- The power of the lord is in me! I can feel it!
Lifelines, Part 1: RevivalEdit
- Archer & Armstrong (First appearance)
- Archer's Sensei
- Gilly (Mentioned only)
- The Sect (First appearance)
- Mahmud (First appearance)
- Reverend Joe Earl Archer (First appearance)
- Thelma Archer (First appearance)
- Bobby (Child)
- Doctor Fetto (Single appearance)
- Duke (Child)
- Ghandi (Mentioned only)
- Hannibal (Mentioned only)
- Jean Bernadotte's mistress (Mentioned only)
- Josephine de Beauharnais (Mentioned only)
- Krishna (Mentioned only)
- Mae West (Mentioned only)
- Magic Johnson (Mentioned only)
- Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma (Mentioned only)
- Silvio (Bartender)
- Swami (Mentioned only)
- California (1992)
- Los Angeles
- End of the World (Bar)
- Los Angeles
- Kansas (1982)
- South China Sea (1982)
- Tibet (1984-1992)
- Container Ship Rhonda Reid
- Fire trucks
July 12, 1982: The young Obadiah "Obie" Archer beats a bully named Duke in a basketball shooting competition. Duke believes Obie is cheating with his nearly impossible shots and punches him in the back of the head. Obie replies that he has the power of God within him, and he gets "spells where I just can't miss." Despite knowing he could physically take Duke, Obie turns the other cheek and gives Duke his money back. Obie is so proud of himself that he runs to tell his parents, Joe Earl Archer and Thelma Archer. Joe Earl yells at Obie for interrupting their "prayer sessions" as he puts his clothes back on. Inside their bedroom, Thelma hides a bound and gagged corpse.
The family goes to attend their local church meeting, where it's revealed that Joe Earl is a Reverend who practices faith healing. A young woman confesses to the sin of masturbation, and Reverend Archer invites her to a private prayer session at his house.
That night, Obie continues trying to tell his parents about the basketball game, but they repeatedly tell him to be quiet. He is disappointed, feeling like his parents listen to everyone else in the flock except him. He rushes into his parents' bedroom to talk to them, and finds them murdering the girl who confessed to masturbation. It is clear they are doing sexually deviant things with her half-naked corpse. Reverend Archer remarks that it "was just a matter of time," knocks Obie unconscious, and says "goodbye, son."
Obie wakes up to find himself tied up on the floor of the kitchen while the house is on fire. He prays to God for another spell of perfect accuracy, and promises if he's allowed to live he will make his parents pay for the things they've done. Then he throws a dog dish perfectly so it makes a knife land close to him and cuts his bonds. Obie is eventually rescued by a firefighter and taken to the hospital. Thelma Archer chastises her husband, saying she told him a knife and a suicide note would have been more effective.
In his comatose state, Obie feels himself ascending to Heaven. Then he remembers that he made a promise to God to punish his parents, and he returns to Earth. He wakes up to his parents watching over him, and they ask the Doctor for a chance to pray privately. The Doctor tells them Obie needs rest and he cannot leave them alone together. That night, Obie sneaks out of the hospital and begins living on the streets. He starts hitchhiking to get further away.
August 15, 1982: Obadiah is discovered as a stowaway on a ship in the South China Sea.
The monks are amazed by his skill when they train him in martial arts, praising his complete control over his body. They say he "learns new moves quickly, then executes them perfectly every time." They also discover that his aim is consistently perfect with every ranged weapon they introduce him to. Obadiah remarks that he used to think this was the power of the lord, but his studies have taught him the power comes from within. The monks do, however, chastise him for his anger and rage. Years later, Obadiah is shown practicing his fighting by pretending subjects are his mother and father. His master eventually kicks him out of the temple for being unable to put aside his anger.
April 4, 1992: Obadiah Archer has left his temple and arrived in East Los Angeles. He meets a man named Armstrong who is begging for change on the street, and gives him his last five bucks. Armstrong is so grateful that he insists on helping Archer in return. Archer explains that he is missing a sense of direction, and Armstrong offers to buy him his first beer. Armstrong takes Archer to a spot under a bridge where he lights a fire, then begins drinking and telling stories. The stories mostly focus on drunkenness and his sexual exploits among the French nobility during the reign of Napoleon. Archer eventually stops him, calling his stories disgusting and obviously lies. Armstrong asks about Archer's origins, and Archer explains how he came back from the dead to destroy his parents. He reveals that immediately upon returning to America, he learned his parents were arrested several weeks after he ran away. He still wants to fight evil, but the goal he's lived his entire life towards is gone. Armstrong tells him the first step is supporting himself, and recommends Archer get a job as a bouncer at a local bar.
Archer visits the bar Armstrong recommended, "End of the World," and applies for a job. Despite demonstrating his perfect aim, the bartender rejects him for his scrawny physique. He smashes a bottle over the back of Archer's head and throws him out, to demonstrate that they're looking for someone big and tough. The desolate Archer walks down the street until he sees a basketball game, and tries to make money by gambling. He bets his crossbow that he can make an impossible shot. The players assume he is cheating when he succeeds, and they try to beat him up, but Archer defeats all of them.
Archer is suddenly approached by a mysterious man named Mahmud, who recognizes him and says he's friends with people at Archer's temple. Mahmud explains that he wants to hire Archer to eliminate a great evil. This evil "will not die, so it unbalances the great wheel of karma." He believe that soon "the whole of existence" will "topple, and the world will be cast into chaos" if they cannot destroy this man his Sect has been hunting for 2,569 years. This great evil is described as "The One Whose Name is Never Spoken," and Mahmud reveals they've tracked him to a local tavern. They arrive at the tavern, and the great evil is revealed to be Armstrong.
Armstrong is already in the process of fighting off Sect assassins, and he asks Archer for help. Archer takes Mahmud at his word, and uses martial arts to flip Armstrong over on top of a car. The two men battle while Armstrong tries to convince Archer that Mahmud is lying, and they are the ones who are evil. Archer is convinced when he realizes that Armstrong had a physical advantage with his powers, and he was taking punches when he could've easily destroyed Archer. Realizing his mistake, Archer turns around and agrees to help Armstrong fight off the rest of the assassins.
This article has no additional notes or trivia.
- The power of the lord is in me! I can feel it!
- I was murdered by my parents, Mister Armstrong... but I came back from the dead to destroy them.
- They say you are Satan!
- And them you believe!
- -- Armstrong
- Archer & Armstrong
This section is for footnotes and citations.