleksandrovich reporting for duty Tovarish Colonel.”
“Edovin, Georgii Aleksandrovich, you are dead.”
“Yes Tovarish Colonel. But I am reporting for duty still.”
In Part 71, Caesar convincing half of an attacking baldrick army to switch sides falls somewhere between this and a Deus ex Machina- but in real history, Caesar pulled the same stunt off so often it's almost business as usual.
Even better: the half that switched sides were the professional and veteran warriors, who revolted against the half-trained reservists who had been reactivated for the war.
In Part 76, the Pope himself gets one with one simple statement: "To do this, I call upon the Holy Catholic Church to excommunicate God."
Part 80: Progress cruise missiles are used to assassinate Satan, and then Abigor and a battalion of Marines charge into the throne room of Dis to take over control.
" Satan is dead. Humans killed him with their weapons. With their weapons, not with magic for magic and superstition is powerless in the face of human science. We are powerless in the face of human engineering. They have won this war and nothing we say or do can change that. Hell is changed forever and nothing we can do will change that either. The humans have told me they wish me to be the new leader in Hell, answerable only to them. I have agreed. If you do not like the idea of me as your leader, don't tell me." (gestures to the Marines) "TELL THEM!"
In Part 85, General David Petraeus receives a letter from a man rescued from Hell, who immediately offers his services to country and flag once again. The man in question? General Robert E. Lee.
Becomes a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in Pantheocide, where General Lee is unable to adapt to modern military command and he calmly and rationally acknowledges that, is instead is given the option to use his well-known compassion for his troops to care for traumatized soldiers rescued from the Hellpit. When the command is proposed Lee replies, "I wish it with all my heart."
Pantheocide opens with an EF 6 tornado which annihilates an airbase, based on a real tornado that hit Fort Worth in 1952 that threw B-36s around.
Following the opening salvo by the forces of Heaven, outgoing President Bush responds by imitating Santa Ana's message before the Battle of the Alamo simultaneously in churches all across America, on Christmas Day. "We will give no quarter, we will have no mercy, we will take no prisoners, we will not stop attacking until we have won victory. And we played it on Yahweh's day. I hope he gets the message and chokes on it."
Kim Jong-Il is resisting becoming Michael's Unwitting Pawn after being tempted to start his own war with all the major powers' resources tied up fighting Heaven...until Gabriel casually mentions that his father wants a word with him about certain cyanide spray in the face, and in his current condition could take over as North Korea's true Eternal President. Making it better is that it's a total bluff, as the dead can't "survive" on Earth for more than a few minutes, but North Korea's isolation has kept Kim from learning bits of information like that.
In a later event, Kim Jong-Un royally chews out archangel Gabriel over the military movements of North Korea, then storms out of the room leaving Gabriel completely lost for words that a human would talk to him that way. He then manages to convince his father not to play into the angels' Batman Gambit and join the rest of mankind in the war against Heaven.
Lugasharmanaska gets a fundamentalist Christian double agent for Heaven to spill her guts by threatening to eat her breasts. Then leaves the room with "Fangs for the mammaries."
When the Myanmar army attacks Thailand under Michael's suggestions, the Thai Major General Asanee returns literally from Hell, and charges into the Third Army headquarters to take control. On the way in, she demonstrates how badass she is by thoroughly punishing every incompetent she sees, going so far as to relieve every single high-ranking officer one after the other when they demonstrate their inability to cope with the situation. She ends it by cutting off all the protests of the ousted officers, and stating the facts quite bluntly:
Major General Asanee: Yes, I am a serious bitch.
Further, the reason she had been relieving the top officers from duty was because they were either pointing fingers to try and assuage their own guilt, were Just Following Orders, or legitimately had no idea what was happening. She then comes to a radio officer who, up until she kicked open the door, had been asleep on the job; realizing he's got nothing else to lose, he outright says that there had been so much confusion and he had gone so long without an order to do anything, he fell asleep on the job. She instantly promotes him to the point he's in charge of the entire base, simply because he was the only one who knew what he was actually doing at the moment!
On the topic of Asanee being a bitch:
General Petraeus: "Only four [journalists]?"
General Michael Jackson: "One of the journalists stuck a microphone into Asanee's face and asked some impolite questions. She told him he had big brass balls and then asked if he had planned on keeping them. He left very quickly."
The town of Eucalyptus Hills drawing the willpower from each other to resist a telepathic attack, as personified by a woman and her rottweiler.
When Michael-lan saves Uriel from certain death at the hands of pursuing humans, he gets shot in the shoulder and is being pounded on all sides by mortar fire. Yet, in spite of all of this, he actually has the balls to stop, grin, and cheerfully wave at the humans. And this is coming from someone who knows exactly how deadly the humans are in this setting.
The city of Los Angeles learns from the Eucalyptus Hills attack and completely floors Uriel by anticipating his incoming attack, and then using his attack as a test of their own willpower.
