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Bewildering Stories

John Eric Ellison, Amaranthine

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Amaranthine
Author: John Eric Ellison
Publisher: Unquiet Reserve
Date: February 10, 2021
ISBN: 1638217432; 978-1638217435

Two jewelry thieves in France, an old man and his daughter, had a couple of Amun’s guns and were waiting for the incursion. Then they would rush into a job, grab the jewels and blast their way out, if they had to. Timing and patience meant everything. Why did they believe the invasion would occur? One thing the entire world had come to understand was that if Lilith and Amun both said it’s going to happen, then it would.

Why did they think it was a good idea to rob a bank during an alien invasion? Because they could and they would have damn good cover. No one would be looking at the bank during an attack; at least, no human with half a brain. Also, his other daughter worked at this bank inside as nightshift security. She said she would let them in as long as there was an incursion, and thought there would only be one guard outside watching the grounds.

The incursion started with flashes of light, seemingly from everywhere they looked, and what sounded like gunshots all over France. War had once again come to destroy peace. Tiny strikes of electricity could be seen within a faint cobalt blue haze at varying distances above the ground. The mist had a pattern that suggested some form of reiteration like a grid.

The thieves looked at their weapons and found that small threads of bluish light connected their guns and then shot out into the air, into that same cobalt blue they could see everywhere they looked. Amun had promised to activate the weapons when the invasion started, so this blue haze was Amun in control. That meant the attack had begun.

“Papa,” the young thief said. “It’s time; let’s get in there.”

The older man nodded, and they entered the bank through the watchman’s door in the back. They had come prepared with lock picks, but found that the door was ajar. This could only mean the guard had unlocked it and was on his way out.

The guard ran into them as they opened the bullet-proof glass door. He waved a pistol around looking for invaders, then stared wide-eyed at the young woman and said, in hushed tones,

“If you’re here to rob the place, you’re too late. All of the money and jewels were moved after Lilith said an invasion was going to start. All of the clients pulled out their valuables. If I were you, I would find a better place to hide. It’s all glass up front and not much else inside.”

He looked around again, then said, “I’m going to that bunker over there. You’d be wise to follow me.”

He dove through a separation in nearby shrubbery, then screamed. The thieves did not know what was happening to him, but they could see and hear the guard’s conventional gunfire flashing through the shrubs. He had not been carrying one of Amun’s weapons.

The thieves didn’t want to see what had just happened to the guard. They ran into the building, then closed and locked the door. There was another flash and boom just outside the door they’d shut. Something fleshy and slimy slammed into the door just as they turned the lock. Whatever it was moved away from the door leaving the door covered with a grayish substance. A young woman was calling for them.

“Papa, Adele, it’s me, Elle. Hurry!”

They followed the sound of her voice and found her as expected next to the vault. She had been holding her breath all night. What a fuss this had been for her. But now, the time had come. During the day, she had seen clients removing their valuables from the vault. Would there be anything left for them to steal?

Elle welcomed her sister and father with quick hugs and then Papa went to work on the vault door. It was an old-fashioned lock, which was surprising with much higher technology available.

Papa started talking about the bank, quietly, but loud enough to be heard by his daughters. Muttering was a bad habit he had.

He said, “Penny-pinching investors probably own this bank. The bank system in France is, as you know, headquartered in Paris. They hold control over the subsidiaries, but that doesn’t mean the Bank of France is on top of quality control. This vault was poorly built.”

Papa chuckled and continued to talk.

“In these smaller towns, the banks rely on the good people of the community to behave. A bit naive, but that’s the way it is. There’s a lot of theft in France, especially within the art world. So, if there’s art in here, that’s great.”

Papa and his daughters were usually art thieves. This move to steal from a bank occurred to Papa. So, why not, was his motto.

“There,” he said triumphantly, as the large door into the vault opened.

Outside, they heard screams, howling, yelling and something else that sounded like the Banshees of legend.

Elle carefully stepped back to look out the expansive front window allowing a broad vista view.

The flashing lights had stopped, but she could see things flying through the skies and in the streets that glowed with a pale, sickly, luminance. Those shapes had remotely human-like forms. And, then there were other ugly horrific things killing, rummaging, and running. They could see human victims being thrown into the air, somehow. Because this bank was on a hill, they could look down into town and what was happening on the streets.

