God's Champion On EarthbySamuelx©
In 2017 A.D. the world as ordinary men and women know it ended. For you see, thousands of years into the past, the Inhumans roamed the world. The things that Africans called the Orishas, what ancient Hebrews called Angels, what the Pagans called Gods, Goddesses, Monsters and Giants. The bad news is that all of these things are real. Everything from centaurs and nymphs to witches, dragons, elves, gnomes, ogres and all kinds of other entities. Also real are angels and demons, along with dwarves, sea monsters and all kinds of other entities. Exactly ten thousand years before the twenty-first century, these Inhumans were banished from the planet Earth by an unknown force.
That force was Yahweh, oldest and most powerful of the Great Ones. In time, He would be worshipped as the Most High by Hebrews, as God or Jehovah by Christians and as Allah by Muslims. Yahweh fought relentlessly against the ancient forces which called themselves the Gods of Paganism. The Olympian Gods of Greek and Roman mythology, the Ennead Gods of ancient Egypt, the deities of ancient China and Japan, the Aztec Gods, and also the myriad Pagan Gods of pre-Christian and pre-Islamic sub-Saharan African kingdoms and nations. Yahweh banished these beings of great power from the planet Earth, and locked them away. They were kept outside of reality by a barrier guarded by the Archangels of Heaven.
Well, one day, Yahweh's ancient enemy, the Archangel Lucifer, also known as the Devil, managed to breach the barrier separating the Ancient Ones from the planet Earth. The Ancient Ones first order of business was to unleash the Inhumans upon the planet Earth. This happened on January 1, 2017 at 1. A.M. The monsters swarmed across the globe. Men and women living in the modern age, with their cellphones, computers, and largely secular mindsets found themselves surrounded by the stuff of myth, the stuff of nightmares. The things they once thought only existed in fairy tales. Policemen in New York City, U.S.A. faced off against thirty-foot-tall humanoid Giants. Centaurs chased women in the countryside of Galway, Ireland. Dragons swarmed the skies of metropolitan Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A sea serpent all but destroyed the City of Tokyo, Japan. A pack of Werewolves hunted down men and women like sheep in the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa. Hordes of Vampires descended upon the streets of Melbourne, Australia. Everywhere the non-humans showed up, chaos followed. And human beings died.
In every city, town and village, in North America, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, people faced creatures the likes of which they have never seen. Things far more monstrous than anything comic book artists and Hollywood science fiction writers could create in their wildest fantasies. Chaos reigned everywhere. The Republic of India launched its nuclear weapons against the non-human forces. Other nations such as the United States, Canada, France, Iran and North Korea launched their own nuclear weapons. While the nuclear warheads killed quite a few of the non-humans, they also reduced the human population of the world by such a wide margin that it was like handing over the globe to the non-humans. There were nearly seven billion human beings living on the planet Earth in January 2017. By March 2017, that number was almost cut in half. Humanity has fallen. The world now belongs to the non-humans.
Twenty seven years after the Fall of Mankind and the Rise of the Inhumans, mankind is now prey to the non-humans. Can there be a tomorrow for mankind? That's what the Old Man wondered. Long had he walked through the ruins of cities across the world. From South Africa to Germany, from America to Mexico. From Iraq to Egypt and Tunisia. From Nigeria to Italy. From China to Pakistan. Everywhere he went, he saw...them. The non-humans. Giants traveling through the remnants of New York City, plucking rag-tag groups of humans out of their hiding places. In the space of a generation, ordinary men and women who once thought of themselves as the dominant life-forms on the planet Earth, were now like vermin. When humans ruled the world, roaches and rats hid in the darkness, feasting on scraps left behind by almighty humans. Now humans were scavenging on the fringes while the Giants, monsters and other freaks roamed the world as the top predators. Most humans had given up. They accepted the new order of things. Some resisted, and were slaughtered by their seemingly invincible enemies. Well, what else could they do? Nuclear fire cannot pierce a dragon's hide. Radiation cannot kill a centaur. A bullet from a shotgun cannot stop a Giant. A submarine cannot vanquish a sea serpent. That's what mankind learned during its brief war against the non-humans.
