The End of Times

The world is about to end.

Yeah, that’s right, let it sink in. I’ll give you a moment.

Freaking out already? Welcome to the club. You are officially now part of the club of people who shat their pants when they heard the news of the Apocalypse. If it makes you feel any better, I’m part of that club, too. But I don’t think it does. Or at least, I didn’t get any comfort knowing that pretty much almost 8 billions of us shat our pants at hearing the news about the End coming.

I guess what makes it feel that horrifying is not actually the fact that the world is ending, because, you know, we’ve always had some sort of idea that everything was going to go (several Apocalypse predictions, environmental damage, trans fats, a nuclear war, multi-drug resistant diseases…) It’s just that it feels pretty random, you know? Everything was going fine, no weird events, and then, all of a sudden, an envoy from a higher power announces that we have a year to live.

Which, by the way, I’m going to stop to describe this particular envoy. Or, should I say, non-particular envoy. Each of us has seen something different, and it’s not very clear who is right and who is wrong. Some talk about an angel (like, wings and heavenly aura, you know the drill), others talk about some alien from another dimension, there are those who even talk about an ancient deity that has been dormant (I’m going to write it: Cthuluh. Those who’ve seen him/her/it (I don’t know how Cthuluh identifies) have ended up pretty messed up), and there were even those who saw a spagghetti and meatball plate.

In this situation, we trusted our scientists to come up with something that would stop the total destruction of the world, but they just couldn’t. They said that there was basically nothing that they could do to stop an event that escaped all natural laws. But there was some hope coming from Academia: the Humanities took their moment to shine.

Several scholars pointed out that, if the End of Times was true, then many other legends could be true, and explained that several heroes had been awaiting in slumber, ready to save their country in the time of greatest peril. If at least ten percent of them were true, humanity would be saved by an army of superpowered heroes ready to make a comeback to our lives.

This is our only hope, guys. Let’s get our speleology kits, our ships and our shovels ready, and start raising all hell around us. There’s tons of work to do, if we want to find the heroes that are going to save our asses.

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Still alive

I’ve been pretty disconnected these last few months – OK, so maybe this is a bit of an understatement, I’ve been completely disconnected -, and I’ve missed writing for the blog. It’s been a few busy months, and I haven’t had any time to write anything at all, which was bothering me. But now I want to set some time apart for writing, so I guess I’m just going to force myself to be a part of my routine once again. Expect new updates of new projects (and also, probably a complete rewrite of the whole Enlightenment Event story).

Finale: Promotion

Dear Vera,

The Battle of the End of Days has finally finished in The Hidden District. The Behemoth, the Leviathan, and Ziz (I think that was the name that the giant bird-like creature had written in the back of its neck, but Aramaic was never one of my strong points, so I might be wrong) have disappeared, and only a crater has been left where The Hidden District used to be. The fiery bird has taken me down there, where I haven’t been able to find even a single living creature, not even a piece of a robot.

As I’ve arrived at the very bottom of the crater (about 200 metres below ground level), I have seen glowing portals appear at what used to be ground-level in The Hidden District. After that, some screaming figures have dropped from it, and hit the bottom of the crater hard. The weird masses of meat and bones have stayed there, unmoving, while the portals have disappeared, and then reappeared at the crater’s bottom.

Christina, the High Priestess, has come out of one of the portals and advanced directly towards me. She has congratulated me on destroying the Freemasons and reaching the summit of the White Mountain by myself, and declared me a hero of the Illuminati. I have asked whether this was a promotion, and she has said that, actually, it technically wasn’t, because there hadn’t been any vacancies at higher levels of the of the Illuminati hierarchy, and that I would have to stay as sub-Lieutenant Third of the American Branch of the Illuminati.

I don’t know what has happened next exactly. The point is that, somehow, the High Priestess has ended up ensnared between the feathers of the fiery bird’s tail. Unfortunately, the fire has burnt her soul, and her hollow body too, and not even dust has been left. Everyone has looked at the fiery bird, and then declared me High Priest of the Illuminati! I cannot believe it! I’ve reached the top of the Illuminati hierarchy!

Also, from what I’ve been told, the Illuminati have seized power of the Plains of Angst and Sorrow, and all of their surrounding worlds. This is incredible! So many good news in a day!

Anyway, I think that, now that I’m at the very top, I’m going to change some things here. But first, I think I’m going to take a holiday.

I’ll see you soon at home!

