We live in a world of horrors….
These dark dregs sit upon our shoulders, spitting lies through viper tongues. How aged have my eyes become to see a constancy of darkening in others. With each life I feel a pulling, like the universe had strings wound around every soul, and as every ending occurred the small pocket of reality they inhabited vanished from existence. Not being filled, but folded, making the world constrict. This tightness grips you as you’re forced to carry on; that is the feeling of when someone dies before their time. In these days, known too intimately by all the yet undead hordes still fighting; the thirst, the hunger, the change from man to beast. Who am I? I ask myself, always waiting for a response. All I can hear is the thoughts inside my head, the world went silent long before now. The gunfire and screams fell quiet as the day became night, and the weeks turned into months, and a still moment could never be found. Until the day of hollowing, when a massive pulling took place, the kind that leaves a permanent tear; as well as grips a man so tightly that his soul could be pulled out and he not be the wiser. A wandering phantom, driven mad by his actions having no effect, and their screams unheard devoid of breath. Then, the true form of terror to realize one’s own death has transpired. All this from just a single instance.
It was on this day that we looked to the heavens and remembered our lives in a flash. A burst of memories granting us a revelation that we were men not beasts. An unpleasant feeling like waking from a dream interrupted. All the pain, all the blood, the putrefaction of rotting flesh, all seemed so tantalizing before returning to human form. It all seemed so normal, but now, I have this hurting inside. It aches as do all pits of despair, but what err doth linger there with me; I can feel it gnawing and scraping, eating up what’s left of me. A gluttonous horror, syphoning my humanity, though on this day of hollowing, I was the lucky one.
It descended through the clouds, a god of white metal, its body with halo and wings outstretched, creating the implicit authority of a commanding presence. It quickly slowed and gracefully touched down to earth. It seemed to be peering out at the world with giant luminous eyes. Looking for something, sifting through our essence’s, molecule by molecule. Anyone to be touch by its gaze, cried out in agony, as they simply disintegrated. Their ashes rising to float on the wind, the crystalline embers almost cold to the touch. Creating a blue atmospheric haze washing over the horizon. Are we in Hades now? I wondered.
Inebriated off the smell of burning corpses, I stumbled to my knees. Looking up, patiently awaiting my turn to be annihilated, I hear a faint whispering. It soon becomes an unbearable shout, calling to my very name a sound so familiar, yet forgotten. I feel a chill up my spine as this calling intensifies. Its waves reverberate around my chest. I seemed to catch the attention of this god, its eyes shone upon me. It burned so deeply, ripping me apart from the inside out.
I was called once more, at this moment a dark portal opened on my chest. This infinite blackness, riding back up the light towards the being, clad in white. It broke off the attack, almost scared or surprised. The portal grew, until reaching an indomitable magnitude. What emerged was of such incredible, dark majesty, it escapes known meanings to truly describe. The only word my human mind could comprehend in that moment, was beautiful. This new being lunged forward with a speed imperceptible, latching on to the god in white.
Both seemed to be trying to consume one another. This vicious struggle sending shock waves like gail force winds. Separating and recombining like two joining galaxies, as each battles for supremacy over the other. My vision strayed for but a moment, to look upon the wasteland this world had become. I see all the other trapped souls and lingering husks captivated; the more the fight waged on, the more of stark humanity gathered to bear witness to this apocalypse.
Little did they know, the final act of the earth as we knew it, was coming to an end; to the next circle, a deeper crag, a bloodier gorge. I walked along, untouched by the waves emanating from such violent wrath. The others cast asunder by this great storm, buildings flying, grounds churning, heavens on fire with more than just the setting sun. I turn to see a man with a look about him like he’d just contemplated his own lifetime. As I passed, he too, was swept away. I watched them all be taken, noticing the portal had turned into black wings protruding from my back. A fallen angel for a dying world, I grinned, why this brought me pleasure, I still don’t understand.
