The sky is dark.
Not because the sky is black. It's simply covered by grey clouds. In the troposphere above, the space is stained red with the blood of the first Jailer humanity was able to "slay". The grey clouds act as a shield from the harmful material expelled by the Jailer of Prudence. That which humans called its "blood".
Enormous flying lifeforms akin to biological fortresses. They soar through the skies of the dead and blackened earth killing anything in their path with no apparent objective. In total, there were seven Jailers that appeared after the rift to the fourth dimension was tore open for some time. Prudence lies dormant in the troposphere where its "blood" continues to pollute the atmosphere endlessly. There exist six others as well. The Jailers of Justice, Hope, Faith, Love, Temperance and Fortitude. Aptly named by humanity for the virtues they ripped from the hearts of the inhabitants of Earth.
The rift sundered the ground when it opened. Creating another canyon that would put the Earth's already grand one to shame. Humanity discovered the exist of not just a fourth dimension, but also, a fifth and sixth connected.
Common sense and logic. Science and reason. All of it was disregard the instant it appeared. There was no longer any explanation for the things that poured into our world. Monstrous beings that resided within the folds humans called reality. The abilities and capabilities of these things were beyond human comprehension. Thus, in their ignorance, humanity simply dubbed it as "magic".
The beings were immediately hostile. The entire planet Earth found itself in a literal world war in the matter of seconds. At first, there were enough casualties to assume the human race would go extinct. However, with their technological prowess, they were able to gain a foothold, somewhat.
It was only temporary. With the beings we could only call "demons", there came the Ether. The planet quickly died, but humanity still strove to survive with the use of the technology they possessed.
Dimension particles that leaked into the planet Earth through the rift to the fourth, fifth and sixth dimension. It was sapped the life from the planet, turning it into an uninhabitable wasteland of steel and grey. Although it is harmful to humans, it sometimes gives unique effects to their bodies. Through the use of machinery and medicine, it is possible for humans to breathe once more in the pollute air of Earth. The energy transfer rate of the Ether scattered in the atmosphere is incredible, and it resulted in a new level of warfare that was never possible on the planet.
Extraterrestrial beings that emerged from the rifts of the three new dimensions. Abilities and appearances vary greatly depending. There seems to be no clear hierarchy among these lifeforms. Intelligence varies substantially by type.
As the endless war continued, the course for both sides shifted immeasurable into something that both seemed grim and hopeful at the same time for humans. Twenty years after the initial rift opened, the Jailers appeared. And with them, came the "Knights".
Human-like beings that appeared suddenly with the arrival of what humanity came to call the "Jailers". There is only 78 Knights spread across the entire dead planet of Earth. Their abilities were exponentially more advanced and capable than any other lifeform to have been encountered thus far by mankind. They were given their name because they proved to be on the side of humanity, protecting and aiding the human race in their struggle. The name Knight is specifically symbolic due to the fact that these beings manifest and absorb Ether into their bodies as a skeleton and as a single exoskeleton of cosmic armor. Beautiful and haunting at the same time, this suit appears like a formation of crystals over the body. Coloration varies. Additionally, the power of the Knights resides in the manifestation of their Empyrean Sword. The information the Knights have provided has proven invaluable in humanity's struggle.
Along with the Knights inner and outer Ether made skeleton and exoskeleton, they possess the means to materialize a personal fighting instrument. These weapons are manifested through the use of a clump of Ether within their body. These "Knight Arms" typically take the form of the image of a sword of some kind. The effects and abilities these weapons have differs from Knight to Knight. These armaments allow the Knights to fight on par with the Jailers, for a time.
"I don't how well the rest of the world is fairing, but things have grown grim in the Land of Steel. There were two Knights stationed with the caravan I was with numbering in the millions....
A Jailer appeared unexpectedly. The mere presence of it looming overhead 50,000 feet in the dark sky was enough to suck the life out of anything it passed over. It's unreal to think something like that exists. It defies any kind of comprehension. They do not discriminate between humans and demons. They only kill whatever is in their path.
It's as if the planet itself was angry that humanity was able to keep living while it died, so it sent those god-like things to finish what already started. The will of the planet, you could say. 'If I die, so to should the things that live upon me'. Something like that. I wouldn't be surprised if that were true. It's useless to try and make sense or comprehend anything that happens anymore. It's wasted effort and only serves to get people killed now.
People have even forgotten what the sun looks like, but we should be thanking the Knights for erecting the barrier of grey clouds. It keeps the blood of the only killed Jailer from wiping out all life in an instant.
I don't know what the future holds, but this can't last forever. In total, I'm told 22 of the original 78 Knights have fallen over the years protecting us from the Jailers and demons. Even they cannot truly kill them. At best, we can divert the course a Jailer takes. No more Knights have ever appeared after the first batch. I think it's safe to assume that was all there was to begin with.
If it weren't for us, they could probably live on this dead planet. Demons aren't much of a threat to them in small numbers, but it's still possible to be overwhelmed.
Tomorrow myself and an army of others will board warships sky-bound along with two Knights in an effort to divert the Jailer of Hope that threatens to wash over and wipe out the Land of Steel.
Let it be known humanity fought til it's last breath."
In the final moments. A lone soldier fell to the dead Earth.
In the skies above, minutes prior, a Knight had entered through the hangar doors of the warship in order to rest for a moment. The Jailer of Hope opened fire on the passing warship. The soldier shoved the fatigued Knight away as a beam of azure light pierced through the hull. In losing an arm and most of his shoulder from getting hit by the blast, he was launched out of the hanger door, but he had saved the Knight.
The material the soldier was made out of slowly began to disintegrate as he fell to the ground below. He looked up to the warship exploding above him with accepting resolve in his eyes for the fate that was about to befall him.
Through the aerial wreckage, the Knight clad in its amethyst exoskeleton soared downward, sword in hand still. It wished to repay the life debt it had just acquired and flew as fast as it's own power allowed.
As the soldier continued to fall, he watched contently as the Knight tried to close the distance between them. An outstretched hand closing in by the meter.
The crystal helm peeled away as the Knight's speed increased, revealing an alien, yet strangely human face of the apparently female knight. Crimson Red Vermillion hair trailing behind. It was the brightest thing the soldier had ever seen.
For the first time in his life, he had seen a shining sun so radiant....
As the last human fell to his death, the final thought of humanity itself was simple.
Now with more Character backstory and Short stories
'Melancholy of Cryska Eden' - In-depth backstory of OC for Resonance thread - 'Progression of Life' related. Unrelated short stories - Mostly one-shots. Updated irregularly (when I feel like it). Leave some comments, I love criticism!