Jan

Nadia: journey to school

Her parents had finally calmed down, but her brother had never recovered from the weekend’s incident. Nobody said what had provoked such a sudden panic attack, yet things had gone back to the usual routine. Or they more or less had. Nadia’s parents had insisted on staying at home for the weekend, and had not taken her brother to hospital until Sunday evening. 

On Monday, Nadia was supposed to go back to school. Her neighbourhood looked almost the same as usual, though slightly dishevelled. It was as if everyone in that whole area had aged a little bit more than they should have during that weekend. One of the first symptoms of this sudden transformation was the couple who lived opposite of Nadia’s family. They were, as usual, each getting into their car, getting ready to drive out to their respective jobs. Yet, this time, the wife seemed careless in her driving, as she almost ran over the tiny dog of Mr Johnson, the widower who lived at the end of the street.

Nadia had been a little startled to see the little dog almost get killed, but understood that tiredness could be the cause of such behaviour. Her parents had also been a bit careless in the morning, and she thought that it was understandable that not everyone had good days. It was probably the same thing with the old woman who usually went to mass and to do some grocery shopping around that time of the day, who, as Nadia saw when she passed next to her kitchen window, had stayed home that morning.

But Nadia had an ominous feeling when she crossed to the other side of Finley Avenue. The people there looked similar to everyone in her nieghbourhood, as they always had, but Nadia couldn’t shake the feeling that something was different about them. The ones who noticed her, stopped to stare at her. Their eyes opened wider than Nadia thought was normal, they stood there, unblinking, as if they were processing something. 

When she got to the bus stop, she looked around: while the people she had left behind were not looking at her anymore, they all seemed to face the ones on the other side of Finley Avenue. When she looked at the side of the street she had come from, she noticed similar behaviour. What was going on? Before she could receive an answer, the bus arrived. Before anyone could get onto the bus, the driver got off, inspected everyone, and then pointed at Nadia.

“You can get on” he then looked at the others. “I’m afraid the rest of you will have to wait for the next bus”.

Nadia followed the bus driver into the bus, and when the door closed behind her, she took the courage to ask him. “Why did you only let me onto the bus?”

“Because you’re not like them. You are like me. We’re different. We’ve been awakened, you and I” the driver responded, as he carefully drove through the street.

The answer had confused her even more. “What? Awakened? I don’t understand”.

“When the president was assassinated, it all clicked back into place. Some of us have awakened. Like you and me. There are a few others out there” he continued in his frenzy.

“The president was assassinated?”

She received no response. They had reached an intersection, and the bus stopped. Groups of people had gathered on every side, and they were looking at each other. Nadia was more and more confused at everyone’s attitude, and wished this was all just a bad dream. When the light became green, the bus driver started the engine again, and slowly continued his way.

“We need to act in a way that they will find predictable…” he mumbled, trying to look normal.

As the bus passed, Nadia was startled by a loud bang. Someone had hit the bus on the side. She saw the people running against each other, against the bus, and attacking the people from other groups. As they left that horrible scene behind, she tried to keeping looking forward.

“Why… What’s going on?” she asked, more to herself than to the bus driver.

“I don’t know. But there are factions out there. There’s something in their minds. You need to keep acting normally to hide from them” he stopped the bus and opened the door. “Your stop. You need to go to school”.

“Wait! What made you think I was different? Why did you pick me up?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know, I just knew. Anyway, you need to get off now. And remember, act normal and predictable. They won’t notice you if you do that”.
Nadia was left with more questions than answers.

The battle of the End of Days

Dear Vera,

I’m fine.

Now that that is out of the way, let me tell you about what happened with the Behemoth and the Leviathan (as you might remember, both of them were fighting the battle of the End of Days in some universe when I summoned them, and continued it in The Hidden District, this apparently created a lot of confusion both in The Hidden District and the universe that was going Apocalyptic).

Well, when the building was destroyed, even though the two beasts managed to leave the site pretty easily, I needed some time to escape. In that time, the fight had moved a few blocks away (actually, had moved through a few blocks, and away), and I had to run to catch up with the beasts, who were, at the time of my arrival, tearing a giant building of the shape of a golden orb-weaver down.

The robots in the District did not seem too aware of my presence at the time, which allowed me to advance pretty quickly. They seemed pretty distressed by the fight between the two creatures, and all headed towards the building, too. Thousands of robots were fighting to keep the building’s structure stable, but, in the end, it was all in vain, for the sheer power of the Behemoth and the Leviathan crushed the  large spider of cement and steel (and probably some reparation and maintenance nanobots, but I’m not very sure) to the ground.