Finally, time appeared to halt, the quiet was unnerving. The emergent being raced back embracing me like a mother would a child. Shielding me from a power so fundamentally prolific, I could feel it pulling all the souls, even those lingering in the air, devouring all the space around us. At the deepest possible singularity, an equally vicious expansion occurred, digging its brutal fangs deep within the world. An exothermic reaction cascaded through the planetary landscape, the given dominion over land, air, and sea, brought to ruination. Through connection to this being, I could feel our world’s disgustingly tortured misery. I opened my eyes to be met by only darkness, a seemingly endless void, a constant shadow. I struggle to stay awake, but am forced to dream by this force I can not yet explain. Goodnight for now, cruel world, for when I wake I do not know. Though there are many mysteries before me, oddly I feel safe and for the moment, all I wish is to succumb to what fate may bring. “Slumber now my love, fear me not and be unburdened of all your woes” said a serene voice emanating from nowhere; to unsettled dreams then, and a new dawning for the world and mankind.
I fade from one world to the next, a fantasy of imagined reality greets me. Where is this scene I’ve created, it’s so inexplicably alien even the universe appears foreign to my understanding. The physics of a world gone strange, making such impossibilities effortless. Galaxies and stars flash in and out of existence, birthing worlds making way for life on a grand scale. This primordial version of the universe, a framework of all that was, all that is, and all that’s yet to be. I feel myself within its foundations, an integral part of some intricate design.
I venture further being lead by an instinctual perception. I see so much, I feel immensely, each strand of this world speaks, a frequency of vibrations, a quantifiable infinity. And yet, I can interpret it all, almost as if, I alone, instruct its function. The longer I stay in this lucid dream, the more intertwined we become. The world around me seems to soak into the very fabric of my being. Why so familiar, like a past life, only one where you’re a god. I’m not so pompous to believe I could be anything more than just a man. “Not just a man,” I hear something in the distance whisper. “You are a demon, and a god. A trinity of beings, all betrayed, all thought to be destroyed.” I stay silent as I move closer to hear more clearly. This being in a hooded robe with wings and a giant scythe, reaches out its corrupted hand to greet me. I reluctantly oblige, as I take its hand, I grab not but air, as the robe floats to the ground. A loud sonic explosion creates a rift before me, a vortex drawing me in. I dissolve and recombine standing over the world. I feel the same pulling force created by the white armoured god. I see a technicolor wave approaching at lightning speed. Corroding the atmosphere as it moves, poisoning the ground, and boiling the seas. Creating violent super storms making the earth quake. I can feel the pain, all the suffering of the damned. To die drowning in rivers of blood, crushed by toppling buildings, trampled by the fleeing masses just trying to find a place of sanctuary.
There is no safe haven, no reprieve from blood boiling through the skin pouring like hot oil over the loved ones you seek to shield. Nor the wind licking off the flesh with a burning sting, driving most to madness biting at their own fingertips unable to quell the pain. All this and more all stemming from, “Damocles”, the disembodied voice speaking once again. “The Highest”, I furrow my brow as I search for a meaning, The Highest Damocles, that name holds some faded understanding, still hidden from proper mind.
All these things I feel I know, yet all consistently remain shrouded in a dark fog, keeping me a fair distance from discovering the truth. Maybe, I should return to a question from a more recent past. A question that I was waiting for a response to. Who am I?…….
As I let slip the last of the words, the response was immediate. The carrier of my answer appeared before me in an instance. I feel the same energy as the being that came through the portal. Though now, a furtherance of definition has unexpectedly become apparent. I suppose, she, looking with those sad eyes directly into mine, can tell me everything I’ve lost to the past. It’s strange to feel a thing knowing you, as you feel only an empty space to which they may have resided. “Who am i?” I call out with an exacting tone. “Salanh Alazier Amraphel” is the first reply I was offered. The second was “Abaddon,” she paused, almost hesitating to say it. So to the question of my personage, I am Salanh Alazier Amraphel who is also known as Abaddon. I look into my memories trying to find even a simple meaning to these names. I look back to her, seeing my confusion, she points to the sky where a vision spawns.
I can hear her mouth utter words into my mind, quietly rebuilding my memory as I watch the imagery unfold in the clouds. The story flows like a children’s fairytale There once was a man named Amraphel. He who was known as the greatest of all hunters before the lord. It is said, he too, was also an unrivaled warrior amongst men. The legends foretold of this man’s birth blessed by god. Though as the prophecy turned to reality, there was a truth that always lies waiting to be uncovered. This truth hides a dark potential giving a soul the ability of unbridled will, a power not yet bestowed in the mortal plain of mankind.