Government helicopters flew around and fired at the ground below, using what Elle surmised were the weapons Amun dropped in a seemingly arbitrary manner all over the place. They were easy to find, lying in heaps everywhere. She wondered what would be done with them when this was over, assuming humanity won the fight. Perhaps that was a dangerous, wishful assumption. One last look through the windows awarded her with the sight of more military, police, or simple folk fighting back using Amun’s guns.

Elle shook her head as if to clear it from a phantasm nightmare. She returned to the vault. They stole what was left, filling up the bags they brought. Then they would escape back out through the door where they entered.

Papa ignored boxes that they could not readily open using the keys Elle had. What they could grab effortlessly was plenty, and soon they decided to leave.

When they stepped out of the vault to make their way out, they were shocked to see several pale giants milling about outside the windows. One was carrying enough of a human body to confirm that this person had been the guard. The giant holding the body lifted it to his mouth, bit, and pulled the meat from it. At least these creatures were not looking at the windows.

The thieves had turned off their flashlights and moved through short hallways by feel and moonlight. As soon as they reached the door, they opened it carefully while peeking and listening for anything prowling nearby. They were in luck; there was nothing outside the door. However, they held Amun’s pistols tightly as they moved for the shrubbery fence.

Remembering what happened to the guard, Papa motioned for the girls to keep watch and stay back as he peeked through the fence. On the other side of the hedge, several yards away, creatures that looked like a combination of alien and human wandered between buildings and looking through windows.

They were tall, lean, and had elongated heads, large black eyes, and mouths that opened and closed as though speaking, but Papa heard nothing from them, although noises were coming from everywhere else nearby. If they were talking to each other, the sounds were inaudible to his human ears.

Strange gunfire made him spin around quickly to see what was happening. The sound he made in the bushes was heard by the wandering creatures he had been observing, and they jumped up on top of the roofs under which they had been lurking. Papa stole a quick look back and counted four creatures on the rooftops, ready to jump right at him.

Adele and Elle were shooting at the giants with Amun’s weapons, now glowing light blue. The giants had rounded a corner of the bank and saw them. There were five giants. The one carrying the corpse dropped it and held its oversized hands up in a grabbing gesture before running to take up the two young women.

Both women shot using Amun’s guns. They saw how devastating the bluish plasma fire was as their targeted giants burst into multicolored flames and then dissolved into a glowing mist as they disappeared. The other giants paid no attention to the guns and kept running. It was strange how they didn’t seem to care for their own lives. They ran on without flinching.

Papa chose to face the four creatures as they leaped at him. He fired his gun and seeing that its beam was continuous, for some considerable distance, held down the trigger and swept back and forth, destroying all four creatures mid-leap. Looked down at the weapon, smirked, and shrugged. Then, he turned to help his daughters.

The women needed no help. They had used the same sweeping motion and eliminated the giants with no time to spare. The bodies had vanished, except for the one human corpse.

They didn’t wait to see if anything else was lurking in this same area. Papa said,

“Maybe they’re territorial. Just stay low and let’s go straight for the safehouse below. I think we just killed the ones that are supposed to watch this area. We can hope that’s true.”

As they passed through the shrubbery fence, they saw no immediate danger but could see many more strange, gigantic, and feral, things jumping and attacking in the near distance. They moved quickly down a short wall and then between two small homes. A storm shutter had been left unlocked at the safe house, which they opened as quietly as possible and then closed and locked behind them.

* * *

Several children with their copies of Amun’s weapons played in a back yard while camping in a large tent. It was a lot of fun, imagining the guns working. They told each other that they were ready, all five of these friends, for the alien invasion. These boys will pop some caps on the enemy’s butts. Their own parents didn’t mind. They said that this invasion nonsense was just a government ploy to take the populace’s ‘eyes off the ball,’ was how they explained it. Everyone with some intelligence knew that.

Suddenly, the sky erupted with bright lights, and they heard what sounded like explosions, coming from everywhere. The backyard exploded with light followed by banging noises. Leaves and debris near the wetlands around the property flew around the boys as they all crowded together out of fear.

As if to punctuate their shock a formation of jet planes flew directly overhead and passed on as though they were part of the problem instead of help.

Their parents were in the house, socializing, and they too rushed out into the backyard to see what was happening. Every person in the backyard carried one of Amun’s weapons. Whether they had believed this would happen or not, they were prepared. A thick blue haze permeated the yard, and tiny arcs of electricity licked through the air. Each weapon started to glow light blue. Small lines of power were connecting all of the guns.