Suddenly, the golden orb that had been stuck to the spider-building’s back disappeared. For an instant, there was a golden web that connected all of the robots together with the fading orb, and when it disappeared, every single robot in The Hidden District fell to the floor. I don’t know what this stunt was all about, but it sure made advancing towards the Leviathan and the Behemoth quite a hard operation, since I had to avoid the armies of robots that were piled in the middle of the street.

However, before I could get to the beasts, a sudden bolt of energy hit me, and I found myself on the floor, with energy shackles on my hands and feet. Several humans advanced towards me, one of them with a gun, and they yelled at me furiously. I had finally found the Freemasons! I explained to them that I was part of the Illuminati, and that I wanted to reach a deal with them, because I thought that our main objectives were complementary. I was quite disappointed to find out that the Freemasons were not very willing to negotiate with me.

When they put me upright, and were going to take me to the organic disposal chamber (I wonder what that is? My knowledge of renewable technologies is so lacking that I should feel ashamed), an electric blue circle opened up in the sky: someone was opening a portal into The Hidden District. A giant crossed through the portal, and asked what the heck was going on, because there was an Apocalypse that really should’ve ended by five pm, and that he was going to be late to the final celebration of the gods if we didn’t send the Behemoth and the Leviathan back.

While the Freemasons tried to explain that it hadn’t been them that had summoned the Behemoth, or the Leviathan, hundreds of humans started to jump out of the portal and into The Hidden District, and the giant (I think a deity of some sort?) crouched to collect them, and started to put them back through the portal. However, the size difference was quite considerable, so humans were managing to sneak around, and more humans were crossing the portal towards The Hidden District than the other way around. The giant asked the Freemasons for some assistance, and, seeing their territory being invaded by strange forces of other universes, they started to fight whatever humans they met. But wihtout the robot army, the Freemason forces were no match for the hundreds of thousands that were coming in, escaping from the end of their world.

In an instant, everything went black. Only whatever lights people were carrying with them were available in an otherwise complete darkness. I looked up, and distinguished a large bird-like creature covering the sky. I was grabbed by a bird-like creature significantly larger than myself, yet significantly smaller than whatever was covering the sky. The flaming bird that was carrying me flew over the Behemoth and the Leviathan, made a sharp descent towards the floor, and then, at the last second, turned vertically towards the giant bird-like thing.

And the bird and I were the fire. We ascended like a rocket, and burnt through the enormous creature’s feathers, rising to the very ceiling of the sky, and soaring high, well over the white tower that I had climbed just a couple of days ago. The wind was strong, but this flaming bird was stable, up in the air, as the Battle of the End of Days happened in The Hidden District.

I am sending you this from the bird’s back (after a few minutes it has agreed to carry me on its back), free from the energetic shackles of the Freemasons. When the Battle of the End of Days finally comes to an end in The Hidden District, we will get down to inspect the region.

Give mom and dad my regards!

Jan

Killing a president

“Hey, it’s been nice getting to know you a bit better” Robert commented, as they approached their target.

Alissa smiled. “Yes, it has”.

“Anyway, the president has already started to give his press conference. Maybe it’s time to get things going” Robert pointed out.

“Yes, we should. Also, we need to think of a way to increase the shock factor”.

“Mmm. Maybe we can torture the president in front of millions, just before killing him?” Robert proposed.

“Uh, I know what we can do. I can snap everyone’s necks and force them to stay in place” Alissa said.

“That sounds like the kind of thing a supervillain would do” he said. “OK, let’s go!”

The two of them descended over the White House. This time, Robert went down as quick as a dart, and concentrated his power. Alissa saw him glowing bright, much brighter than his hair had before. When he touched the rooftop, the energy blasted a large hole into the building. Before anyone could hit the alarm, Alissa immobilized everyone in the building. Robert and her walked to the press conference room, and went all the way next to the president. Everyone could see them. The cameras were on, and the world was watching them at that same moment.

Alissa looked at the cameras that were facing them, and started to talk. “You might be wondering, who are these people? Why are they up there, next to the president? Why has nobody done anything to stop them? Well, the truth is pretty simple. We are supervillains. We are superhuman beings that have the mission of taking over this rotten world of stupid peace that you have created. And there is nothing that any of you can do”.

She paused, and looked at the president. “Do you think you can burn his face?” she asked Robert.

“Sure thing”.

