Post Reply Harbingers of the Final Judgement: A Tale of the End of Times
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19 / M / Puerto Rico
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Posted 8/2/16 , edited 8/7/16
Prelude: Scroll of the Seven Seals


“…You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains…

…Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not grant its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and even the heavens will tremble…”

- Matthew 24: 6-8 / 29


It was a dark and boring night for the shift guard. He was resting his weight against the scaffolding where he stood. Like on every boring night, he browsed the net and watched the world news to keep himself on date. << “In other news, the death toll from the Grand Quake is still on the rise as authorities continue to uncover victims within the rubble. Even after a full month since the global earthquake that shook the regions around the Ring of Fire, the magnitude of the losses is still unclear. This unprecedented catastrophe has countries from the western North and South America as well as eastern Russia, eastern Asia, the Philippines and Australia, scrambling to regain order.” >> The video pauses on its own.

An incoming call from Amanda takes priority for the cellphone’s processor. “Hello…?” the man answered feeling uneasy. << “Matt! Where are you?” >> Amanda’s distressed voiced came through the speaker. Hearing this did no better for Matt: “Honey you know I’m at work… no haven’t been shot, stabbed or endangered in any way babe-” Amanda interrupted him: << “This isn’t about you Matt. It’s 3:00 a.m. and your daughter has not been home yet.” >> “She got be with that lad then. You know how it goes honey.” << “Matt! For fuck sake!! These are no hours for that whore to be out there having me awake like this-” >> Matt did not hear the rest of the rant, he pulled the phone away from his ear to ensure he would not go deaf any time soon. After he heard no more babbling coming from the speaker, Matthew proceeded to answer: “Amanda, honey, you know she almost an adult; she must learn that her actions have consequences but you also have to give her some room. Besides, that lad has quite the family name to himself.” Matt pulled the phone away again and waited for the expected loud response. “Okay Amanda I’ll have words with Elise in the morning. Get some sleep now, she’ll be fine. Byeee kisses!” Matt ended the call; the paused video reappeared on the screen. << “- Life for the afflicted has changed dramatically and for the worse. Millions of houses and residential areas were destroyed in the wake of mother nature-” >> The video paused itself again, but no, it was not Amanda calling back.

Matthew tapped a few times on the screen to make the video play again, only after a few tries he noted the Wi-Fi signal had been lost. “You’ve got to be bloody fucking with me.” Matt exhaled his frustration. “Pfft. Their life changed for the worse… and here I am a bored power-plant night-shift guard on duty. Easy life this isn’t."The man felt the feeble warmth of a bright light shine on his back. This light illuminated the night as if it was day. With a sudden alarm, Mathew turns to face the source of this glow, a radiant spot in the sky. The heavens bathed Earth with a flash of light. As far the eye could see, the sky became pure radiant white. Matthew could have not seen it though. “AAAAHHGG!!! MY EYES!! HEEELP!!” the man screamed in agonizing pain. He covered his face and squirmed on the metallic floor of the scaffolding. For that night no one would come.
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Posted 8/2/16
Chapter


There she stood, in the heat of battle that felt so familiar to her. She was relentless, a living weapon, forged by science within glass casting. Like her siblings, she was a soldier without match. Hidden under the flesh there was more than meets the eye. Though a child had been born, a savage monster had grown.

Little she was for her creators other than a business, a slave to be sold, a puppet war machine. She was serial product with a corresponding serial designation; A-Z3/N.A.I. However, she did have somewhat of a name... somewhat of a human name in any case. Red, red like her hair was. Some believed it was really tainted with the blood of slain men. It was precisely that what she was doing. She was a man slayer in those woods, that place of wild and savage hues of green like the ones found in her eyes.

Many fell by her hand on that day. Swords clashed, bullets whistled, bombs thundered, men cried and men died. And it all happened in the name of the god named currency. In a time of need, brothers raised their arms as weapons against one another. It was truly a sight of the end of times. Then everything faded to pitch black.

Red woke up to familiar ceiling, or perhaps we should call it a familiar piece of cloth. Her senses slowly came to her. She felt herself strange; everything looked somehow odd and she kept seeing flashes of light. That was when she realized the right side of her body was missing… but no, she could move and touch it. It was something else and Red felt desperate to figure it out. Moving her head for the first time since waking up, she noticed she could see something in her face. She touched it with her left hand, it was her own nose. Then it finally struck her, her right eye was blind. Surprised, Red surveyed her own face as if searching for her eye. It was then when she felt the cloth of the bandages followed by a zapping sting throughout her head. “A wound” she muttered.

Slowly but surely, every muscle pulled her limp body until she was sitting in the bed. An immense burden had befallen on her head. It was the blood rushing down and settling itself to a sudden new posture. Red recognized this feeling as something that happens when one lies unconscious for too long. The world swayed around her and a pitched tone exploded in her ears. That tent was now to her a pendulum; she stared at the floor as the swing lost its momentum. It stopped, her bearings were now straight and so she began to look around. Naturally her gaze was drawn first to the left; many more wounded men lied in there. Until that moment, she hadn’t noticed their moaning and groaning. Then she turned her head to the right and catched the medic staring at her. He was just there visibly in shock, even someone with a single eye could tell.

