Antiquity Calais Standing At Armageddon Chapter Two - Darker Than the Darkest Night
Chapter Two: Darker Than The Darkest Night
The man in black descended to the realm of Hell to report on the success of his tsunami. He approached Satan, sitting atop his throne, as he watched many souls whose bodies had just perished at his servant's hands. Satan was reveling in his victory over the Creator, as he watched soul after soul plunge into the lake of fire beneath his throne. Upon seeing the man in black approach, Satan roared with delight, and called to him. "My master, I am humbled to be called to your side," the man in black said, bowing low.
"You have earned this great honor my child. My plan to destroy the Heavens and all civilization is proceeding well."
"Thank you my lord."
"We have much work to do, however. We must strike while the iron is still hot, and I call on you to unleash my power elsewhere in the world."
"It will be my honor, my lord."
"You have my blessing to do as you wish until the job is complete."
He was pleased at this affirmation that his work was worthy of such praise from the prince of darkness. Humbled, he bowed even lower, and kissed Satan's feet, before rising and saying, "The Tsunami will pale by comparison to what I will do next, in your name."
"Be careful, my child, not to draw attention to the source of your power, or to yourself."
"I have learned that lesson well, my lord. I shall not err again."
"I should hope not. All it will take is for one person to realize who is causing this unrest, and our work may be undone."
"I know, my lord. You have nothing to fear."
Satan apparently chose to interpret that last comment as an insult, as he roared at Avalon, "I shall decide if I have something to fear! And I will tell you now you will pay most dearly if you fail me!"
Noticeably shaken, Avalon regrouped, then said, "I beg your mercy my lord. I will not fail you."
Still agitated, Satan responded, "Then be gone! Do my bidding, and do it well, and there shall be a special place in the realm of Hell in your honor."
"Thank you, my lord."
With that thought, Avalon departed the presence of the prince of darkness, preparing to unleash an assault upon the earth that civilizations from light years away would be able to detect.
The full gravity of what had occurred on that terrible day the tidal wave struck the east coast was soon realized by anyone who lived on the east coast and managed to survive. Almost every modern was convenience immediately disrupted; soon thereafter people around the Earth would feel its impact.
It did not take long for people who shared Lucien's point of view to begin making highly public and vociferous pronouncements that the "Great and terrible day of the Lord is nigh!" Antiquity was hard-pressed to argue with them, because destruction such as they had witnessed the day the tsunami hit could only be described as an event of Biblical proportions. Antiquity feared, perhaps alone, that this event was only the opening round in the war of Armageddon, and that the death and destruction it had caused would pale by comparison of what was looming on the horizon. No one else could have imagined the kind of destruction Antiquity feared, because no one else knew that the tsunami had been conjured by the mysterious man in black.
Who was this man in black? The question haunted Antiquity on a nightly basis. Over and over he would relive the terrible destruction, so much so that Antiquity began having trouble with his sleep. The emotional trauma of seeing that man laugh as he wiped out the lives of all the innocent victims along the east coast even began affecting him when he was awake.
Finally, Antiquity concluded that for his own sanity, he needed to get away from the solitude of his west coast home. So he made some quick reservations and caught the next plane out for Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
June 6, 2006 started like any other day, very much like the morning that had preceded the east coast tsunami. The man in black stood atop Mount Diablo, 3,849 feet above the sea level of the Pacific Ocean, which spread out majestically to its west. It was a hazy day in the central coastal region of California, the San Francisco Bay area lay oblivious to the onslaught that was about to befall it.
The man in black enjoyed the thought of the carnage he was about to unleash. The thought of the lavish praise he would receive from his master strengthened his resolve, and he could feel a strong upsurge in the level of the energy flowing through his body, from the ground beneath him. Just as it had when he assaulted the east coast, the energy built up to such a degree that his skin began to glow. Yet, rather than beginning to unleash the energy, he allowed it to continue to grow ever stronger, until his aura was glowing a hot red hue. Then, and only then, did he raise his right arm into the sky, while pointing his left arm down alongside his body. The energy continued to flow from the center of the Earth, running through his left hand, through his torso, and shooting out of his right hand.
