The U.S. of After Chapter 7
I could see it before they did.
I had climbed up on the roof to enjoy the beautiful stars and found myself staring off into the night sky wondering when this current bad patch of human history would get better. I had experienced several bad patches in recent history, but that was nothing new in my memory. The Great Depression was, well, depressing. The dark ages were definitely a bad time. Most people think that if they are going through some kind of terrible disaster right now that right now must be the end of the world.
“Look at all these bad things happening,” says man. “It must mean the end of the world is near. Let’s sell everything we own and go wait on a mountain somewhere.”
“Not really,” says the Lord God. “You don’t see the big picture as I do.”
But this particular bad thing sailing out of the cosmos toward my little patch of earth was definitely one of the worst things imaginable. I could see several of them not visible to the average person, probably because of my vantage point. I was not getting any signals from my Superior as to what should be done right now, so I sat on the hard composite roof, still warm from the heat of the day, and watched them.
I assumed that what flew toward our general direction was the remnant of that meteor that had been broken up by some well meaning scientists a few months before all the current terrible events began. A well educated astronomer at an observatory in Hawaii had observed a planet killer asteroid plummeting toward earth and phoned their government liaison. The government leaders sat around and argued about it for a while, one party saying that people must be informed that the end was nigh and the other group arguing that a world-wide panic should be avoided. Some of them griped about the other side not funding military weapons that could be used on the meteor and the other side said that their opponents supported too much corporate greed when both of them were guilty of that on a daily basis. As usual there was gridlock, and if left up to them the earth would have been snuffed out, tout de suite.
It was not up to them.
The military (and the president at the time) decided to take matters into their own hands and ordered the launch of a few rather large missiles. This broke up the asteroid but the pieces stayed on the same path through space. Now it had become a cloud of smaller asteroids that were efficiently raining down into the atmosphere and smashing into everything.
The one headed toward Amy’s back yard was one of the last ones. People all over the globe had already had a bad day… again.
It was all kind of sad, really. I was looking forward to seeing how people were going to recover from all of these terrible events. They usually did. They had the dark ages, as I mentioned, and then they had the Hundred Years War, several revolutions the American Revolution, the Civil War, another revolution that rose and fell like the tides of the sea, and now three world wars. They always recovered, and sometimes they left behind something that was deplorable such as slavery or poverty or hunger and sometimes they abolished one of those bad habits. Unfortunately they usually ended up replacing a bad habit with another one.
I sat calmly on the roof and watched as that little piece of the asteroid started to spin and sparkle as it hit the oxygen in the atmosphere and began to phosphoresce. It was very beautiful in its own horrible way. I was glad that this one would not bring death to anyone. Several others had already sent many humans to their eternal rest or torment depending on their decision. It was a very sad day indeed, almost as sad as the Volos virus and the war. But these people, given their sinful condition, unfortunately gravitated toward destruction and chaos. Some of them realized that they lived in a Kingdom and followed that King no matter the obstacle, but others, a great number, had decided that their way was better. One would think that their failed governmental systems would be evidence enough for their need for the Most High.
As the super sized chunk of space rock caught fire and began to blow apart, throwing pieces of itself off in spectacular orange flames, shaking the ground with shockwaves of sound, I slid down the roof, hung from the guttering, then dropped to the ground just as the bus sized space rock slammed into the back yard and took out what trees were left before plowing into the sheet metal barn that sat innocently to the west.
I rounded the corner of the house to peer into the back yard and noticed Morax striding with purpose toward the back door, his long black coat billowing out behind him, his dark eyes set on the agenda of evil, his long raven hair a suety halo about his pale, withered face.
I received my orders, never late, which told me that Amy and Clayton would need our help.