A massive, rotten, corpulent thing that looked like a building-sized bubbling green and brown boil hovered over the trees of the wetlands-- only moments before seemingly giving unholy birth to a horde of creatures that fell and flew out of it. The things that fell and stood up as the portal disappeared were giants.

Standing as tall as the trees within the wetlands were several colossal creatures that smelled worse than dead fish, sewage, and rotting onions. They held up the palms of their enormous paws to the sky, and then, they roared toward the heavens so loud the ground shook. Ghostly humanoid shapes like ghosts with horrific faces danced along the treetops. They dove down toward the parents as the giants rushed for their children.

As one, the giants looked at the kids and reached out to grab them. When the creatures bent, their torsos seemed hinged awkwardly. Their heads dropped for a lower look at the boys. Their eyes were only deep empty sockets. Their noses looked as if they had been chopped off. Their mouths were toothless, but enormous and howling with breath that smelled worse than their bodies. The giants all looked alike. Their bodies were twisted and had paws instead of hands. They were naked, hairy, and had bulbous feet.

The boys reacted by pointing their guns and pulling their triggers. They had been playing with these guns as inactive toys, but now the plasma blasts from each gun were so powerful it threatened to knock them backward. The boys held on tight and swept the yard back and forth. The giants blew up and then turned into a glowing mist before drifting away.

The glowing Great Beings continued their drive toward the parents. In the light of the weapons, they could be seen as opaque, not transparent. They looked like weird pictures they had seen of demons, only these were real. The parents shot them out of the sky with the same sweeping blasts their sons had used. Within seconds the backyard was cleared of threats.

Three jet planes flew overhead. It was a comforting sight but did nothing to help this immediate threat.

The parents gathered up their kids and brought them inside. They knew the incursion had only just started and something else could come for them after seeing the lights from their yard.

As they opened the basement door, they could hear all sorts of howls, shouts, screams, and bird-like hooting coming from outside the house. The last parent to enter the basement saw what appeared to be a titanic bird flying past their front window, barely missing their home. They locked the doors, and all of them huddled together in the basement.

* * *

A group of twelve serious-minded survivalists ran war games using Amun’s guns and some good old-fashion paintball weapons for some real splatter. They had all of their moves and coordination down to a science. They were waiting for the end of the world. Lilith and Amun had both made public announcements about this being the real deal, and they had no idea when it might start. Did this bunch believe any of it? Not even a good dollars’ worth. No sir, but it’s always best to be prepared for the worst. So, bring on the apocalypse. Huah!

All fun and games stopped, and the incursion became the real deal. Flashes of light in every direction, followed by disturbances in the air and a racket that sounded like a cross between gunfire and bombs going off. Their appointed squad leader pointed at the sky just over the sand dune they were stealthily approaching. Just after one thunderously loud boom, a gargantuan pod thing hovered over the ocean in front of them. It opened and spilled a gelatinous mass of jellied guts, or something, out into the water they could not as yet see. Then the battleship sized grotesque pod blinked out and disappeared.

They guessed that the louder the noises were, the more significant the incursion at that location. They were about to find out what the most deafening explosion carried with it.

The apparent team leader spoke into an open microphone near her collar.

“Camp seeing any action? We’ve got noises here and something visual. Going to check it out.”

Through the open mic she heard gunfire and a male voice at the other end yelling out to someone;

“God damn it! Use Amun’s guns! For God’s sake. That’s two more dead cause of stupidity! Can’t lose more. And don’t let those things surprise you!”

The man on the com turned his attention back to the team leader, saying,

“Jane, we got a wave of things here. Came out of some god-awful slimy ball in the sky. It was horrid and stank to high heaven. Hard to breathe the air. So bad-- the smells. Jumping creatures with wings, and about a dozen muscle-bound men and women that looked like undead creatures from a TV show. Huge. So weird. I can’t believe this shit! Some numb-nuts used conventional fire and died, badly. We’re only using Amun’s guns now. They work perfectly. Nothing going on at the moment. They seem to attack all at once like the British walking into American Patriots. No strategy we could see. Like they’re all stupid or walking dead, or both. Just make noises and run, or walk, to attack.”

He stopped talking to Jane and yelled out to someone.

“What’s that over there? If it moves, shoot the thing!”

Then he spoke to Jane again.