His entire body began to convulse violently from the power of the energy he was channeling. The haze that had covered the area surrounding Mt. Diablo began to change in color from light gray to dark black. The wind began to pick up and swirl. Storm clouds above the mountain began to grow, but as they grew in darkness, they were caught by the wind, and began to churn out above the water. Rather than unleashing the fury immediately, the storm Avalon conjured began heading away from the coast, growing in size and strength.
Below, the people began to realize what was about to happen, as their worst fears became realized. Still only Antiquity Calais could understand that this storm was undoubtedly the work of dark powers. By that point, however, he was heading for the airport at LAX, intending to board a plane headed eastward. The man in black would deal with him later. His task at hand was to conjure a storm so powerful that it would be visible from space, not unlike the Great Red Spot on Jupiter.
He knew the dynamics of such monster storms better than any meteorologist of the time. He knew that the energy he was using to jump start the storm was only the beginning of its terrible force. Mankind, ironically, had been aiding and abetting him in his quest for a century, as industrial greenhouse gases had been warming the planet. He laughed with glee at the thought that the human race had been digging its collective grave for him. He even rationalized that they deserved everything they were about to get.
Only once the surf had grown so violent that he felt even the mountain on which he stood would be deluged once the storm circled its way to the shore line did he drop his arms to his side, and collapse on the ground. The deed was done. "I believe it's time to pay a visit to my friend, Mr. Calais."
The man in black focused his concentration on tracing Antiquity's energy source, and found that he was in a taxi, on his way to the airport.
"Perfect," the man in black said with a smile, at which point, he vanished from the top of the mountain.
On his way to LAX, Antiquity started working his cell phone. The first person he called was his mother, Clarissa Calais, who was delighted to hear that her eldest son was going to be dropping by for a visit, and she was more than delighted to drive to Bradley International Airport and pick him up.
Transportation from the airport secured, the next call was to Chris Carter.
"Hey Dwarf," said Antiquity. This was a nickname that probably Chris himself had chosen, due to his diminutive stature. Other variations on the theme included the "Dwarfish Wonder," and when he sported a full beard, "Short-And-Fuzzy." Lately, though, he was clean-shaved, so Antiquity often referred to him as "Short-And-Not-So-Fuzzy."
"Hey A.C. Any more visions?"
"Yes, I'm having a vision of a plane landing at Bradley International Airport in about 10 hours, with me walking off."
"In one piece, I hope."
"It'd be kinda hard to walk off if I were in pieces."
"This is true. So how long are you going to be on the right coast?"
"Don't know just yet. I just know that I need to get away from L.A. and I was hoping to see my favorite shrink."
"My schedule's clear Friday afternoon. You want me to bop out to your folks' place?"
"Sounds like a plan. In the meantime, if I have any more visions, I'll let you know."
"Cool dude. Gotta run."
Antiquity stared out the window of the taxi, watching faces in the cars as they passed by. Just moments before the driver turned off I-10 East, heading for I-405 South, Antiquity spotted a car pulling up along side them. The first thing Antiquity noticed about the driver was that his head was shaved clean. The next thing he noticed was that this man did not appear to have eyebrows, but he certainly did have a familiar goatee. And, he was dressed in black....
"That's him!" Antiquity shouted, causing the taxi driver to jump in his seat, hitting his head on the roof.
"Who?" the driver exclaimed.
"That man!" Antiquity pointed out his window, and as the car started to pull away, Antiquity noticed the man in black was staring at him with a malicious smile. The fear that engulfed him was so sudden and thorough that Antiquity actually passed out from shock.
Antiquity had no conception how long he was out, but he did know that he was very disoriented when he came to. He was lying down on the back seat of the cab, with the driver gently slapping his cheeks, saying "Hey fellah! You OK?"
Groggily, Antiquity started to sit up, a dazed expression over his face. "Where am I?"