As the babe became a boy, his limitless potential was realized by his people. They grew to worship the boy. As a man destined to become king of all the lands of the mortal realm, defeating even the mighty Abraham. The truth began to set in, his strength grew, and his power now unrivaled by earthly means. This man they called Amraphel, set his sights on the only being he thought his equal….God. He beset the land with idols to his own greatness, spreading divergence from the one true words of God. He commissioned a great tower to be built in his name to reach the heavens. Drawing God’s wrath, forcing the project to be abandoned, Amraphel sought other means to eclipse this god he so detested.
Enter Alazier, after many years of studying the inner workings of the world a revelation struck like lightning. A separation from this mortal coil was needed to further the man called Amraphel on his journey to hold supremacy over God. He used all his resources and all his magical skill to find a means to this end. What he found, much like the unbridled will he was gifted, surprised and lauded proper course. It was more a who he found, than a what, though what depth of bond they did share, no other man could withstand.
The shining lights refocused and produced a vivid image of a woman. She stood under a barren apple tree, wrapped in a silken black shroud. As she turned, she revealed her bluish skin and antler like bony protrusions. They never seemed revolting, but intriguing to this man. Beautiful, he thought, as he slowly approached. They began talking about what
seemed like all the world, sunrise to sunset, an inseparable pair. Then, one fateful night, under a moonlit sky, she gave him what he sought. She lay there under that fruitless tree, like a shimmering sapphire in the darkness. Beckoning him spreading her legs wanting him inside her, he kissed her neck as he slowly thrust inside. She writhed, in pure bliss as their passions grew. Feeling all of her, as she felt all of him. Their eyes locked for fleeting moments with lightning sparks and thunderous waves of pleasure melding them together as one.
The closer they got to the scintillating finality, the louder she moaned, clinching tightly over him, forcing him deeper inside. As she reached the moment of satisfaction, she lunged, biting his neck, ripping out his throat. He stood up, trying to escape, choking on his own blood, slowly losing consciousness. His last moments as a man were of both pleasure and pain; so pitiful to struggle for air. Such a mighty hunter before god damned himself, fearing he had made the most grievous of errors. The sky darkened giving a new tableau life.
This man they called Amraphel, was no more. Though, something else was borne on that insidious night. It gnaws and scrapes, chewing and clawing its way out of the rotting corpse known as Amraphel. As this new being emerged, a fog of confusion slowly lifted. Whose hands are these? it wondered, as it looked down at the body realizing a shifting had occurred. Still the soul, but not the man. “Alazier”, my betrayer spoke sitting patiently unafraid. “Your new name is Alazier”, the sultry bitch said to me. “Do as you must,” she said looking away with her arms outstretched waiting for reprisal. I laid my head on her shoulder, sensing her surprise with this course of action, then, her sad, yet happy elation. She closed her arms that were outstretched for pain tightly around me, stroking my face. “Never will I let you go,” she softly whispered. With our moment done I arose, inspecting my apparent parthenogenesis.
Alazier from Amraphel, my blackened skin, my giant stature and serpentine appearance; All new, and all impressive to me. I understood my new form was of a fledgling demon. I now existed outside the realm of man, on a higher plain beyond mortal comprehension. The next prophetic divination after fading to black shows the time spent learning about my new place in this world, with my teacher who’s name still hauntingly lingers just outside my grasp even now. She taught me for what seemed like a millennia, powerful magics and unfathomable secrets of the world underneath all existence. These things I espoused as a man confirmed to be true, by this unique perspective. The power of the elements were at my disposal, even my love was taken by the mastery I alone possessed. But, all good things must come to an end, and the truth began to creep, just as it did in the life of Amraphel. Alazier could not stand the thought of God still being a more powerful being. This thought brought him to madness and almost drove her away. His wrath a constancy of vicious outbursts, these fits of rage often burned down entire forests. Seeing how his power was becoming out of control, a plan was devised to make room for his ever growing energy and solve his lack of containment and control.
