Thanks for everyone giving me feedback on the beginning of my new book 'The Future' - I like books that start kind of opaque, but some people did find it confusing, so I wrote a prologue which will go at the start of the book - let me know what you think!
The war had entered its fifth century.
It was no longer even referred to as a “war” anymore.
Violence and murder had wound so deeply into human life that the few who still fought for freedom often welcomed death, as the final remedy for the despair of a hopeless battle.
The men who finally ended the war had stopped fighting decades before, because they realized that battling evil simply created more trauma, more violence, more murder, more death…
The men who finally killed evil hid themselves in a deep mountain and made a cure from a bottomless well of pure nihilism.
If you fight evil, evil grows. If you do not fight evil, evil rules…
This hopeless mantra that had encircled the jugular of the species since the species began was finally unraveled one clear morning, under a cloudless sky, when the rising sun had yet to brighten the overhead stars into invisibility.
The trees were dark on the high mountainside when the men emerged from a cave, pulling giant crates with grunting muscles. Their eyes flickered with mad purpose and tentative hope. Axes were strapped to their belts.
The lowering sunlight from the rising sun lit up the white-flecked tops of the cherry trees that clung to the edges of the mountain.
One tall man with a dark beard, spiky hair and heavy bags under his eyes cleared his throat, then spoke to his companions, his friends, his co-conspirators in the murder of murder.
“We don’t even know how few people we are down to – I would guess 5% of the former population.” He gestured at the circle of silent men, dark as shadows in the dying night.
“We have withdrawn from having families to sacrifice ourselves for the future of mankind. We are the modern monks bringing heavenly peace a warring world.
“For over 400 years, death and murder have reigned supreme. Many here have come to believe that war will only end when mankind ends. Our solution…”
The bearded man stopped speaking, his tongue paralyzed by the sudden shocks of horror in the faces of his companions.
The light brightened suddenly.
The man closest to him pointed and whispered: “Your forehead…”
The bearded man lifted his hand past the rising sun. Above his eyes, his hand turned bright red, the edges of his fingertips bleeding bloody laser light.
“Sky cannon!” screamed a man.
High overhead - barely visible in the navy blue of the middle sky – a gathering ruby light gleamed on a tiny white dot.
The bearded man screamed: “RELEASE THE ANGELS!”
The men hesitated. The cure for violence might be close, but death might be even closer…
“IF WE FAIL, LIFE WILL NOT BE WORTH LIVING!”
The bearded man tore his axe from his belt and swung with all his strength at the closest crate. It cracked and shattered, revealing rows of tiny blonde heads.
A terrifying pressure descended from the lightening sky. The men’s hair leapt up in the sudden static.
“NOW! NOW! HELP ME!” cried the bearded man.
“They’re not enough!” shouted a shorter man with cracked glasses.
“They can be copied, the blueprints are inside – COME ON – IT CANNOT ALL HAVE BEEN FOR NOTHING MY BROTHERS!”
Screaming, the men suddenly leapt forward with their axes as the air began to glow around them.
The birds, startled from their sleep, rose suddenly from the cherry trees into the brightening sky, where their feathers began to burn, and they cried out in agony.
Hacking as their clothes ignited in flames, the men smashed open the crates, and tiny dark creatures with whirring white wings rose into the air like startled dragonflies.
The flying fragments of wood began to burn. The men screamed as they began to melt, but an inhuman will kept their burning arms flying, and more winged creatures flew free of the crates.
Hundreds of tiny bodies with white wings flew with blinding speed up from the mountain as it began to turn a terrifying blue-white.
They flew into the sky – up beyond the yellow light of the rising sun.
The creatures paused in their flight, turning their heads down towards the blinding white collapsing mountain.
As one, they flew up as a shockwave blasted up from the massive new crater that was rapidly swallowing countless tons of rock and rubble.
Their white wings whirring faintly, the creatures hovered over the groaning earth, above the mushroom cloud of the former mountain.
The creatures looked down for a long while, then looked at each other. Their blonde hair and blue eyes shone vividly in the rising light of the new day.
There was an electric pause, and then – as one – the creatures raised their blue eyes to the tiny white dot high in the sky, just below the midnight meridian that was slowly swallowing the remaining stars above.
Again as one, the creatures’ wings began to beat faster, and they rose like an eerie reverse snowfall.
Weapons appeared in their tiny pink hands as they flew like a narrow blown blizzard towards the weapon that had destroyed their masters.
It was the beginning of the end of the endless, nameless war.
The Angels had arrived to save mankind.