He did not seem to notice Red looking back at him. It was as if his mind failed to comprehend something. He finally reacted; “Dear Lord all mighty…” he said on his approach. “Is something wrong doctor Baker?” asked Red as if none of that was surprising for her. Baker kneeled before her in order to examine her wounds. “Do you remember what happened to you Red? Can you tell me how you ended in sickbay this time?” She chuckled “I reckon it’s not your type of story doctor”. Baker was shocked even further; many times he had tended Red but not once had he known her to make anything reminiscent of a joke. Baker proceeded to remove the blood soaked bandages with the great care only a man of medicine and the most loving mothers would. Doctor Baker’s cares were the closest thing to human that Red had ever been treated. “You might feel a pinch” said baker as he was about to remove the part of the cloth that was sticking to the skin. “If he only knew…”
Red though to herself while the zapping sting burst through her head once more. Baker brought a mirror and handed it to her; as the doctor rinsed the blood off the face, blackened scars were revealed. Some sort of metal it was, metal had grown instead of skin. Red wasn’t alarmed though not even by the fact that her face looked like a broken ceramic vase that had been glued back together.

Red had been wounded in the past, many times in fact. In her veins a perpetual curse, a state of the art technology of human evolution. It was the major selling point of her kin, an ability of myth, the artifice of nightmares or a miracle of legends. It gave her, among other things, superior healing capabilities. Never before had she experienced that particular thing though. Something different had happened this time; something she knew was a certainty of life. Alas for her, it would repeat. Baker told her what had happened three days before.

The carnage happened at Apocalypse Island, one of the land masses comprising the Juan Fernandez Islands. It is an archipelago, located 500 miles off the Valparaiso coastal region in Chile, South America. It used to be a warmer place but the effects of the nuclear winter where starting to take their toll even on this side of the planet.

The ground shook with thundering sounds but this was not another earthquake. With the break of dawn the raid began; a barrage of mortars took the encampment defenses by surprise. Red awaited the signal patiently blast after blast. Certainly not everyone shared her cool and collected attitude. The battalion breathed heavily, so anxiously on that hill; the sound of fear was only drowned by the loud clank the mortar made with every fired shell. The bombardment pressed on for at least 2 minutes. After the final distant blast, the scene became surprisingly silent. Everybody stood on their feet with their weapons in hand; not everyone ported firearms though, munitions were hard to get on the western world. Even on the 22nd century, melee weapons kept their utility and perhaps now more than ever.

A sudden flash of light signaled the men to begin the charge. The last shell fired had been an illumination flare; it was highly bright, enough so to out shine the early morning Sun light.

The war cry became a reverberant humming throughout the hills encircling the mining camp. A battalion came running down the hill. Red was faster than most, she sprinted down the slope with her rifle fast at her hand. Pine trees swooshed left and right as she ran past them at a high speed. Her short hair seemed more like a streaming tail at that moment.

She reached the foot of the hill and immediately came to a full stop. Red raised her rifle to her shoulder, quickly scanned the area in front of her and continued to move swiftly into the crater filled camp. Fire was spreading through the wooden structures and the smoke began to mix with the dust clouds. The enemy emerged from the smokes, they were suddenly everywhere. Some of them where caught by mortar strikes, other by the blazing fires; those that remained, made haste to take cover and repel the invaders. Red fired upon a group and took two of them on the spot. The other three holed up in one of the craters but soon after a grenade fell next to them, courtesy of Red. One of them was fast enough to make it out, only to be intercepted by a gun stock hit to the face. That left him on the ground with a dislocated jaw; Red did not allow him to attempt anything and stepped on his right arm, preventing him from reaching out to his machete. He gave Red a frightened look as if pleading for her mercy. She aimed at his face and he panicked, desperately trying to cover himself with the left hand and making futile attempts to speak. Unintelligible babbling were his last words.

From behind her, a combatant projected his murderous intent. He roared a simple and noble battle cry: “He was a good man!” Red barely managed to step back from the previous corpse and swung her right arm backwards in a horizontal motion, managing to parry the attack with her rifle. The collision occurred with immense opposing forces that transformed into a powerful wave of metallic sound. Red turned her head to face the attacker. She should have expected it from the force of the impact, but only as she slowly lifted her gaze she realized the proportions of that man. That was a shirtless-hulking-seven-foot-tall hombre who had just used God knows how many muscles to swing a pick-axe at her. Red did not falter though; she quickly stepped back and aimed at the giant. She pulled the trigger but the gun had been damaged and the barrel just exploded blowing a few fingers off. The trauma staggered her little for she quickly drew her side arm and emptied 8 rounds into the man’s chest. That was to no benefit, he did not seem to be even bothered and winded his weapon for an overhead attack. She evaded to the right as the pick-axe came crashing down and then kicked the handle from below to rip the weapon off the attacker’s hands. Red stepped leftwards, putting some distance between them both as she dropped her gun and made a move to grab the mining tool. This action was followed by a 360 degree clockwise arcing motion that ended with the pointed end of the pick inside the man’s torso. She pulled away once more, switched to the axe-ended side of the tool and went in for a second strike. With an upward swing she ripped his left hand off; the motion continued into a full spin, crashing the weapon on his right knee cap. The bone was surely pulverized and the hulk fell on his back.