"We're at the airport pal. You look terrible!"
"You was starin' out the window and you yelled, ‘That's him!' And the next thing I know is you're passed out in the back. Who the Hell is that guy? Why did he make you pass out?"
"I don't know who he is, but I know he's trouble."
Antiquity had the world's worst conundrum on his hands. On the one hand, he was absolutely certain that the man he had seen just minutes before was the man in black from his vision. On the other hand, he had no tangible proof to bring to authorities that this man was a menace, and he was certain that if he went to any self-respecting law enforcement officer with his suspicions, they probably would cart him off to the closest available psychiatric ward.
Cognizant that in post 9/11 America, he needed to allow sufficient time to go through security before boarding the plane, Antiquity made a sign of the cross, as he bolted toward his gate.
Normally flying would be nerve-wracking enough for Antiquity, but with such heavy topics on his mind, after he boarded the plane he found himself getting worked up again. Soon, he was breaking out in a cold sweat, and he flagged a flight attendant and asked if he could get a drink. It only took minutes, but felt like an eternity, for the flight attendant to return, and he quickly downed his drink. The flight attendant, sensing his frantic state of mind, said "Sir, are you OK?"
Antiquity wanted to be honest and tell her everything, but he sensed this would be the wrong time to be so completely candid, so he responded, "Ohhhh, ya know, pre-flight jitters, is all. I'm sure I'll be fine once we're up in the air."
The flight attendant thought this was a curious response. Most people felt secure on the ground, but if they were going to have problems, it usually manifested after they were flying at 30,000 feet. Ever the professional, however, she said, "Well if there is anything I can do for you to make your flight less stressful, please don't hesitate to ask."
"You got it," Antiquity said, before reclining his seat as far as he could, and closing his eyes. He thought this might bring comfort, and he tried to focus his attention on his breathing. In and out, slowly, deeply, in and out...over and over and over....
"This is nuts," Antiquity muttered under his breath, still not quite ready to open his eyes.
Since Antiquity had been having difficulty sleeping in the days and weeks since the tsunami, he was naturally exhausted, and he was actually able to fall asleep briefly, awakened only when the jet engines roared as the plane was taking off. Initially he was delighted to find that the seat next to him was not filled, which would make for a much more comfortable flight. His eyesight was a bit blurry, due to the combination of just having woken up, his general exhaustion level, and probably the lingering effects of having passed out in the taxi. Content that he would be able to drift back to sleep with little effort, Antiquity closed his eyes again, and within minutes he was sleeping peacefully.
Having planted the seed of fear quite successfully when Antiquity was on his way to the airport, the man in black decided it was time to turn up the heat on Antiquity. He was already on board the airplane, completely oblivious to the world around him. He was a asleep. This afforded the man in black the opening he required. Once he had regained his strength, after conjuring the storm that would simply be known as the Great Pacific Storm, he teleported his body into the restroom on board the airplane where Antiquity lay sleeping.
Conveniently, he found an open seat just a few rows in front of where Antiquity was sitting. This would be the ideal location to commence his plan to dispense with Antiquity. All he needed then was for Antiquity to wake up.
Yet he didn't wake up. "Man, this guy can really sleep," he noted. Growing impatient, he even penetrated Antiquity's subconscious mind, as he had been with great frequency since he had witnessed his tsunami. Even planting the most terrifying visions in Antiquity's mind did nothing to disturb his sleep.
"Time for another approach," the man in black thought, turning his sights on a rotund man in the back of the plane. "I think it's time for a stroke of bad luck."
Moments later, the effects of a massive stroke became visibly evident upon the features of this man, prompting the woman next to him to shriek, and sending all the flight attendants to the back of the plane to come to his aid.
"If this doesn't do it, nothing will," he thought.
As he had planned, the crew made a snap decision to land the plane and seek medical care for the man who was suffering the stroke, at which time the flight attendant who had provided Antiquity with a drink earlier got onto the intercom and asked everyone to put their seat belts on and prepare for an unscheduled landing.
