This was supposed to have been written up and posted this past Friday. Yet, I got occupied with other matters and somehow let this slip past me. Therefore, I’m posting it today (expect another post or two today as well as I’m a little behind on my intended post targets!). This is an older story and is more of a ‘tell-don’t-show’ story. Mostly because I forewent the dialogue and ended up with pretty much nothing but narrative exposition. It’s not a great story, not by a long shot, but I feel that it does show my growth as a writer. This was written in 1999 CE and is my actual first story written (though I have it as my number three as my two prior complete works were a script for an original character I called Simner and was supposed to be a comic series and a story concept for a comic book series featuring Gambit from Marvel after a callout to potential writers from Marvel looking for project concepts for a Gambit ongoing serial; needless to say, they never got back to me on my pitch). I Am I followed this story being the fourth writing ever so I feel like from here to there was a major upgrade in my writing style.
Anyhow, this is ‘Revelations’. Which is a bout a man trying to take on an overlord because he thinks he’s the Anti-Christ. I was fairly Christian at the time so it was a very religious story. My proclivities these days tend to sway more towards the natural and paganistic (a term I think people just don’t understand, honestly; it means ‘country folk’ and ‘naturalist’ and not the worship of evil even though I’m a suburbanite!)
So, without further ado, Revelations:
Orin Lewis stood tall and proud upon the remnants of what was once a decades old “Trail Blazer” grocery mart. A handsome man in his twenties, Orin was almost six-feet tall and had dark brown hair and even darker brown eyes. He always wore his hair short and neatly trimmed to take on a more regal appearance.
During his preceding years as a youth, he studied fervently the ancient techniques of battle employed during the Medieval time period. And now he was counted amongst the most experienced of the practitioners of that ancient art of warfare. Thusly, Orin was prepared to face the daunting task of what lie ahead of him; namely, the forced confrontation with the most powerful man on the face of the Earth, a man most considered to be the fabled “Anti-Christ.”
Many people knew not the name of this “Anti-Christ”, but verily, many of them did not care for this man was a force to fear. It was a fear developed in earnest over the first two decades of the new millennium. Almost overnight, this man had built a grand city on land purchased from the government of the United States of America. This city grew to be its own nation within a nation. This created much tension within the governing body of America and created panic amongst the American people. Because of this, the man was quickly thrust into the position of an Overlord. The Overlord dubbed his city “Ulysses”, but the distrusting soon themselves dubbed it “New Babylon.”
A darkening orange and blue sky sinking into dusk laid out in great expanse before Orin as his mind sunk deeper into thought and recognition of the man he was destined to face since his birth on Christmas morning 1999. He had grown up hearing about this rich and well-respected businessman who established great deeds in and of his name. Not the least of which included building newer and better shelters for the homeless and creating programs through those shelters in which the homeless could learn and gain new employment opportunities, so they no longer had to live on the cold and heartless streets that they found themselves upon.
Orin was ten years old when construction of “Ulysses” finished. To Orin, Ulysses was far from being any type of “Babylon” for the city had been developed to be completely self-sufficient in a society growing less and less the such. It fascinated Orin incredibly Ulysses’s technological capabilities. In place of privately owned vehicles, was a far more advanced public transportation system that seemed to never yield to overcrowding. Instead of skyscrapers, there rose one large conical mass that comprised the center of the city.
Outlining the city limits were four long structures that were like triangular buildings leading from the ground to the midway section of the center of the city, smoothly blending into it as if it were some sort of spacecraft. All this and more due to the fact that Ulysses itself drew no finances; its construction had been privately financed by the future Overlord. Therefore, with no finances, the engineers and scientists found themselves unhindered in a mutual cause of furthering humanity’s growth.
Adamant issues involving Ulysses’s existence didn’t arise until the year 2015, barely five years past its finished construction. It was during this time, that the city’s shrewd business minded Overlord had begun acquiring lands outside the states. This was further complicated by the Overlord’s sudden partaking of reacquiring an ages old philosophy that church was not needed to be an avid follower of God and Christ. The Overlord found himself and his fellow Ulyssesians under the strongly irate and heated fires of angered religious groups, but none more so than the heat delivered from the Christian society.
