The Late Planet Earth
It was Hell on Earth.
No one knew exactly what came first: the seismic shifts, the storms, the rampant violent mobs scouring cities, the tensions between nations, or the overnight pandemic. All they knew was that the world was at zero hour for the apocalypse and no one had any idea of what to do about it.
At the heart of all the chaos, there was a single inciting incident. It was in a small Texas town, just trying to have a typical Friday night football game and homecoming celebration. But a night that was intended for celebration turned to horror when a massive explosion tore through the night right at kickoff. Bodies and chunks of dirt and turf flew everywhere. The metal seats were twisted and torn from their foundations, and small flames turned to blazing infernos before a second blast tore the parking lot asunder- taking with it hundreds seeking refuge and escape.
Then, in the middle of what had once been the McLellan Wolves’ beautiful gridiron, Hell broke loose.
Survivors reported seeing some people fighting around the smoking caldera, then things began to crawl out of the gaping maw of the field. Things that looked like their worst nightmares; monsters and beasts of terror. Then things on horses with eyes that showed with blazing fire. Some even reported a dragon- but that couldn’t have been true.
Several locals reported seeing two vehicles speeding around town- a modified fire truck and a black Camaro- like the one that Shepherd boy drove- the kid whose parents died in the church shooting. In fact, they saw that car at the ruins of the old church for a while. But it had also been at the football field- where someone said they saw it run over a guy.
All over town, those nightmare creatures were attacking- but then these angels- or something- were flying around. Taking on these black, bat-like things and the dragon.
No one was left at the football field when the final blast struck. At least, no one alive. But if they had been, they would have truly seen all Hell break loose. Four demonic horsemen lifted off into the sky, and a horde of hellspawns erupted into the night sky.
In what proved to be a lucky stroke for those wanting to blame ‘natural causes’ for the epic destruction of a small town, the explosions caught the city's gas lines. Walls of flame tore out of the ground, ruining what little was left of the small town.
While the world did not know what came first that cataclysmic day, they definitely saw the things that came next.
Earthquakes rendered the earth unrecognizable in Sri Lanka, California, and Japan. Tsunamis hit the Pacific Islands, tornados the Midwest of the United States. A lightning storm set the city of Madrid ablaze. Sandstorms choked Dubai and Baghdad to near death.
In Paris, a peaceful protest erupted into a riot that took dozens of lives and decimated three city blocks. Israeli and Palestinian forces took turns lobbing bombs at each other. Shooting broke out at the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. And somewhere deep in Siberia, someone detonated a nuke in a silo.
In Mumbai, a man stumbled into a hospital- blood running from his eyes and ears as he coughed and retched for ten minutes. Then he had a massive seizure and died. Within half an hour, three more patients displayed the symptoms. By the end of the hour, it was a dozen. The hospital was shut down and those present quarantined in ninety minutes, but it was too late. A deadly new virus was already on its way out into the world.
Priests cursed God. Atheists found Him. Scientists theorized and hypothesized and then recalculated.
But no one could explain it.
It just seemed like the planet finally decided it was time to give up the ghost.
Those in power seemed keen to help it along, too. After the nuke went off in Russia, most nuclear nations started up their protocols for launch- Mutually Assured Destruction seemed imminent.
Then, out of the ashes of the fighting in Korea, Dea Hye-jin, a South Korean politician called for the United Nations to gather with all world leaders willing to listen. She called for peace, for calm, and for everyone to take a pause in order to come together. The United Nations Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting the next day, where Dea Hye-jin was expected to stake her claim to a potent leadership position.
But Dea Hye-jin's true intentions were much less peaceful, and much, much more sinister.