Antiquity awoke, this time by the prodding of the flight attendant who had brought him his drink earlier. "Sir," she said, smiling. "I'm terribly sorry to awaken you, but we have to make an unscheduled stop, and you have to put on your safety belt."
"What's the problem?" Antiquity inquired, as he reached across and latched his seat belt.
"A medical emergency...one of our passengers is having a stroke, apparently," she spoke the latter part under her breath.
"Oh! No kidding!"
Minutes later, the plane landed at O'Hare in Chicago, and a medical team rushed to the back of the plane, while passengers grumbled about contacting their travel agents to see about a refund, since this was supposed to be a non-stop flight. Antiquity was struck by how little sympathy people had in the wake of a trauma that would affect the victim to a far greater degree than any momentary delay would have on the rest of the passengers. Since they would be on the ground for a while, Antiquity decided it would be a good time to get another drink, which he ordered shortly thereafter.
"I was wondering," Antiquity started, as the flight attendant brought him a gin and tonic. "Is it permissible to use my laptop while we're on the ground?"
"Does it have wireless capability?"
"Yes, that's why I'm asking."
"As long as the wireless is disabled once we take off again."
"And how long do you think that will be?"
"I would guess at least a half-hour."
"Thank you," Antiquity said, before reaching into his carry on and taking out his laptop.
Moments later, he was opening the browser to search the term "energy channeling." Every link he found had something to do with using energy as a means to heal, but nothing suggested that energy could be used for more destructive purposes. He was hard-pressed to believe that the man in black was the lone person on the planet ever to conceptualize using this ubiquitous power source for deviant purposes. Unfortunately, if he was correct in his suspicion, no one was writing about it on the Internet. He made a mental note to ask Chris his thoughts on that subject when they got together.
Frustrated, he closed his laptop and closed his eyes again, hoping that he may get a little more sleep. Unfortunately, that was another cause of frustration, and eventually he gave up that exercise as futile, and opened his eyes.
When he did, he wished he hadn't.
First, his heart started to race. Moments later, his swirling thoughts caught up with his heart, and shortly thereafter he started to feel like he was breaking out in hives, as his skin started to itch dreadfully.
Sitting five rows in front of him, Antiquity saw the back of a bald head, and he was clearly wearing a black, long-sleeve shirt.
Antiquity felt an intense pain in his chest, which caused him to go rigid, and he could not be certain whether he was passing out or dying of a heart attack. In any event, the sensation was the most intense he had ever experienced. He could hear voices talking to him, but he could not respond. Then, everything went black and the voices were silenced. Antiquity was certain he had died, and instinctively began looking for the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Yet there was no light, nor even a tunnel, just blackness; complete and utter blackness, darker than the darkest night.
Convinced that he had not simply adequately, but superbly, addressed Satan's concerns, the man in black returned to Hell, seeking the rewards he felt he had so aptly earned. Confidently, he approached Satan's throne, so confident, in fact, that he could not see the expression of displeasure upon Satan's face.
"My lord, the deed has been done, and the threat has been eliminated."
"You fool!" Satan roared. "I know what you have done, and you have ruined everything!"
Aghast, he said, "My lord, Antiquity Calais has been destroyed by his own fear. He is no longer a threat to us!"
"You're wrong! You have handed him the keys to the power he wields. On Earth, he was no threat. All you needed to do was to ensure that no one would take him seriously if he tried to reveal who was responsible for the tsunami. Now he will be given new powers to use against us! Now we must continue my assault upon all of Creation much more aggressively, while at the same time ensuring that he does not learn his new skills, or worse yet, find allies in his quest! Leave my presence immediately!"
He did not hesitate. This time, as he departed from Hell, he was thankful for the opportunity. As he did so, he knew that if he could not reverse the current trend, he may never return. Neither Heaven nor Hell would want him if he failed at his task.
Antiquity Calais is the Liberator, sworn to vanquish Satan's Destroyer, Leviathan Avalon.
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