Prologue - The Present

Prologue - The Present

A Chapter by MeBAuthor

As tragedy strikes, the world is not the same for two Special Agents of the ATD.


Rain was falling at a steady pace, but as the sky darkened with storm clouds, it slowly began to increase. It was the rain falling upon his face that caused him to regain consciousness. He blinked open his eyes and slowly raised his arm up as if in a dream. He shielded his eyes from the rain and looked up. He realized he was lying on his back with his feet extended slightly above him. He was startled to discover he was upside down on a hill, and tried to make sense of what had happened. 

For a moment, he lay still as he tried to gather his wits about him. He had no idea how he had come to be in this position. He had no idea why he was lying on the wet ground beneath a stormy sky. Something was wrong. Something, a deep despair, was threatening to swallow him whole, to consume him forever.

Something horrible had just happened. He knew it without one shadow of a doubt. As certain as he knew that his name was Albert Barrington, he was just as certain that something tragic had occurred only moments ago. Something so horrible, it meant to him as if hope had just left the world. He couldn’t understand why he was sure of it, but only that he was. 

The despair was so powerful, it was threatening to overwhelm him. He knew if he didn’t fight it, he would be lost forever. So Albert Barrington took a deep breath and let his arm fall back beside him on the ground at his side. He allowed the rain to fall on his face, and concentrated on the sounds around him. There was a loud whine somewhere in the distance, like the whine of a buzz saw. At the moment, it was the only consistent sound. 

He held his breath. 

There were other sounds, he realized. 

Someone was screaming. A car horn was blaring non-stop. To his left, he heard a ticking sound. He slowly turned his head and saw a car several feet away from him, the passenger door hanging open. The front end was mashed into a tree. There was someone sitting behind the steering wheel, unmoving. 

Barrington realized he must have been thrown from the car, but that would have meant he hadn’t buckled himself up. That couldn’t be right. He had always worn a seatbelt. For him, there was no reason not to wear a seatbelt. His entire life was by the book. To the letter of the law. Always follow the rules and never stray beyond the boundaries. That had been his motto, unlike his partner, Michael Lenox. 

Barrington finally forced himself to sit up with a groan. He felt groggy, lethargic. He was suffering from a splitting migraine and hoped he didn’t have a concussion. When he put his hand up to his head, his fingers came away wet with blood. So somewhere along the way, his head had struck something; but everything else seemed to work. 

He forced himself to his feet and intended to help his friend who was still in the car. The whine sounded closer, but he was still unable to determine what it was. He couldn’t concern himself with it anyway. Not until he could help his friend. 

He made his way to the car as a flash of lightning lit the sky for a split second off in the distance. He moved around to the back end of the car and when he got to the drivers side, he pulled open the front door. Lenox was sitting there, staring ahead of him. 

“Michael…?” Barrington said, concern in his voice. The dread he had felt earlier was trying to resurface. He concentrated on helping his friend to keep it at bay. “Michael…Knox, man…are you with me?” 

Lenox swallowed. “Al…?” 


There was a pause. “Why…is there a tree crawling out through the hood of the car?” 

“Uhm…It…it’s not crawling out of the hood. You hit it.” 

“Huh.” Lenox snorted in disbelief. 

“Are you alright?” Barrington noticed his friend was holding onto his left shoulder, seeming to favor it. “What’s wrong with your arm?” 

Lenox took a deep breath and groaned from the sudden increase in pain that it caused.  He cursed under his breath. “I think it’s dislocated. I really hate that.” He looked into the rearview mirror. “What the…?” Scowling, he slowly turned to look into the backseat of the car. “Where’s our prisoner?” 

Barrington had a good idea where the prisoner was, but he didn’t think Lenox would want to hear it. At least, not yet. Lenox did not appear to notice the pile of clothing in the backseat of the car. “He’s gone,” Barrington responded softly. 

Lenox checked the shoulder holster at his right, relieved to find his weapon was still there. He gritted his teeth and pulled himself out of the car with his good hand as he glared at Barrington. “Do you still have your piece?” 

Barrington checked his holster, startled by his discovery. “It…it’s gone.” 

“That’s just great!” Lenox cursed. Then, he began to head up the hill, holding his wounded shoulder. 

“Knox…I don’t think he took it.” 

Lenox didn’t seem to hear him. He came to the top of the hill and stopped. Then, he just didn’t move. 

Barrington felt the despair all over again. “Michael…?” he inquired. 

But Lenox did not respond. 

The feeling of dread tightened its grip as Barrington made his way slowly up the hill. He wasn’t certain if his mind was playing tricks on him, but he thought the sky darkened ominously with every step he took. The rain began to fall harder and stung as the wind whipped around him. 

When he reached the top, he stood beside Lenox and understood why he had not responded to him. Spread across the north and south bound lanes of Interstate 90, and across the divider that separated them was the wreckage of a plane. Debris and bodies littered the highway around the crash site. Other vehicles were either off the highway, turned over, or crashed into each other. And this was as far as he could see beyond the crash site from either side. A car on the shoulder was burning in spite of the rain, part of the wing of the plane resting atop it. 

That was where the whine was coming from, Barrington realized. 

There was a man on his knees, facing the wreckage, wailing. He was shaking his fists toward the darkened skies, oblivious to the hard rain falling on his face. It was as if the man were cursing God for the tragic scene around him. 

Barrington swallowed and dropped to his knees because somehow, he knew. He knew what had happened; not just here, but all around the world. And the only reason he knew was because he had been warned that this would happen. 

He just hadn’t listened.

© 2010 MeBAuthor

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Added on October 7, 2010
Last Updated on October 7, 2010
Tags: gatherers, rapture, prophecy



Wilton, NY

46, married, loves to write more..