Red dropped the weapon, approached the fallen titan and then sat on top of him with a leg on each side of his torso and grabbed him by the neck as he grabbed her face. Red punched him in the face with her right knuckle. She punched and punched until his head was beaten to a pulp. However, only dead men rest in battle so she made haste to be back on her feet. She found herself in there again; she stood there, in the heat of battle that was so familiar to her.

These memories were vivid as if the events were happening in that sickbay. “But this is all anybody seems to know” Baker concluded, implicitly reformulating the earlier inquiry. He looked up to her, searching in vain for a reply. Red struggled to remember but was ultimately clueless as to how had she ended in such state. The doctor exhaled a breath of depleted patience and he stood. He placed his hand over his mouth, his index covered the nonexistent mustache and his thumb held the chin from below; something was clearly bothering him. “Listen Red, I have witnessed many things along my life… but the injuries you sustained… no… how should I say it?” he held back. “Dead?” Red interrupted. Baker flinched with incredulity. “You mean to tell me what I already know” continued Red. Doctor Baker attempted to change the subject and just moved on to describing the nature of the injury. “You were struck by a projectile of high caliber. It entered, presumably in a diagonal trajectory, through your right eye and escaped through the right side’s temporal bone. You have… lost your eye as a result.”

An imposing figure entered the tent. Baker noted and quickly made clear that his presence was acknowledged. “Ah! Commander De Blanco, I ha-” De Blanco interrupted with his badly humored voice that characterizes him: “Carajo ya era hora! About damned time she was ready to fight, I was thinking I had wasted my money.” Baker was alarmed, “Sir, she might have come to, but considering the magnitude of her injuries… From a medical perspective, commander, it is unthinkable that she should undertake such physical stress at the moment” he clarified. “It’s all right doc, no need to worry” said Red as she forced herself to a stand. Commander De Blanco did not pay attention to the medic’s words. “...

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19 / M / Puerto Rico
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Posted 8/2/16
Chapter

“Am I finally dead…” That was the first though she unconsciously muttered. Another voice was heard. “Easy there sister; Getting a bit tired of all this are we?” She woke with a shock, the same kind she felt before blacking out. In front of her stood a man; he kneeled and looked at her, face to face. The man was of darkened skin and black of hair; he wore hazel in his eyes. “Well hello there, sister! My name is Onyx, but they mostly call me Nyx”. He stared into her, waiting patiently for a response. The woman saw her own reflection in his eyes. Onyx insisted: “Umm… this is my way of indicating that I wish to know your name”.

Of course! Her name… Who was she? Where was she? Suddenly, colors appeared on the dark mirrors: the red of her short hair, the green in her eyes. She gasped. Her immediate reaction was to escape; she performed a sudden and violent move and the chains rattled. She did not get far; in fact she could not even break free. “Chains, but how?” she wondered this as the bond tensed behind her. Onyx chuckled: “Easy, easy sister! Those are no ordinary bindings you see?” He grasped the chain that bonded her left arm and admired its resilience: “Graphene is such a wonderful material! Is it not? The gray matches your scars”. The woman simply replied: “Who the hell are you?” Onyx now focused on her face. “Rude one are you? Well, the thing is I have already told you my name. Yet, here I stand with you as the one who refuses to answer”. She looked again at her reflection. “I was given no name” she answered. Onyx smiled, it was as if he expected such a response. “Of course not…” he muttered. He gazed at her, scanning her features for any particular traits. It did not take him long to find what he was after: “Red. I’ll call you Red… yeah. That sounds about right”.

Onyx stood back, and began to wander slowly around the room. His every step made the wooden floor creak. The air was humid, even more so than it is normal for the tropic. The captor began a rant: “First, they spoke of liberty and justice; the human rights, this and that… the perfect world. The human hypocrisy is charming really, it never ceases to amaze”. Onyx stopped and turned himself to face Red. “Tell me Red, how did you wind up here, imprisoned to… a wall?” Red made a struggle and remembered: “My attack helicopter crashed”. Onyx intervened: “Indeed. No normal human would have survived such a trauma I might add”. He approached Red once again and she looked up to him. “I’m what you call a metal-skin” said Red. “Yes, I know very well what a metal-skin is. But, wouldn’t Sentinel be the proper term?” The captive did not speak, so Onyx made another question: “Why are you here like this?” The woman reiterated what she had answered before.

Onyx caressed the woman’s crimson hair. He continued: “Does it not sicken you sister? I find it blasphemous. These pretenders, our so called leaders… they build these walls all around the populace encasing the perfect world”. Onyx began to wander around the room again. “They allow you to live within the box but you shalt never question what lies beyond. They claim it is for the greater good; to ward society from peril they say....
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