The Christian denomination was in an uproar over this man’s ideals and immediately started heated debates across the nation, and consequently the entire world, over the sacrilegious implications of this “new” order. An order which had been said was preached by Jesus himself so many years ago. Anger from the Christian denomination was so fierce that the United States government, in conjunction with the Vatican in Rome, sought to ban the practicing of the religion in the States and in several locations around the globe, including Rome. But the Ulyssesian lands were becoming greater as was the belief in this “religion” or rather a treatment of religion lacking a label. The new Crusades had begun and it was being led by a newly formed group of Christian radicals simply referring to themselves as the “Christian Coalition.”
While the newly founded Christian Coalition was set upon its mission at totally abolishing the Ulyssesian “religious” order, Orin had spent his time learning all about the Medieval time period and its war mechanics. During this time, he became a proficient fencer and swordsman, albeit, aside from personal interest, it was an unorthodox practice for this day and age. Orin’s proficiency in these combat styles also made him a challenging opponent against more than one martial artist.
It was sheer curiosity that made Orin follow the progress of the Ulyssesian Overlord, a title given him by the newspaper reporters of the time. Therefore, he began looking into the man’s personal history. He read everything he could find on the man. Included in the material he dug up, was a brief editorial on the Overlord’s divorce. Making mention of the businessman’s name, it went on to account how he had married a woman in 1998. In 1999, the woman had given birth to a son. By that year’s end, on the exact day of Orin’s birth, the future Overlord had divorced his wife and lost his infant son in a bitter custody battle.
As the years progressed, the man had taken up the martial arts and became an expert in many of his chosen arts’ intricacies. His business had taken shape and became a virtual empire. At one point, the man had attended Harvard and gained notoriety on the campus for his potentially devastating business delegations. Many had taken note to his preoccupation with finding a better way to live life than through the pursuit of wealth. An uncommon practice for a man devout in marketing and trade.
That this man had sought to make peace through the absence of wealth sat as an irony in Orin’s mind as he physically and mentally prepared himself for the final confrontation with this man who had shed his businessman image to become a warlord.
Orin was also well aware of the Overlord’s studies in the Medieval time period. It was something that the man had been interested himself in and had even patterned the now infamous Ulysses city after. Its appearance was like a futuristic castle, a fact Orin had come to realize a few years before. Not to mention that the Ulyssesian soldiers were dressed in suits of armor that made them nearly invincible and gave them the appearance of knights. And all in the land of Ulysses were governed by but ten laws. Orin surmised these laws had to be the Ten Commandments.
Despite Orin’s respect and admiration for the Ulyssesian Overlord, he was forced to recognize his role in this vital confrontation. Even so, he stared into the darkening sky awaiting the arrival of the sullen king as below him, at the base of the demolished store he stood upon, a growing crowd praised and cheered him as a hero; the hero that would destroy the Anti-Christ and prevent the day of judgement. For Orin was the chosen warrior of the Christian Coalition sent to bring the Overlord to his knees and to see to it that the mighty king begged for a quick death.
Knowledge of the past weighed heavily on Orin’s mind. So much so, that the setting of dusk had completely escaped his attention. Truly the Overlord was a great man in Orin’s opinion and he felt he knew all there was to know about the man: his pain, his suffering, his gains and his failures, as well as his indomitable will to survive. Indeed, the Overlord was a mighty foe, having justly vanquished the United Nations own army with but a wave of his armored hands and the armor’s technological ability to tap into the Earth’s gravimetrical forces that allowed him to shred the flimsy machinery in their possession. Such feats the Ulyssesian’s had perfected years before.
Glimmering reflections of city lights from above Orin, attracted his attention and pulled him from deep, concentrated thought. He looked above to see that the light had been reflected from the Overlord’s suit of armor as he rode the unseen gravitational forces of the planet. Orin drew his sword from its scabbard hanging at his side and stepped back a few paces to allow the silently drifting Overlord to land in front of him. Both men stared at one another sizing each other up. A look of rage donned itself on the Overlord’s bearded visage and a wry smile perked his lips behind a graying mustache. The Overlord need not speak a word and didn’t as he drew his own sword from a battered, war torn suit of armor.
The two titans faced off, as the crowd below cheered on the supposed hero Orin. Orin felt “supposed” in his mind for an unsettling feeling permeated his thoughts. Yet, those thoughts were brief as the final battle began to play out. Both men parried and lunged in defense of two kingdoms that both cared deeply about. Two kingdoms separated by different ideals.
One was a kingdom ruled by Christianity and its continued existence. The other a deadly threat to that crown for it represented a new factor, a vicious belief that could destroy the fabrics of an old society in a new world.
