Darkest Hour – Chapter 1

I stood amidst the corpses of friends and allies, their blood everywhere soaking the walls and fields. The gore was so unimaginable I was helpless before it and fell to my knees with shaking hands and uncontrollable tears.

The world cracked and fell away. There came a light, a brilliant, blinding light to erase our world. I stared, transfixed, my gaze torn away from the face of my mother. My memory yet burns with the memory, her lips frozen in that terrible light with the last syllables of my name upon them.

From the heavens, came our Hell. I saw them as great shadows with one giant eye. They descended and fell upon the land and I knew the face of death.

The end had come.

– from The Cycle of Rebirth, Chapter 12, Verse 14

Chapter 1

 Just when I’d thought my day couldn’t get any worse, the world decided to end.

The bastard came down right over City Hall, digging giant tentacle appendages into Penn Square like an omni-blade through butter. I watched, dumbstruck, as the damn thing obliterated William Penn’s bronzed visage from the face of the Earth. I raised my M-3 and fired at that red eye until my thermal clip was full. The act of ejecting it woke me from my idiocy just in time to grab the nearest gawking civilian and haul him bodily into the cafe I’d just come from.

The street exploded into a million fragments of superheated polycrete and old fashioned masonry. I kept my head down and managed to kick over a table just in time for the shards to embed themselves in its plastic exterior. Another blast ripped through the air with a deafening sound that ripped a scream from my throat.

The world went red and burned away to a stark white nothing. I felt something pop in my ears and a sudden silence overcame me, followed by a high pitched ringing. For a heartbeat I thought I’d died, but my vision returned enough to see the world through flashes of light and darkness.

The cafe no longer had a wall and the ceiling was gone. I could see daylight above me, several hundred stories of building ripped open like a serrated can. Debris fell all around me, crashing into the street, into parked cars, and worse… into people. Continue reading