Lee Crowley

Smiley hunches over a fire.

“As the world decays and begins to rot away, it is up to humanity to put it out of its misery.”

Flames flicker across his smiling face.

“To bring an end to the torturous existence of our society, a hero must take a stand, allowing himself to embody the very essence of destruction. He must become the flame so that he may purge the land.”

He stokes the fire with his crowbar.

“When fire scorches the earth and sets the planet ablaze, it will cause the ravaged lands to slowly burn to cinder and ash, leaving them barren of the corrupted humans that brought so much pain and despair to the civilization they themselves built.”

And the fire burns on.

“The man with the power of fire must bring gods to their knees and topple monuments to get to his goal. And those who oppose his righteous quest? They must be destroyed.”

He adds more wood.

“So the question remains, who is the man carrying the will of the eternal blaze, who is destined to leave a mark on the land and in its destruction, allow it humanity to start anew.”

He chuckles.

“It is the one who delves in the very same chaos that the world has been built to stop. They must adopt the carnage, the power of the purifying flame, and they must destroy.”

He stands up, the fire casting his shadow behind him.

“And those who wish to stop them and preserve the rotting wastes, they are the ones falsely believing themselves to be the heroes.”

And in his wake, stand two men, both tied up and blindfolded.

“Hawk, Solomon, men of Spirits and Gods, the champions chosen to become the barricade in the way of men like Knock Knock, people who wish to try and snuff out the fire meant to purify and bring about a new age.”

He grabs one man.

“While you are Savages and Dragons, people meant to eradicate life from the world. But you who have kneeled to the Gods that built this broken, decomposing world, refusing to allow us to spread our pandemonium, fighting to put out the raging wildfire we have set.”

And he edges him to the fire pit.

“Masking yourselves as divine crusaders and viewing my brother and me as demonic entities, you carry your heads high in belief that we are the evil that turns your broken land into the wasteland it has been made into by the men you revere.”

He shakes his head.

“With this mortal realm slowly falling to piece before you, the greedy grasp of humans having poisoned the soil and killed any sense of morality. The longer you stand in our way, the longer you try to stop the fire from consuming the land, freeing us of this living hell.”

And he throws the man into the flame.

“Solomon, you must stop resisting, you must give into the fire that burns inside of you and realize that if you truly wish to save this realm, you must allow us to spread that very flame that resides within. The world is diseased, we have risen above the corruption and know the truth behind it. The future Hawk saw is one of Utopia.”

As he screams, Smiley grabs the next victim.

“So now you must choose. Join us, or oppose us. Allow the planet to be reset and purged, or allow it to die.”

And he edges him closer.

“Smile in happiness. Or cry in despair.”

And as he laughs, he throws the man into the flame.