And yet, in the strangest of all places, the Old Man found hope. He was walking through the streets of the City of Cap-Haitien, Republic of Haiti, when he saw a Giant attack a family that was hiding inside the remnants of a Cathedral. As the gigantic monster got ready to slaughter his would-be victims, someone intervened. A tall, slim and dark-skinned young man stepped out of the shadows. With his bare hands he charged the Giant. The Old Man froze, certain he was about to witness the death of another hapless human being. That's when something amazing happened. The Old Man had seen many strange things both before and after the Fall. And yet, for once, he found himself at somewhat of a loss for words. He watched, mesmerized, as the dark-skinned young man leapt at the twenty-foot-tall Giant, and struck him once in the temple. Down the massive humanoid went. From being struck once by what appeared to be an ordinary human being. The would-be victims of the now dead Giant looked at their savior, seemingly more frightened of him than they were of the gigantic predator that lay dead at their feet. The young man looked at them, an unreadable expression on his face. Then, he left.
The Old Man followed the strange hero. It wasn't easy. It took him a week to catch up with the young man who didn't sleep, didn't eat and didn't seem to ever get tired. Finally, he tracked him down to a cave in the rocky outskirts of what was once known as the City of Jacmel, in Southern Haiti. The young man went to the cave and there, he finally collapsed. The Old Man hesitated at the entrance of the cave. After seeing that young man in action, he knew he ought to be careful. Before he could do more than consider his course of action, the slumbering young man sprang to his feet with speed that would dazzle a snake. The Old Man found himself hanging three feet above the ground, held aloft by the young man who gripped him by the throat. The young man looked at him and sniffed the air. After a long moment, he unceremoniously dropped the Old Man on the cave floor. The Old Man coughed, struggling to catch his breath. The young man asked him, in French, what he wanted. The Old Man smiled, and answered in Haitian Creole, which caused the young man to blink in surprise. The Old Man smiled a little. He often got that reaction from the people on the island when he spoke their native tongue. Since he was short, chubby, bronze-skinned, grey-bearded and Persian in appearance, they naturally assumed that he didn't understand them. How wrong they were.
The Old Man held his hands up, and told the young man that he came in peace. Then he introduced himself as Ram. The young man stared at Ram as the Old Man held out his hand. Hesitantly, the young man shook it. Then he introduced himself as Rage. Upon hearing that, the Old Man smiled. Rage seemed like a fitting name for a volatile young man strong enough to bring down a mythological Giant with a single blow. Rage gestured for the young man to come into the cave, and there, he offered him some of his food. Rage was apparently a vegetarian. And that's how they met. The Old Man known as Ram, and the young Haitian man known only as Rage. Little did Rage know that he fit inside the Old Man's plans to a T.
For decades the Old Man wandered the look, searching for a champion. Someone strong enough to rally the remnants of humankind and help them rise against the non-humans. Ram was old. Indeed, he had been alive for a long time. Indeed, his was a lifespan measured in thousands upon thousands of years. A long time ago, he was known as the Father of the Greatest Nation On Earth. After serving his purpose and living for a really long time, he was called to Heaven by Yahweh. That was supposed to be the end. His reward for helping the Almighty and serving Him faithfully. Now he was back, sent back to the mortal plane on a new mission. To guide the Lord's newest champion and help him become mankind's hero. The one called Rage had a potential for greatness, and not just because he was stronger than Samson and Hercules put together.
Ram smiled at that. In his time, he knew both Hercules and Samson. How alike they were. One was a Son of Israel and the other was a Son of Ancient Greece. Both of them born with abilities far beyond those of ordinary men and women. The mythology experts got Hercules wrong. He rejected immortality when it was offered to him by the powerful entities who called themselves the Gods and Goddesses of Mount Olympus. It was his rejection of their offer that brought his downfall. Hercules fought to protect his fellow man from supernatural forces. Just as Samson fought to protect his fellow Hebrews from their ancient enemies. Even though Hercules was a Pagan, Ram wept at his funeral. The one called the Son of Zeus had been a righteous man. And although he did not believe in Yahweh, his soul ascended to Paradise when he perished. It was that spark of altruism that made any man or woman capable of being a hero, not their power. Ram recognized that spark in Rage. That's why he decided to mentor him.
Rage was really something. Six feet three inches tall, slender and muscular, with light brown skin, curly Black hair and light brown eyes. Although Ram could clearly see the African heritage in him, he could also tell that Ram was not purely Haitian. The young man was biracial. What a blend he was. Part African, part something else. And he wasn't purely human either. Since leaving Paradise to help mankind, Ram's powers had diminished. In this form, he was more human than not. However, he could clearly see that Rage wasn't purely human. He had a touch of darkness in him that wasn't entirely of his own making. The young man had non-human blood in him. Beyond that, Ram wasn't sure. Still, the non-human that sired or birthed Rage must have been an entity of unparalleled power to have created such an offspring.
