221 APR (the years after the rapture)
On a warm winter night, four wise men are reaching the end of their journey to the place St. Duckworth commanded.
They’re clad head to toe in ceremonial garb, flowing white cloths made from linen and cotton. Their wooden sandals leave rectangular imprints in the sand as they trudge through the desert oasis they’ve been tasked to locate.
The most rotund of the four lets out an exasperated gasp, having travels tens of miles on foot after abandoning their horses while being pursued by ravenous ghouls.
”How far are we??” He calls out with a pant.
”Easy my good man, we’ve almost arrived, I’m sure of it.” the bearded one responds back, seemingly unfazed by the treacherous journey they’ve embarked on.
Then, as if on cue, a blinding light erupts in the distance, illuminating a sole figure standing solemnly.
The men suddenly rush to the location, sure of the identity of the person that just revealed themselves to them.
Sure enough, as they get closer they can decipher who it is: Aliyah Morningstar, the Immaculate. The purest soul in all of Zion, and an extremely courageous commander of the 28th Battalion of the Black Hoods. She stands behind an empty manger filled with hay.
She too has donned her ceremonial garb, but in red instead of the white linen that the men were assigned. In her thin arms is nestled a baby, wrapped in burlap and tucked soundly in his mothers bosom.
”Hello gentlemen. It seems you’re a bit late for the main show.” she says with a quiet laugh.
The round man starts with a huff. ”You gave birth to the boy all on your lonesome? In the middle of the desert? Have you gone mad? The dangers that we’ve see-”
”Hush, you’ll wake him.” Aliyah interrupts. ” look how peaceful he sleeps. I think I will name him Mark. Mark Morningstar. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?”
As she says these words, a light unlike the day star radiates from the two of them, as if a higher power was sending a sign that they also agreed on this name.
The four wise men gather around the radiant woman and her child and discuss many things, including the gifts that they brought in behest of the patron Saint of Zion.
The boy has been born. The prophecy begins.