He concentrated a bit of energy into his index finger, and started to pass it over the president’s cheek. Alissa could smell the burning skin of the president, and decided to let him move his head and scream. The expressions of the people gathered in there were changing. They were not completely stoic anymore. They were disgusted, and panicking. Alissa decided it was time to continue her speech.

“We are going to kill the president of the United States here and now. Just because we can. Yes, we can murder the allegedly most powerful man on the world, and nobody can stop us. And there are thousands out there, many of them as powerful as we are”.

Robert had poked a hole in the president’s face, and his teeth were showing through it. Alissa moved him around the room, showing everyone the horrible view of the president’s face. The people of the front row were foaming in their mouth, and their eyes had gone blank. They were managing something.

“We are among you, and you cannot make a difference between us and you. You are stuck in this pool with us, and we are the largest predator out there. Get ready for the hunt, because you are our victims. Now enjoy the show”.

She broke some people’s necks, choosing randomly. The rest, she freed from her grip, and let them scream for the cameras. Meanwhile, Robert pierced the president’s chest, and extracted a piece of lung, which he immediately threw towards the public that had gethered for the press conference, splashing them with blood. The smell of burning meat had permeated the entire room, and it was even making Alissa’s stomach revolt. But they needed to do it. The heads of a few, clearly visible people were crushed by her power, at view by everyone in the world. Meanwhile, Robert was keeping the president alive, while still going on a slasher show.

“Come on, let’s give them some more shock” she said, ripping the president’s heart out of his body. It was still beating, and full of blood, which was going everywhere. Alisa knew that she would need way more than a shower after that, but she needed to do it. She crushed the heart and made it look as if she was devouring it.

The operation had been a complete success.

Imprisonment

Dear Vera,

I am still at The Hidden District, but, boy, how the situation has changed. I’m now trying to find and stop the Behemoth , and the Leviathan, who have gone on a rampage and are wreaking havoc. But I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Let’s rewind to my situation when I wrote the last letter to you guys. At the time, I had been imprisoned by a hive of robots controlled by an incredibly advanced Artificial Intelligence (Scynet? I don’t remember well, but it was something like that). From what my robot guard explained to me, when war was declared on the Illuminati, the humans retreated to the core of the Hidden District, and the robots were ordered to arrest any humans that they saw while the Freemasons decided on their war strategy.

I demanded a fair trial, and a lawyer that would defend me (those are my rights as an American citizen!), but my petition was denied. They explained that The Hidden District, as well as the Plains of Angst and Sorrow and all of the surrounding regions (including The Occult Neighbourhood) do not actually belong to the United States, and are actually not eve a part of that dimension. Apparently, the territory’s ownership is being contested by several races, including the reptilian overlords who rule Russia. It is the reason why the Plains of Angst and Sorrow are uncolonized. The reason why everyone is so interested in the Plains is that it can be a source of power. Legend claims that whoever conquers the summit of the White Mountain and survives, will obtain all of the Plain’s immense power for their people.

Among the humans, it’s the Freemasons and the Illuminati who claim this land, and for some reason, they know that, whichever faction gets the power will obliterate the other one. And that will mean World Domination for whoever wins. So the tension between the two factions was already quite intense, even before the war declaration. This, the large forest that now covers the Plains, and some nuclear test that an unidentified power has carried out on the Plains of Angst and Sorrow near Illuminati territory have taken the tension to the next level, and complicated Interdimensional Diplomacy (yes, that was an extremely informative Interdimensional Geopolitics I received from my robot guard!).

Anyway, after a few days of listening to the whole history of all of the worlds and nations (I learned a lot! Like how the Alien powers who ruled over Egypt were enemies with Gradrgfbni, the Lord of all Martians (who actually moved out of Mars before Gradrgfbni became their Lord), and how they fought the war that ended all wars, and all other wars after that have just been a figment of our imaginations), I was getting quite tired, and lonely, so I decided to summon the Behemoth. I had met the Beast while at university, and had become quite good friends with it.

Anyway, it would seem that the Apocalypse was going on at whatever dimension the Behemoth had been at the time. It was fighting the Leviathan in a battle that was going to end the world, and they had both been in a lock position at the time of my summoning. As a result, both of them appeared through the portal, in their Titanic forms, which took the size of an entire block. Needless to say, the prison building blasted out as the two monsters appeared inside of it.

Now the two are fighting the battle to end the world in The Hidden District, without realizing that they have been transported to some other dimension. I need to stop them and send them back to where they came from if I want to ensure peace with the Freemasons.

I’ll write again as soon as I manage to control this situation.

Regards!

Jan