Some of the humans were welcoming his assault; they were using him as a measure against which they could test themselves. He was shocked beyond measure. The humans did not fear the god-like power that Uriel had over their lives; they were using it to assess themselves, to show they could do better than their rivals. They saw fighting Uriel as playing a game and they did so with the grim determination that they brought to every competition, every trial they faced. They were pitching themselves against the gods and they were doggedly certain that they were not going to lose. That was only one tiny step short of believing that they were gods themselves.
Then Uriel realized one other thing, one that he simply couldn't believe or accept: Some of the humans weren't just welcoming his attack as a chance to prove themselves. They were laughing at him.
One specific example demonstrates the above. After packing a nightclub full of people, the bouncers hear that nearby pet store employees can't get all the animals somewhere safe on their own. They immediately organize various bystanders to get all the animals into the club.
Michael Wong, one of the people to kill Satan's messengers in the very first chapter, becomes the first living human to enter Heaven, then turns right around and shoots an angel to pieces on his way out before scoring three direct hits on Uriel.
"A great portal in the sky opened and through it flew a strange gray bird. It flew in silence yet when it passed overhead there was a great crash as if of thunder and the dreadful scream of the bird hurt our ears. It turned around and flew back towards the portal, flew so fast that our eyes could barely follow it. Our Lord, Israfil, was standing in front of it and the Bird spat fire at him. The ground erupted around Israfil and he fell. Then the Gray Bird left and the portal vanished. We ran to Israfil but he was dead, his body so torn apart so that barely one part of him remained attached to another." - Jerome, a human in the market of the Forum of Indefatigable Exaltation, Eternal City, Heaven
Humanity serves up about the most ironic demise possible to Uriel, killed by light and skewered on the Crystal Cathedral. In the City of Angels.
A former Hamas terrorist takes on the Scarlet Beast and the Whore of Babylon in a kamikaze attack with a truck loaded with explosives and iron nails. Then upon waking up in the afterlife, he's informed there's a few virgins waiting for him.
To put this in the proper context, keep in mind, the Hamas terrorist engaged in jihad against an agent of God. And went to Hell, where he got his virgins.
After an Israeli Quisling fires nuclear missiles, there is not enough time to save both Cairo and Tel Aviv. The Israeli Prime Minister, who is in Tel Aviv at the time, orders that Cairo be saved so that the Human Alliance will remain intact.
Michael proves he's the master of Xanatos Speed Chess when he discovers the nuke loaded onto his latest cart of drugs and returns to sender.
And after this, several chapters are spent building up an invasion of Heaven using the portal signature that Michael left behind during that incident. Turns out he had the presence of mind to first open a portal into a deserted area of Hell before making another portal to Heaven.
Barack Obama verbally owning Rush Limbaugh at a press conference. "An intelligent question deserves a simple, two word answer..."
Rush: Mr. President, that wasn't a two-word answer.
Obama: That wasn't an intelligent question.
Michael makes it a little clearer what his endgame is when he manipulates Yahweh into ordering on record that the angel conspiracies should be punished as they would be in Hell, thus giving every single angel plausible deniability that they were anything but forced into their actions by an insane ruler just like the demons.
Norman Orwell giving his all to rescue the staff of the Intrepid, seeing most of them to safety before suffering a fatal heart attack from the exertion.
Two missiles through the portal for the Seventh Bowl of Wrath, with every extraneous system removed, including the guidance systems. The shots were just that good.
Hillary Clinton quoting H.P. Lovecraft in a war room meeting, scaring the others a bit as Cthulhu might really be listening.
Michael manipulating Lemuel into making the final decision to turn against Yahweh, even as he questions his own crossing of the Moral Event Horizon that made it possible.
Dripankeothorofenex, learning from experience just what a bayonet is capable of.
Caesar paraphrasing the St. Crispin's Day speech, with the effect of one great military leader taking inspiration from another far after his time, even with Shakespeare being the true intermediary.
Nuking the Angelic Host.
Chapter 73 of Pantheocide has the culmination of all of Michael's plans and plots, ending with Michael walking into Yahweh's palace and giving him an epic combination of Shut Up, Hannibal! and a Reason You Suck Speech.
"Oh, shut up."
"I'm not your anything. What I am is sick of your posturing and your self-importance. I'm sick of clearing up the messes you make and covering up for your blunders. You're a brainless, arrogant dolt who is drunk with unwarranted power and stoned on unearned adulation. You've caused millennia of grief and misery with your insatiable demands for worship. Now, you've pushed too far and the creatures you play your little games with have decided to hit back. Their worship of you is over, Yahweh. They've got a saying down there now, worship is not owed, it is earned. You've done nothing to earn their worship and you've done nothing to earn mine. So shut up and let me try and fix this mess as well."