“We’re staying tight. No stragglers. Don’t know why we didn’t put Amun’s guns into the two Hueys and the Big Boy before now, but we just pulled out the old 50-Cals Jeffrey bought with those bloody-fine fix-r-up-rs of his. He hates to see us jerking em’ out, but got to do it or die. Conventional weapons are worth jack-shit against these things, as far as we can tell. Just makes a god-awful smell when they bleed, whatever their bleeding. What a mess. We shoot em with Amun’s guns and they disappear with no trace. Too bloody right.”

“Jane replied, “Matt, send the birds over here if you don’t need em’ right now. We got a lot of explosions here, and something huge in the water we haven’t seen yet. But we’re about to. No telling what’s over the rise in front of us along the shoreline. Gonna check it out.”

“You got it. Two Hueys and the Big Boy just as soon as we mount Amun’s weapons. We’ll be packing. Can spare an A-team on board.”

Jane smiled. “Ten? How much ‘incursion’ after we left?”

Matt replied, “What can I say? It’s my overwhelming charm, girl. Can’t keep em’ off me.” He chuckled and spit something.

Jane smirked and said,

“See you soon. Out.”

The group formed up around her prepared to attack, not defend. Whether they believed the broadcasts they heard from Amun, or not, these sounds and flashes told them they were in deep. They moved furtively between trees and bushes, staying low.

There was a lot of scrub brush, especially in the Oregon coastal area. As soon as they topped that dune, they would see the Pacific Ocean and smell the salt air. Seagulls flying overhead squawked and raced away from the coastline in apparent fear.

Noises from throats of things unnatural were the next indication that the incursion had begun. Just over the dune of sand and bushes they should be able to see whatever was making a loud series of grunts and growls and whistles.

Jane waved an indication that everyone was to drop to their bellies and crawl forward. She motioned for a change in formation, four upfront. She led. The rest following as practiced. The sounds over the dune made her unsure of herself, but she did not betray her fear.

As the forward line of three men and one woman peeked over the ridge something like a broad green scythe whipped through the air from right to left, nearly cutting the heads off of the four in front. As one, they rolled back down the hill, then stood and ran back the way they had come.

Jane crouched, ran back, and yelled, “Run! We can’t fight that!”

They all stood up to sprint just as a small mountain crawled out of the ocean and advanced overland in an attempt to catch up with the fleeing humans.

The beach began on their left with a bluff of rock, topped by a lighthouse. A mile down the beach toward the humans’ right was another outcrop with a motel perched above. This thing crawling out of the ocean was as large as the entire length of exposed shoreline. It was green and smelled worse as more of it crawled out of the water.

It looked like a jellyfish, with eyestalks popping up and down from its body over its entire surface. Along its forward edge were crab-like appendages that worked like slashing claws. It was eating anything made of plant or animal, by grabbing with its claws and shoving whatever it had under its forward flap of a body. There was no visible mouth. Whatever method was used to consume what it was grabbing was hidden underneath its length.

It was titanic but fast. The troupe of twelve lost two men as claws caught two runners in the rear. One of the remaining ten fell when she tripped on a piece of deadwood. That woman was cut down and grabbed by the thing. Three of the remaining nine decided to stop running and shoot with Amun’s weapons. One of the shooters was knocked down by a scything claw, but he righted himself and continued to fire his gun.

Three of Amun’s weapons were now in play and sweeping back and forth. The effect on the thing was amazing. They were so effective the other six runners stopped and turned back to fire their weapons. They ran back to stand alongside the braver three and added their firepower.

From a distance, the nine weapons looked like whips made of lightning. Wherever their plasma touched the thing, it dried and turned to glowing mist. This thing did not have a centralized brain. Even though parts of it were being blown away by Amun’s guns, more of it crawled out onto the beach.

Jane shouted what they were all asking themselves.

“How big is this thing?”

Another yelled,

“Maybe we should make a break for it and try to outrun it!”

She replied, “You see it running away? I don’t! It’s still crawling out of the ocean! We could be doing this all day! Better off if we keep pounding it! Those blue clouds power up the guns. We’ve got plenty of ammo! Keep firing. Don’t stop!”

The blue mist she was referring to had arrived just after the explosions and lights. They knew what it was from the many briefings Amun had given over on-air television. No cable or satellite signals worked anymore. Amun’s own version of the Internet and electric feeds kept everyone informed and powered up. Pretty much anyone who watched those news spots thought Amun was bonkers, maybe a god of some kind, but everyone believed him, he’d earned respect.

The blue mist had little shots of lightning snapping everywhere throughout and made connections between the guns on this beach. They could see how each of their glowing weapons seemed to be alive and communicating. There was a mind at work here, and they knew whose mind that was: Amun.