Deftly maneuvering in skill and grace, both men clashed swords in what would someday be considered an epic battle. A battle in which already heavy casualties had been taken by both sides. Missiles sent into the city perimeters, ordered by members of the Christian Coalition within the highest branches of the military, had almost completely leveled the city of New York; where the two men vied for power.
Adrenalin coursed through Orin’s veins. As did fear through his thoughts as he wondered why the Overlord had yet to unleash his armor’s ability to “freeze” a person’s brain. It was an ability Orin knew for a fact that the Ulyssesian battle suits could access. Yet, still the Overlord held back and skillfully countered Orin’s tactics.
Orin swiveled around to the right one hundred and eighty degrees in an effort to strike the Overlord from behind, but was blocked by the elder warrior’s sword, leaving him open for a fatal blow to his body. However, the Overlord did not take the opportunity to end the young man’s life. Instead, he hit Orin with his fist into the lower back; a kidney punch.
Reeling from the powerful blow, Orin nearly fell, but regained his balance and brought his sword above his head and braced it with both hands just in time for a downward sword thrust from the Overlord. A thrust, Orin figured, intended merely to faze him. A tactic Orin had expected from his elder. Now he knew the Overlord had no intentions of killing him.
Seizing this opportunity of weakness on the Overlord’s part, Orin pushed through the thrust and again swiveled one hundred and eighty degrees this time to the reverse side and immediately caught the Overlord off guard. Facing each other, the two men stared defiantly into one another’s eyes with fierce intensity. Only, the Overlord’s eyes began to dim as he slumped to his knees.
Orin withdrew his sword from a fractured spot in the Overlord’s armor. A lucky shot by sheer chance. The fracture being a result of the previous three days of battle against the allied armies. This had been reason enough to Orin why the Overlord was unable to access any other ability than flight. But Orin wondered if the Overlord would have used the other abilities had he’d been capable.
Blood glistened on Orin’s blade as the crowd beyond roared in satisfaction. Their gladiator had seized the day and defeated the unholy king. The truth did not elude Orin, though, as he remembered how mere moments before he had been on his own knees staring into the Ulyssesian lord’s eyes and seeing, not hatred, but a tired old man. A man not bent on destruction but set upon the path of creation. Certainly, he was not the evil man that people had made him out to be, but the father of a different dream and way of life.
A sudden shout disturbed Orin from his moment of revelry. The shout of disbelief and anger came from an arriving group of Ulyssesians. Orin witnessed a young man running up the pile of mangled concrete and steel and rushing over to the fallen body of the Overlord. The young man knelt before the body and pulled the Overlord to him. Orin merely watched from behind an unemotional face and beheld the scene into his subconscious.
As the young man wept, others of his sect soon joined him. The Ulyssesians picked up the body of their Overlord and carried him off the battlefield. Spectators below shouted profane words towards the Ulyssesians but didn’t make an effort to stop them, for their own military had not yet arrived with reinforcements. Oblivious to the crowd, the young Ulyssesian man stood to face Orin and moved as if to confront him. Another man grabbed the boy by the arm and instructed him to fall back.
Orin and the young man locked gaze and within that moment, Orin realized the sad, inevitable truth. He was not a hero. That unsettling feeling inside, had been a warning from his subconscious to not pursue the final blow. But he had taken it. That thought ate its way through Orin’s mind and he knew that the Overlord warlord had never been the Anti-Christ. If anything, he had been an Anti-Christian. And Orin had slain him. He, Orin Lewis, had conquered a god and it felt good.
At that, a smile trickled to Orin’s face. His sword pointed straight down toward the store ruins as he watched the Ulyssesians carrying off their lord. All the while, within the background, the crowd had cheered, not knowing the thoughts going through Orin’s mind or seeing his broadening grin towards the departing young man who was not much older than he. Orin held his bloodied blade skyward and knew that someday, that young man would slay the great “hero” Orin.
That day would come in seven years, for hail, the true Anti-Christ had come in the guise of an angel and had savored his first kill and victory of many. The battle was over, but the war had just begun, for until upon the day in seven years hence, when he shall be slain by the fallen god’s SON, the world shall belong to Orin.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more coming soon! If you’re interested in supporting the cause, go check out the posting of Revelations on my author’s page. Okay, it isn’t available in my collected works book, but there is the one 99 cent version available through Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DN3X23Y/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i9
~Timothy S Purvis