The Black Angel stirred. His dark, muscular body rose up, hulking arms supporting his hesitant feet, and he lifted his head to the night sky. The surrounding air smelled of death and charred flesh and there was nothing to break the all-consuming silence but the Black Angel’s own calm, measured breaths. His eyes, a caustic shade of yellow, scanned the vicinity. He was right in the centre of a deathly silent military encampment. Fragile ramparts lie untouched by scavengers, medic’s tents and ammunition salvos stood exactly as they were meant to and a mighty Lordframe hung limp in the midst of it all. Strewn across the ground, completely intact and seemingly perfectly preserved, were hundreds of human corpses, all of them wearing military fatigues.
Everything was frozen in time and forgotten by all of humanity for nearly fifty years. This place, the petrified encampment of Echo Blue, was ground zero for the Event. The apocalyptic cataclysm that rocked the globe had hit this particular spot directly and time itself had stopped. The wind refused to blow in Echo Blue and carnivores avoided the bodies as if they were poisoned. Having been declared a Blank Zone decades prior, barely anyone dared to tread in Echo Blue. Once or twice there a human scavenger who was bold enough to try and steal weaponry from the encampment only to be scared off by the bodies.
The Black Angel swept his arm and the piled carcasses gave way, moving as he willed them to. There was a sick snap as the angel shoved another out of his path, its back cracking against a steel fence. His long, bony fingers snatched a body from the floor and he brought the corpse to his face. In life, this one had been a corporal but all it did was stare at the angel with wide open but dead green eyes. Not even microbial decomposers had touched his body and it looked as if the body would wake up at any moment. But the body was limp and of little interest to the Black Angel.
Something moved behind one of the encampment’s watchtowers and it did not go unnoticed by the angel. He spun around, pinpointing muffled footprints and the barest hints of heaving breaths, and growled. Something had come. He flung his arm up into the arm, telekinetic charge surging up his energised arm. A wave of energy ripped through the sea of bodies and smashed into the multi-story watchtower, cracking the stone at the base of the construction. In one fluid motion and without the faintest hint of resistance the tower was launched tens of metres into the air. It stayed there, slowly spinning as the Black Angel’s psychic power held it aloft.
The cause of the angel’s alarm stood frozen under the moonlight shadow of the tower. It was a soldier, though not one affiliated with any nearby PMC, and one on the slim side. The angel noted the figure’s black hair, the darkness broken by a bright pink stripe, and paused to scan it further. Until then, the angel was content to watch the figure cower in terror but the soldier had started to run. The floating tower arrowed down to the ground, crashing down into the earth and embedding itself deep into the ground a few metres away from the figure. The soldier stopped, buffeted by chunks of rock and a vicious updraft of wind.
An invisible hand snatched the figure’s lower leg, claws digging into their calf. A pained scream pierced the night as the angel immobilised his target. A telekinetic shove pushed the soldier onto their knees, their upper body pinned against the crushed grey rubble of the watchtower. The angel slowly stalked towards the immobilised soldier, one arm extended to keep his victim in place. He scanned his surroundings as he moved, wanting not draw any more attention. The two of them were alone, of that he was certain…
Seeing as Blackout is due soon and my rewrite of Wyvern Diary is nearing completion, I thought I’d introduce you to the villains of the series. The Apocalypse Seven are the titular wyverns, hugely powerful monsters at least partially responsible for the energy cataclysm that shaped the Earth of Ira Draconis. Between unimaginable levels of strength, potent telekinesis and telepathy, and regeneration that puts the Lernean Hydra to shame, the wyverns are a dire threat to any hero, let alone the teenage one we’re stuck with in Wyvern Diary.
They are not, of course, omnipotent. Despite their psychic abilities, they can prove to be awkward when dealing with their human pawns and are frequently caught unawares by our customs and formalities. That takes the sting out of the apocalyptic monster but is no reason to underestimate them.
Interested in learning more about the Apocalypse Seven? Look out for Angel Apocalypse, a short story in the upcoming Ira Draconis: Blackout. The Black Angel featured there makes his return in Wyvern Diary, and who knows how that’ll turn out?
Thanks for reading and have a great day!