The apocalypse is upon the poor world named Earth. Its species are slowly being tortured and brutally murdered with the coming of the end of the world. Can Aria Stevenson, Kyle Richard, Martha Gibbs and Jason Graz make it to a safe house on the other side of the country? Will they all survive to tell their tale, or will they be left stranded and surrounded, outnumbered in this godforsaken world?
Prologue: The Fifth Horseman – First Impressions
Have you ever watched the world burn? My hands become warm when I stand back and admire the casually destructive words and lives of those who live on the earth. After all, if you had an eternity here, would you not want an outlet for boredom?
I go by the name ‘The Fifth Horseman’ and my time is near. The Fifth Horseman is one of my many aliases, given to me by the human race, others made up in my boredom. Soon, I shall rule the world with my four trusted and worthy henchmen and henchwomen. I shall no longer be an outcast of society, banished, never to return. No more shall I conceal myself in the shadows of the night, forced to hide from my own creations. One day, I shall own it all.
You see, I am not the bad guy here. I am not the evil villain behind a veil. I am a creator, an artist.
All my eternal life, I have been denied greatness, fame or fortune. My destiny deceived me. It was stolen from me by everyone in this world and so for that crime, justice must be served. My goal in my eternal future is to be successful – to rule the world. I wish to own the world, have an empire and people who wish to live only to serve me.
To achieve my goal, I have been preparing. Centuries it has taken, for me finally to have everything ready to complete my plan, but now it shall happen. I will rule the world and everything on it.
Personally, my favourite thing to do with my never-ending time here on this wretched planet is to make new forms of life. Some might label them monsters, but I have grown to love them more than I have ever loved any race before. Whichever race happens to be dominant on the world at that time, I aim to tear apart and destroy whatever they may have built in the time I gave them. Then, when nothing but dust and rubble is laid at my feet, I start over.
Where do myths and legends all derive from? Why, the truth of course! I have previously created vampires, werewolves, zombies and demons, to name a few.
Vampires were created by mixing the blood of bats and humans. After I studied the anatomy a bit, more of the abilities developed. When I did that, and it finally worked, I mixed in wolf blood also. They became pure creatures of the night, sucking blood yet ready to fight at any time. When they were first created, they had the power to come out in the sunlight, but I soon discovered that they were eradicating the human race. After that, I stripped them of the ability to stroll around during the daylight hours, forever condemning them to the depths of the darkness. Always having to leech from another, lesser race.
Werewolves were one of my first experiments. Back when I was naïve and knew nothing near as much as I know now about life, death and the universe, I experimented with mixing animal genes. It took a long time for me to work it out, and the first versions of werewolves were very primitive. They were mad – out of control. Once I learned a bit more about how to control which elements I wished the desired race to have, I could narrow down the genetics in the beast I created to start with, who couldn’t use rationality or logic and created regular people with ‘talents’ – especially the full moon part. That was an experiment to do with timing.
Zombies were a little treat of mine when I became bored for a few hundred years. I literally danced and dined with death, trying to get her to change her ways, to bend the rules for me. No regular person could control life and death, but then again I was not regular. I wanted to be able to bring people back from the dead. There was no specific experiment I wanted to try, but I wanted to know how much I could twist and change time. As it turned out, quite a lot.
Demons are by far the hardest work to create and sustain. Basically: this was my messy draft of animals and species that did not quite work out. Those that did went on to be released into the world, left to fend for themselves. Some did not quite work out as planned. The dodo is one such instance – fun to make, but in reality, it cannot really do much. Anyway, the demons became more vicious when even slightly provoked, so I had to eradicate them all like vermin. I became closest to these creatures, because I felt their pain. Their creator, their destiny too had rejected them. I wished that I could do something about it before I spent centuries devoting myself to my plan, giving me time to perfect it and work through any loopholes and hidden blinds spots. There were not many flaws, but making sure they were all covered? Murder. Now the demons play such an important role in my plan, which I do not think would function without them.
Once I have taken over the world, all those people who have ever been denied true greatness, true greatness that they deserve, shall receive it. I will not keep anything back; I will not withhold information or even lie. What is the point? My most important gifts to humanity are the few passages I littered in the bible. I spent years working out how to put my plan into so few words, but I eventually managed the seemingly impossible task. Many of them do not know how real and close to the truth, the passage is. I wrote it myself. I was pretty pleased when I did:
‘I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and she was given a crown, and she rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.
When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and don’t damage the oil and the wine!"
When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind her. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.’
The only thing I am disappointed in is some of the misquotation in the bible. All the human life forms that wrote down the first copy made all the henchmen male. In actual fact, there are two males and two females. They are my children. I have picked them up during my travels around the world and around the line of time. Humans make too many mistakes and I will not have any misquotations when I am in power. They will not survive long enough to regret it. My time is coming.
Only the true leaders and legendary forces would understand it. Anyone who did, I would welcome into my arms like my own flesh and blood. People who can understand the mind of The Fifth Horseman are treasured assets to me. I do not like to pick favourites when it comes to the different races and creatures that I have created, but I know that I will always love those who understand my mind more than those who follow mindlessly.
Some people are born to serve and others are born to lead. The world has to have the servers, because logic tells you cannot have all leaders – leaders need something or someone to lead. I need born servers and leaders. Anyone who thinks that pencil pushing ever got you anywhere is just a fool. I have no time to waste on fools.
I do not really know how I can be described. I create, I destroy, I observe and I watch. I am the almighty force behind every movement, choice and decision that humans put down to fate or destiny. Destiny does not exist in the form that human people think. It arrives fashionably late in a classic car. It has a hat. It is always the star of the show and the centre of attention. It is anything it wants to be. It is the controller of time. It that cannot be described is I.
I am a god – of sorts.