221 APR (annos post raptum)
An old, wizened man rests peacefully in a large bed, linen sheets draped comfortably over his bare shoulders.
The room he occupies is massive. Sprawling california king bed with a sturdy oak wood frame, beautiful tiled flooring made from white marble found in the mountains north of Zion, and a massive floor to ceiling window overlooking the great city he helped found some 200 years ago. The window however, is being blanketed by a thick black cotton blackout curtain.
The door that leads to the concubine chambers creaks silently as it is gently opened by a slender figure. Shortly after, the old man squirms in his comfortable position as a warm beam of sunlight abruptly hits his wrinkled face.
“…Mmmmmmhmm?” he murmurs.
A soft voice responds to his groans. “St. Duckworth? It is time for you to awaken. The Elders have beckoned you to the War Table to go over the First Elder’s military tactics.”
The woman the voice belongs to is Sophia, his assistant for the last 42 years. despite her age however, she doesn’t look a day 30.
“Good morning Sophia.” Duckworth mumbles quietly as he shakes off his grog. “I trust you’ve prepared something for me to review before this meeting?”
“Yes sir. You’ll find all the necessary documents on your bedside table next to your habit.” she quips back quickly.
St, Duckworth swings his feet out of his bed and plants his bony feet on the cold marble floor, reaching for a glass of water he left for himself the night before. As he does, Sophia shuffles quickly out of the room, quoting having many things to prepare for the patron saint.
Now alone in his spacious room, Duckworth takes care of his hygiene, stretches, and practices hand to hand combat drills. Despite him being over 300 years old now, he’s surprisingly nimble on his feet.
Once his routine is done, he slips into his habit, slides the documents Sophia left for him under his robe, and flings the door open to attend the meeting in the War Room.
As he steps foot out the door, however, his vision goes ghost white, and a voice that sounds like a thousand choirs suddenly speaks directly into his brain. It says:
***”Duckworth, The Immaculate One, Aliyah Morningstar, is to be with child. This boy to be born is the key to ridding the world of the calamity it’s currently faced with.”
”This will be my last message to you. If the world is to be freed, you must raise this child as your own, and teach him how to harness the Light as you have taught so many others.”
”It will not be easy, as this child will have something inside of it that you will not understand, and will be unable to control. Be patent, be vigilant, and be ever persistent.”***
With that final sentence, Duckworth’s vision returns to him as he collapses weakly to his knees.
”Fuck.” he whispers under his breath.
The Beginning of the End has begun once again.