She searched for a solution while trying to keep the calamity named Alazier from ravaging the world and hidden from God. She made him rest as she went to the one place with an artifact with unique properties of transformation. Still recalling where it was after all this time, was trying, but a success after months of planning. A dangerous plan indeed, as she would have to appeal to God for it to work. For the place she needed to go was none other than the garden. As detestable as it was, she fell to her knees and prayed for a meeting in Eden. After many moons of trying, finally a watcher arrived. Locking Alazier away, she left to the genesis plain; hoping to find Yliaster remnants within the borders of the garden.
The watcher placed her at the center where the most vivid flowers bloom. The remnant she was seeking appeared at her feet. Her eyes widened, surprised and panicked, she grabbed the piece and tried to run. The cherubim descended, preventing her escape, calling forth all the Angels and Archangel, dimming even the heavens of Eden. Surrounded with no hope, she too, calls forth with her final act in a carefully constructed plan coming to fruition. “Alazier, come to me, your love, let your hatred burn white hot and devour these lesser beings.” The hoards of heaven unflinching, stayed there execution to wait for this unknown “Alazier ” to arrive. Slowly the Cherubim and other angels began to feel a sense of unease. A fear set in among the mightiest warriors of God. Then with a ferocious roar, Alazier forced his way through the barrier. A holy indestructible barrier laid waste in a matter of seconds. The unflinching now flinched, running for cover as the stones rain down upon them. The fiery smoke plumes emanating from his essence, “where ist thou god of the highest,” he called. “Face me,” he huffed, like a lion spoken to a lamb, yet no answer came. Ceasing upon the distraction, the woman made her way to his side, with the golden piece of Yliaster in hand.
But as she neared, the Cherubim signaled the attack, almost instructed to by God. Arrows and swords crashed against him with brutal consequences. Alazier, the calamity earned his name, and effortlessly devastating all but a single point. Commanding all elements, he brought ruin to the garden, flaying flesh from bone, tearing wings from back, leaving no more than pulsating defiled mounds. Collapsing the air, forcing blood bursting through shredded lungs; the longer the battle went on the more these horrors intensified. Though on the horizon four angels hung back from the battle with glistening armour making them imposing figures. Why do they wait? For what purpose do they linger?. Are these gods shining knights sent to clean up if all else fails? Alazier amused by the thought of even more powerful warriors about to be set loose upon his stage of carnage. He taunted these angels, grabbing groups of heaven’s forces and squeezing the life from their bodies, grinding them into unrecognizable piles of holy meat. Unanswered, Alazier began devouring, as insultingly sinister as his actions were, still they yet remain unmoved by such disturbing attempts at sickened flattery. In the end, his fruitless campaign to placate his enemies failed, not for their lack of ruthless intentions, but for a much simpler reason. They had eyes focused on only one prize, the Yliaster remnant. They were waiting for the correct time to strike, leaving nothing to chance. With the north winds full force, all four rushed forth with exacting vengeance. They were upon her in mere seconds, swords and spears drawn and ready to kill.
The vision stops abruptly, as the skies cleared, dissipating the ancient tale unfolding before my eyes. “What happened?” I exclaimed, unable to contain my discomfort. “Take me back,” I yelled with piercing anger. She did not answer my pleas, instead, she just softly stared at me. Waiting for the next phase of our story to begin. The time of sorrow….
I was thrown back into darkness, only to open my eyes back where the being in white armour had descended. As I slowly returned to my feet, I realized I was standing inside a giant crater. Was I standing on the same planet? I thought to myself. The landscape had been disturbed to such extremes I dare not even call this earth any longer. There was nothing left, no instruments of war, no tools of destruction, just an empty void, a new desert for a world thirsting for absolution.
I make my way to the craters edge, the precipice of a peace I thought never to find again. Do I cross its borders entering back into a world gone mad? As I slowly approached the jagged border, through a murky fog I see a faint light in the distance. ‘’Interesting,’’ I mutter under my breath, can it be, something survived the apocalypse? I began my adventure to the lights of ‘’darkened moon’’ as I called them. The clouded skies bring a perpetual night, my only guide being the darkened moon illuminating, shadowed path to my ominous destination. The more I traveled, the more I began to see figures in the mist. Maybe the revenants of war haunting me, seeking vengeance for all I have done before such a forced ending.