Ram got to know the young man whom he considered his charge, his protégé. Rage wasn't very talkative. Ever the strong, silent type. Rage liked to express himself with his fists. A bit too much. Ram watched as he tore apart a herd of centaurs that were chasing a young woman and a short, round little man among the ruins of Boca Raton, Florida, after they found a boat and left the island of Haiti together. Rage slaughtered the centaurs, those half-man, half-horse creatures, with his bare hands. And he did it gleefully. Ram helped the round little man who had fallen while Rage finished off the centaurs.
Ram looked at the little man who had fallen. He was a bit bloody but he would live. The short, round little man introduced himself as O'Malley. He was pale-skinned, red-haired and blue-eyed. A little over forty, but more resilient than his round belly and short legs would have one believe. Ram shook his hand, then they both turned their gaze to O'Malley's female companion, who was approaching Rage. Ram sighed. He'd better get over there quickly. The young man looked at his bloody handiwork with satisfaction. However, when the young lady walked up to him to thank him, he simply stood there, glaring silently. The young lady introduced herself as Onuradha Singh. She was five feet eleven inches tall and curvy, with light brown skin, long Black hair and hazel eyes. Ram looked at her carefully. She was quite beautiful. Her features were a blend of East Indian and sub-Saharan African. When she held her hand out for him to shake, Rage just stared at her blankly. Ram smiled, and gently clapped the young man on his shoulder. He introduced himself and his protégé. Onudradha stared at Rage with narrowed eyes. She marveled at his size and strength. Finally, Rage shook her hand, nodded, and uttered his name. onudradha smiled at her savior. Ram sighed, and O'Malley rolled his eyes. The round little Irishman laughed. The brawny, dark-skinned young man was a real poet...
The four of them hid inside the remnants of a 7/11 store when night fell. From Onuradha Ram and Rage learned how dire the situation had become for humans in the remnants of the state of Florida. Different groups of non-humans roamed the state, claiming this area or that one. The centaurs lay claim to much of the land near the sea. Rage listened silently as Onuradha spoke. O'Malley rolled up a a joint, while Ram shook his head in distaste. The young woman continued. The water sprites and Grecian nymphs controlled the water. Upon hearing about nymphs, O'Malley frowned. What little he remembered of nymphs was that they were beautiful magical females often seduced both mortals and gods in ancient Greek mythology. Onuradha rolled her eyes, and told them the awful truth. All kinds of pretty female non-humans called nymphs, fairies and sprites roamed the wilderness. When they encountered women, they slaughtered them on the spot. The men they often beguiled, tortured, and eventually devoured. O'Malley nearly choked when he heard that. Rage grimaced. Ram nodded. Onuradha smiled, and locked eyes with them. Then she told them not to wander away with nymphs, lest they end up lunch.
They ate some of Rage's vegetarian rations. The fact that her savior was a vegetarian seemed to surprise...and please, the young woman. She smilingly told her male companions that her Punjabi mother turned her African-American father into a vegetarian shortly after marrying him. Ram laughed at that, and remarked that the lady of a household often ran said household. Onuradha laughed and nodded her approval. O'Malley regaled them with tales of his early days in Galway, Ireland. He was visiting America with his family when the Fall happened. That day, he lost his family. Onuradha's face darkened when she heard that, and she gently touched the old Irishman's knee. O'Malley smiled, playfully tapped her on the shoulder, and then began playing his guitar. Ram leaned back against the wall and relaxed. Rage stared at the Irishman, and ordered him to stop playing. O'Malley scoffed, and told Rage to relax. The young man sprang to his feet, and snatched the guitar away from him. As his companions stared at him, Rage told them he heard something coming.
Moments later, the four of them stared as a trio of...beings simply materialized thirty feet from the entrance of the 7/11 store. O'Malley stared ahead, and noted that their 'visitors' looked human. Onuradha's eyes widened in shock, and she uttered a single word. Vampires, she said breathlessly. Rage grabbed one of the burning sticks from their campfire. The mysterious trio advanced on them. As they came within the light of the campfire, the quartet saw them for what they were. At first glance, the trio looked like normal people. Two men and a woman. The first man was well over six feet tall, long-haired and well-built, twenty-something and African-American. The second man was not nearly as tall, but more stocky and quite strongly built. He was Caucasian, with blond hair and green eyes. The only woman among them was of average height, with sharp, beautiful Asian features. If Ram had to guess, he would have called her Japanese. The three of them looked at the quartet of humans the way a hungry man looked at fast food.
