Observer Chronicles Entry #47: Earth-66
I have seen many alternate earths on my travels through the cosmos. Many variants, too many to categorize. Though I am immortal I do have infinite time, thus I put it all to the side until a later time. Yet in my otherworld travels I have come across a variant of world I like to call 'apocalyptic.' More than one earth I have seen be on its last legs, struggling to sustain itself even when it teeters on the edge of oblivion. Anyway, there was one earth that frightened me when I came across it. If my home earth is the bright light at the center of darkness, then this one is the true darkness. More than once I discovered something that would send a chill up my spine. History on this earth ran similar to normal history until a certain year in the Roman calendar. The Year 1999 AD was the final year to use it, truth be told. Afterward people began to use another using the letters AR. I discovered this stood for After Rise. The story behind that change is disturbing but my curiosity gave me courage. Here is what I discovered.
The year 1999 is when followers of a cult called Children of the Great Ones unleashed portals to dimensions where they believed their gods were imprisoned eons before recorded history. The scary thing was, they were right. When the portals were opened, something worse than hell escaped and unleashed terror and destruction on a scale I never witnessed before. Governments fell overnight after legions of demons and other supernatural beings overran entire countries. This rise in monsters seemed to affect the weather as well from what I have seen. Temperatures worldwide dropped to the point where life could just barely survive. The sun seemed to disappear as well behind a permanent blanket of clouds. As for human civilization, it too a drastic dive for which it would never recover from. Death took the more fortunate ones immediately, the rest of humanity lives in terror of everything in sight. Six billion humans lived on this earth prior to the Rising, and less than half of them remained afterward. Life itself reverted to conditions not unlike those of Europe's Dark Age, with all the violence and chaos associated with it. Entire countries were devastated and deserted. Large cities were destroyed and abandoned to the Great Ones. Small hamlets tried to live with the course this planet found itself on to the best of their abilities. All forms of order were lost, and it truly was an every man or woman for themselves environment, scavenging to survive and the ultimate rule was it was kill or be killed.
I have designated this earth as Earth-66. Sixty-six being the number of Great Ones I have confirmed to exist on this earth. There could be more, and I have reason to believe there are, but I will dare not find out.
Twenty years later and life somehow sustains itself. I found it hard to believe anyone could live in such conditions.
When I first came to this earth I was drawn to a place known as the Lair of Legion. Apparently large cities taken over by the Great Ones are known as Lairs. Their need for individual names are no longer needed by the followers of the Great Ones it seems. Anyway, the city that this monster known as Legion called home is formerly known as London, and it was here that I found myself drawn to. Like a moth to the flame I found myself in this lair, and it is here that I met a man that I believe could qualify as a Paragon. Hard as it is to believe on this earth of darkness and despair that a Paragon could exist.
His name was Jericho Creed. A British man in his late twenties and a rather unique attitude that is stark contrast to the world he lives in. He didn't seem to me to be a man who could be a champion of light, but the fact that he was able to survive in this world and still have an outlook of optimism, albeit it is rather dark in my view, was astonishing. He seems sadistic at first glance and yet he doesn't get a joy out of killing others. That was one of the first surprises he gave me for my trouble. The next was his little 'trick': demon conjuring. He has no human friends to speak of but he does have two demons one would call his minions. One is a large black dog he calls Shuck. It is a huge canine with six venom green eyes and has a protective nature towards him. The other is an imp named Booger. This creature speaks from time to time though in an unintelligent way, I can barely understand it. Jericho calls them his only true companions, since his family is long dead and any human he tends to come across doesn't last. A sad outlook on life, yet his attitude is vulgar and he seems to kill without any remorse. Yet he claims to not enjoy it. When I asked him about the creatures that follow him he said when he was a young lad he was used in a ritual to sell his soul to one of the Great Ones. In his words, long story short, it didn't entirely work and he got the ability to control some low class demons in exchange for the partial loss of his soul. He called that a fair trade.
Yet, even as I spoke with this man I felt the unnerving presence of a third set of eyes watching us. Not demonic but something far more sinister, though I could not see who or what could be doing it. Most liking sensing my apprehension, the man I was with simply told me:
"Don't worry about it, she's my problem."
I figured that this 'she' he spoke of was the one watching me, but that wasn't what disturbed my mind. It was how casual he was about the whole thing. Like this was nothing new to him.