"Oh no, no I don't. If I wanted to go too far I would call you a apogenous, bovaristic, coprolalial, dasypygal, excerebrose, facinorous, gnathonic, hircine, ithyphallic, jumentous, kyphotic, labrose, mephitic, napiform, oligophrenial, papuliferous, quisquilian, rebarbative, saponaceous, thersitical, unguinous, ventripotent, wlatsome, xylocephalous, yirning zoophyte. That would be going too far. But I'm not going to call you that Yah-yah. I'm just going to point out that even Fluffy and Wuffles couldn’t stand the sight of you."
And the chapter begins with a near-exact repeat of the description of Micheal's entrance into the throne room from his first appearance in the story, just to drive home how things have come full circle.
The next chapter keeps it coming, with Yahweh realizing how screwed he is and how long Michael has been planning the coup when all his strongest allies are either dead or unwilling to help. And then Michael, who's still just barely holding his own against Yahweh's power alone, comments "Is that the best you've got?"
Leilah, in full dominatrix gear, goes after Yahweh with a whip. And hurts him.
As of chapter 76 God is dead. And how did it happen? Michael and his allies lay off the constant barrage in favor of a series of supercharged bursts, timed to John Barry's theme from Zulu.
The preceding chapters were heavy on discussion on how the HEA could breach the walls of the Eternal City and how to proceed from there... then in chapter 76 (italics for emphasis):
General Sir Michael Jackson: "I can honestly say that Her Majesty's Armed Forces have no covert operations groups stationed outside The Eternal City."
GEN Petraeus: "I see the SAS are living up to their reputations then.
It's also a crowning moment Captain Greg Crowleigh, who had been part of the British SAS's so-called "B-Team," even after his team had killed a gorgon back in Armageddon — but since all the "top-tier" teams had been tied down dealing with post-Satan Hell, his team was tapped for this. Not only do they get in and find out about the coup, but when Crowleigh ignores his original orders to report this to General Sir Mike Jackson, "he and his team finally made it to the top tier of SAS units."
In chapter 77, that's topped by the Australian special forces — as they apparently have been tracking the fighting in the Ultimate Temple, and may have gotten closer to the city center than the British team.
Funny thing is, the Australians have their own SAS Regiment (SASR), so it's a possibility that theirs was first in.
The Philippine Army Scout Rangers also get one when it's revealed that they're one of the special forces units that somehow managed to sneak into Heaven. They give the USMC invasion force a good-natured ribbing about being three minutes late.
Michael still gets one before then, as a furious Lemuel confronts him with the whole plan that he's figured out, and Michael manages to explain everything he's been doing while leaving out just one or two key details so Lemuel ends up convinced all his actions were with the best intentions, and a lot of what went wrong was actually Lemuel's fault.
"My name is Michael."
The words that lead into one of the most epic fights of the series: "Oh, shut up."
The following line delivered by the pope after an awesome speech
The Pope “To do this I call upon other religions to join the Holy Catholic Church when we excommunicate God.”
To clarify, this means he just kicked Yahweh (God) out of the Christian church and is asking for other religions do follow suit.
“Once, mere weeks ago, I would have prayed to God to have mercy on our souls. Now I, and all others on this Earth, know better; the being many of us once worshipped as a God has stated in no uncertain terms that there will be no mercy on our souls. To that 'God,' to Lucifer, to all the angels and devils massing to rend and destroy the hope of Humanity's future, I respond: You who would show us no mercy shall receive none in return, for the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve do not suffer betrayal!
“Today we struck our first blow at our oppressors. Acting on national intelligence information received from reliable informants, a Predator aircraft operated by the an intelligence organization struck at a major enemy leadership figure. It is believed the attack was successful and the target was killed. This is the first in a series of targeted assassinations aimed specifically at the enemy leadership. There will be more. They will not know where the blows will come from or when they will strike but there will be more.
Lieutenant Anatolii Ivanovich Pas'kov: “Bratischka, many times we have said that the spirits of our ancestors look down upon us but this time, it is true. They are there, Bratischka, there beyond the river. There, the heroes who defended the Bagration flčches, who fought to hold Port Arthur, who defended the Rodina against the Germans, they wait for us. There our gallant comrades who held the ruins of Stalingrad, who broke the fascist beast on the fields of Kursk and who chased him all the way back to his lair in Berlin, they wait for us. Everything we have we owe to them, everything we are, is because they sacrificed everything for us. Now it our turn to fight and to repay our debt to them. Now it is our turn to break the armies of hell on our armor and send them scurrying away under the lash of our guns. Bratischka, the Americans won a great victory in the desert of Iraq fighting these same enemies. Can we show ourselves to be less than them? I say no! I say we should show the Americans how a Russian Army fights! I say we should score such a victory today that the world will be in awe of our power and the enemy shall tremble at the thought of fighting us again!”
The Gray Ladies' attack during the Battle of the Phlegethon River. Eighteen B-52s dropping bombs at regular intervals to create an accumulative shock wave that destroys everything it touches. By the time they have dropped the tenth bomb, "the blast wave was invincible"... and there are still seventy more bombs to come.