O'Malley began to tremble. Vampires, he said fearfully. Ram grabbed him and told him to pull himself together. Onudradha grabbed a burning branch and stood beside Rage...but Rage was no longer there. Moving faster than anything human, the young man charged the Vampires. His speed initially shocked them, but they recovered from their surprise and met his charge. Baring his fangs and extending his fingernails into six-inch claws, the white male Vampire lunged at Rage. Rage struck the Vampire in the chest, driving the burning stick through his heart. The Vampire fell on the ground, and lay still. The fallen Vampire's companions gasped in shock. Roaring angrily, the African-American Vampire threw himself at the Haitian-born strongman. They collided. The Asiatic female Vampire jumped into the fray. She lashed at Rage with her claws. In fact, she leapt onto his back while he wrestled with the remaining male Vampire. Ram stepped forward. The young man was strong but two enraged Vampires might be too much for him. He tried to dislodge the female Vampire from his back even as the male Vampire went for his throat, fangs bared...
Before the Vampire could bite Rage, he tasted something else. A sharp stick, which Onuradha shoved through his heart with all of her might. A comical expression filled the male Vampire's face, then he fell to his knees, dead. Rage threw the female Vampire into the campfire. Howling, the female Vampire tried rolling in the ground but O'Malley and Ram rained blows upon her. Finally, Ram drove a sharp stick through her heart, and her smouldering remains stilled at last. That was way too close, Ram said aloud. O'Malley laughed, and clapped the Old Man in the shoulder. Rage looked at the fallen corpses of the Vampires, then at Onuradha. The young woman looked at him coyly. Gently, Rage nodded. Then he thanked her for saving his life, in French. Onuradha nodded. This time, the young man held out HIS hand for her to shake. Onudradha playfully batted his hand away and gave him a peck on the cheek. Then she picked up her fallen stick and went back inside the 7/11. Rage stood there and watched her go. He touched his face where she had kissed him. His roughly handsome features twisted into a smile. His first....ever.
O'Malley and Ram looked at Rage, and the two men exchanged a look before laughing. Ram shook his head. Rage was smitten with Onuradha. O'Malley rubbed his belly, then went back to sleep. Onuradha cast a sidelong glance at Rage, who waved hesitantly. She smiled coyly, wished everyone a good night and went to bed. Rage offered to keep first watch since he did not sleep. Ram nodded, and offered to keep him company. He didn't sleep much these days either. Ram pretended not to notice the smile on Rage's face, or the furtive glances he kept stealing Onuradha's face. Yeah, Rage was smitten. It was his age. Rage claimed not to remember anything of his past beyond the past year or so, but he didn't look a day over twenty. Looking at him, Ram thought of his own sons. They were long gone now. Up there in Paradise with their wives and the rest of their numerous families. He thought of how often he watched over mortals on earth from the heights of Paradise, often wishing he could help them in their daily lives. Now here he was, on earth once again. Trying to save what was left of mankind from the evil that Lucifer wrought...again.
Ram looked pensively at his young charge, Rage. The young man sat there, quietly staring into the fire. He seemed more relaxed than Ram had ever seen him in the couple of months since they met. For a man who faced off against both a herd of centaurs and a pack of Vampires in the same day, he seemed none the worse for wear. Was it Ram's imagination or had the injuries Rage sustained during the battle against the Vampires already vanished? Just like the Vampires themselves. The undead trio's corpses turned to dust within a couple of hours of their final death. Rage seemed to be up to the task against a variety of the non-humans, but Ram sensed he had his limitations. Although he was immensely strong and fast, he wasn't as battle-hardened as he seemed. Against supernatural enemies mounting a coordinated assault he fared far worse than against a massive brute taking him on by itself. Oh, well. He was still young. He'd get better. Besides, he wouldn't be facing his future enemies alone. Ram looked at Onuradha and O'Malley as they slept peacefully. Their little 'family' was growing. Ram smiled. He recalled times long ago that weren't so different. Families hand-chosen by the Lord, forever surrounded by enemies both mortal and supernatural. Ram looked heavenward, said a little prayer and went to sleep.