I can hear there quiet whispers breathing upon my neck. Asking me over and over to join them in their tortured afterlife. To be but phantoms tormenting the living unable to pass on, neither souls nor human but faded reflections of both. Were they truly real or specters projected from my mind? the pain I can not feel manifesting beyond my control. It’s funny really, how even now seeing the world compared to hell, I still feel nothing. It’s as if I exist as a ghost cursed to linger, languishing, and lost.
Though, as I struggle to feel in my heart, I feel the warmth of something on my back. Almost sensing my cold mood, she placed her hand on my back, why this eases my mind, I still have no cause for understanding. “Why” I mutter with a parched throat, before she can answer, I arrive at the light source. It appears to be a beacon, an observation post of sorts. I manage to force my way through the rusted door. I’m met with only a pitch black room, a red glowing point pulsing in the background. I cautiously walk over transfixed by the small glowing orb. I reach out to feel for what it is, as I make contact, I hear a slight click. In a matter of seconds I was almost blinded by the newly powered lights. Reeling and rubbing my eyes, I started to see what the light had revealed. It seemed to be a command installation, still connected to something or someone. I attempt to hail whatever may be on the other end. “Is anyone there?” I said in a garbled voice breaking with each word. “Hello…”, I tried for a few moments longer before I decided to look for food and water. Stumbling around until I found some old moldy military rations and stale water from the bathroom down the hall. Not the most glamorous meal, but anythings better than starving to death. I had to force back my own vomit a few times, but I needed to keep something in my stomach, if I was going to regain my strength.
After wiping my face and settling my nausea, I called out for her. Would she come? I wondered, not that I felt it, but I seemed pleased when she did appear. Strange to think of a person knowing, but not feeling an emotion. But aside from that, something kept nagging my mind, where did the story go after the Angels attacked her. “Why did you stop?” I asked calmly, “when will you tell me?”. I couldn’t hear her words, but I knew implicitly what she was saying. Revealing one’s past too quickly has undesirable effects. Understanding that you are more than just a man, and that you have a soul far older than you realize could have shattered a lesser mind to begin with. To discover more the next step must be taken again. To have sight beyond sight, the eyes needed to see deeper than a mortal can comprehend.
As I sit soaking in her meanings, a voice echoes from the other room. Before I could say goodbye, she vanished. I turned to run into the other room, surprised to hear another human voice. “001 this is HQ”…”001….”, I hesitate thinking of who was on the other end. The message kept playing over and over ‘’001 this is HQ please respond.’’ I finally decided to answer, I pressed down firmly on the talk button. “Hello,” I sheepishly say awaiting a response. “Yes hello, to whom am I speaking,” the operator replies. “Vincent,” I tell them, which was a lie, but I still can’t remember my name other than the ones from the visions. “Well hello there Vincent, my name is Percival, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance sir”. Strange formality for a post apocalyptic wasteland. ” just hold tight we’re, sending a team to come and bring you home”. Home? Where is that exactly?, I’m trying to remember an ancient life to no avail, and even trying to find the memories of my current one elude me as well. I guess I’ll play along and take their word for it. “Sounds good, finally I’ll be able to get some rest” I jest, pretending to be the kindly vagabond. “For sure sir, we’ll see you soon I’m ending this transmission”.
Is it just me or do they sound a little bit too secure to be a people still devastated by the world ending only a short while ago. Then again, how long did I sleep for after being shielded from that energy surge. I look at the console trying to find a date indicator. September, 2, 2145AD the monitor displayed. But when was the war I was fighting? Searching through the archived database as best I could, the tentative start date I found was September, 1, 2039AD. My face went pale and my heart sunk in my chest, “how is this possible” I said in a fearful tone. Over one hundred years have passed me by in what seemed like hours. As I sat in shock, I felt that same warmth of her at my back. A calmness washed over me, thank you, I said without speaking. Thinking clearer now, I got prepared for whoever was coming to retrieve me. Would they be friend or foe? Could I trust them? After 106 years, did human nature change? Did the humanity I knew cease?
Only time will tell, and I sense the clock strikes near their arrival.