At that moment, they heard the unmistakable sound of helicopters. They saw the two smaller Huey’s with warriors inside shooting the thing they knew was the target. They flew over it and fired randomly down at the creature that couldn’t seem to reach up high enough to return their attacks. Then, they heard another copter-- something bigger-- it was what Matt had referred to as Jeffrey’s Big Boy. A Blackhawk soared aloft and joined the two Hueys with more warriors on board. The creature could be seen clearly through the water by the light of Amun’s weapons fire.

Jane’s shoulder mic sputtered to life with Matt’s voice.

“I’m piloting Big Boy. Girl that thing down there is miles long. Even if we keep firing from the sky, there’s way more of it coming up from somewhere. Don’t know if this fight is winnable!”

Jane’s reply was simple.

“Don’t stop. Let’s fall back to camp. Try to get it to retreat first.”

He replied, “Don’t see any sign of retreat!”

She said, “Well, we can’t let it up on land, can we!”

“Ten-four.”

The nine and helicopters pressed forward and shot from the land and sky. They thought this creature was alive, but it wasn’t. It didn’t feel anything. It was undead and moved forward from the ocean even though parts of it were being obliterated. It did not care. All it wanted was to consume and crawl. Its shape was roughly a mile wide and three miles long. It would continue to move for a day before it was dead enough to stop.

Along the shore at each beachhead, other dead things were gathering and watching the whipping lights along the beach and from the helicopters. There was no hurry. They would make their way to those lights, eventually, killing and devouring the humans wielding the guns. None of them were concerned about the weapons. The dead didn’t care.

* * *

An entire busload of black-haired, black leathered, pierced, tattooed, and chain swinging, young heavy metal music fans just out of a Technical Metal concert unloaded into an expansive lot where they had parked to take this ride. It was essential to be seen with other members of this popular subculture if you were going to be taken seriously. They hung out in clumps as though feeding on each other’s life-force.

Screw those old farts that said they were metal fans, but only went as far as Nirvana, and not much further. Let them rot. This group of twenty black metal fans was the real deal. It was still early, about an hour until sunrise, so they went to their vehicles, pulled out the alcohol and smokes and decided to hang for a while.

As they draped themselves around vehicles and each other, the subject of Lilith came up. She was a favorite subject to talk, drink, joke, and smoke over. Every one of them had strong opinions about her.

For the most part, almost all of the hardcore black metalheads felt that Lilith betrayed them all when she stopped bringing on the “hate thy neighbor and kill your enemy’s lingo” in favor of guarding the human race. But that wasn’t what peeved them off the most. Safeguarding humanity against aliens and undead was all well and good, but they had all heard that Amun was once the cool Samael. The story now told far and wide was that Amun killed and took over Samael’s body. If that wasn’t bad enough. Amun had the nerve to drop the name Lightbringer as an enemy.

They all knew the name, Lightbringer, as belonging to Lucifer, with many other names. Lightbringer was one of the best names old Nick used. He didn’t just start calling himself Lightbringer, that name was given to him by others of his kind. Now, Lilith, her entourage, and that thing that used to be Samael were talking about killing the big guy himself. That was too much. It was a betrayal.

Lilith, some religious freaks called the ‘Whore of Babylon,’ was not the woman they had decided to follow to their graves. There were rumors about the fact that Lilith’s peculiar smell was also was gone. Lilith had changed, and no one in this group liked it. They all professed to hate everything and everyone, just like she taught them, but now her message had changed. They all felt betrayed.

They did believe the promised ‘incursion’ was going to be real. But also decided to be ‘slack’ about it. Let it happen. Had no desire to use those stupid video game guns Amun had dropped all over the place. These weapons lay scattered around the parking lot grounds. It was a lot of useless clutter.

When the incursion happened, and they hoped it would be right now, they’d all show the metal horn signs with their fingers and welcome the invasion into the party. Let em’ come right now. That would be so cool.

One of them said, “Dudes, did it just get darker?”

As if in answer to that question, sudden angry flashes of light illuminated the city and the horizon beyond. The Earth shook from explosions. A faint dark blue light, or mist, hovered over the ground, filled with tiny lightning bolts. They could see the guns glowing blue on the ground, attracting sparks. They all stood up and strained their necks to see over vehicles or anything that was in the way of a view of the city.

