The rapture has begun - the end of days is upon them. When Angels and Daemons can walk the Earth, what is safe? The apocalypse is unforgiving, and so shall it's survivors be.

Chapter One: introduction
Word Count: 515

It had begun unexpectedly and inexplicably. 

At first, it was the world-wide, Richter-scale shattering earthquakes that left people stunned and frightened.  The earthquakes fractured continents, separating countries from neighboring countries, towns from neighboring cities; splitting cultures and families and nations until there was no semblance of nationality or country left.  New rivers and oceans and lakes formed to fill the gaps.

Technology held, however – and people turned to it with a new fervor.  Television and web-broadcasting were all most people had left to communicate with the rest of the world.  Communication became everything; it was practically currency.

Then, the sun went black.  Earth was plunged into daytime darkness until the blood-stained moon rose and bathed the people in an eerie, unsettling red light.  The truth of human nature began to reveal itself as man reverted back to forgotten behavior; wild, untamed, uncivilized – only well armed, and provoked, and terrified.

The meteors came next; fallen stars crashing to the surface of the planet like so many dropped marbles.  The constellations began to vanish as if being pulled out of sight by an invisible hand, like the map of the heavens was being rolled up and put away.

The mountains shifted, crumbling and collapsing, as the seemingly endless earthquakes moved their pieces miles and miles from their origins.  Islands sank and reappeared thousands of meters farther out to sea.

Scholars and preachers shrieked into microphones, yelling into cameras, hollering at the people they knew to be watching – It’s the end! They cried, but so few really heard them.  It was like speaking to the deaf, or herding mad animals.  Words held no power except to strike panic into hearts – uncontrollable, irrevocable panic.  It spread like wildfire.

Petrified of the very land they walked upon, humans fled to the mountains that had been re-made in the center of continents – hiding in the make-shift caves and hollows there, carrying their gadgets and computers, televisions, and generators with them – desperate for the confirmation that there were others, like them, struggling to understand.  They struggled to cope, to survive, and to explain.

Factions developed: the clans versus the rogues verses the remaining military groups versus those too scared to trust anyone else.  Against all rational understanding, wars broke out among people – as if the destruction around them simply was not enough to occupy them any longer.  They needed to fight for resources, for abandoned grocery stores and power sources to scavenge.

Reports of strange markings appearing on the foreheads of over a hundred thousand people world-wide began reaching the make-shift news broadcasts.  The markings appeared over night, and were roughly the shape and pattern of a thumbprint without source.  The same day, great storms took over the sky and yet more earthquakes shook the planet.

Somewhere in the peals of thunder, the rumbling and cracking of incalculable storms, people began to vanish.

Out of thin air, it seemed.  One moment sitting in the shadows of the cave, huddled in the mass of panicked, desperate hide-aways, cradling children; the next, gone.  

The gates to the realms had opened.  The Apocalypse had begun.

The End

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