One of the groups pointed at the skyline behind the city on their left. Hovering above the horizon, they saw a mountain-sized bubbling pod. It broke open and spilled what looked like a mountain that hit the Earth with a thud that was felt far and wide. The pod thing disappeared. A new, low-lying large hill remained on the ground, changing the landscape. At first, thoughts of “We’re all losing our minds” made the most sense, until the mountain stretched up and out in all directions, like a colossal amoeba.

After demonstrating its catastrophic size, it settled back down, collapsed in on itself, then a hole appeared on its top, like a volcano. The maw moved down and started opening and closing. It was a mouth. Appendages grew up on either side of the hill thing. It grabbed buildings, cars, trucks, and people, then threw them into its maw, accompanied by a growling sound of satisfaction.

And then, they started hearing human screams and inhuman howls, humans shouting and things that did not sound like humans yelled back in sharp, angry voices. One of the goths pointed up at a tall skyscraper and said,

“Up there. It looks like a glowing person trying to force someone out a window!”

And, then that person did fall out over the window ledge to death on the streets. The roads were congested and bodies started flying out of broken windows and landing on the roofs of several cars. People got out of their vehicles and ran.

Many people didn’t get far before a ground wave of unnaturally large mutations, human and otherwise, caught up with the runners and fell on them bringing a variety of fates, that all ended with death. Occasionally, noxious pods appeared above the ground amid flashes of light and explosive noises. Things fell out of them, or flew into the sky, before those pods-- many times smaller than the first one they saw-- disappeared.

Jets were heard over the sounds of death all around. The goths saw fighter jets screaming around the edges of the city, firing conventional weapons at the horrors below that seemed unaffected by those attacks.

The goths could see signs of human police and military action, but those were few because many of the existing government forces were depleted from foreign and domestic outbreaks of wars. Yes, the overseas wars had finally found a way to invade America. Then Amun stopped everyone from fighting and told them to prepare for this. That didn’t mean there were many fighting forces left. In fact, the military worldwide was diminished and woefully unprepared for these current attacks. Only Amun’s weapons allowed humanity a fighting chance.

The goths knew all of this but did not care. They watched with morbid fascination while humans fell, were consumed, thrown out of buildings, and stomped to death. They didn’t care. Why should they be concerned? Let Lightbringer come to them and they would worship him. All would be as it should be. They will be rewarded.

The ground-based creatures were getting close to the parking lot, so all of the goth rockers forgot what they were going to do and ran.

A ball of flesh about the size of five cars, made of teeth and mouths bowled over the tops of some of the parked vehicles, across three of the fleeing youths, eating them as it rolled over them.

A humid, dense, smell of dead things hit the rockers like a wave of nausea. A few of them started to vomit from the smell. They all remembered what they had said about Lilith’s foul honey smell and longed for it now.

Great man-like creatures with the same corpse-gray skin as the rest of Lightbringer’s horde jumped into the parking lot grabbed several of the goths in large hairless hands and bit their heads off.

Creatures that looked like undead animals with human-like appendages swarmed through the streets mixed with ball-things, and tall dead runners were delivering death in their own disgusting ways. These creatures killed and ate humans, young and old. Those who ran for their lives were doomed.

Then, as though turning on a light switch, humanity seemed to remember the weapons they had been playing with, never really believing they would work. They picked up the guns wherever they could be found and shot at the invaders with plasma fire that could be seen as much brighter than the lights from the invader’s arrival. The cobalt blue mist, shot through with lightning, connected each gun and activated them. Amun had promised that he would enable the firearms when they were needed.

People were fighting back and winning. Every shot was deadly. The targeted things evaporated rather than laying on the ground to rot more than they already were.

Amun’s energy grid could be seen in the air above the ground like mist and thin cobalt-blue lines making everything visible, spectacular, and deadly.

The smell of death was replaced by the pungent odor of ozone, not unlike the aftereffects of a severe electrical storm. Extradimensional Beings like Samael were able to fly about between buildings attacking people, throwing them out of windows, and cutting off human heads with swords. These Beings seemed to delight in the infliction of terror. Their faces glowed with an unnaturally terrifying effect. But they seemed frightened of Amun’s weapons.

Amun’s guns were more effective than even Amun thought they would be. At this rate, if the firearms were this deadly in human hands, then all over the Earth, humanity would surely win.

The few rockers that remained alive after the initial shock troops invaded had picked up the guns they had thrown away and were shooting as they would in a video game. The effects on the enemy were instantaneous. The enemy screamed, fell, and vanished as glowing mist.


Copyright © 2021 by John Eric Ellison

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