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A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel

Daniel Herbert

Weston’s Chronicle
The Chronicle of the Awakening

“The white gowns said he would never know evil again. They were wrong…”
-Prisoner 002
The drapes shielding the liquid pools of blue slowly rolled open while Weston’s
lungs independently began converting oxygen. The mechanics of the awakening
process lumbered as if an intruder had tangled itself within the gears of his mind. It had
been nearly a year and six months since the weary-one displayed the slightest twitch of
The surgery had worked… the one-and-a-half-year incubation period had provided
a chance for his body to choose whether to except the change or not.
Weston had been born with a unique lobe in his brain, an occurrence unlike any
other on Dearth. An army of malignant tumors formed when the Transoppoxilation
reached Weston‘s extra lobe. Doctor Astooto Brukara took a dangerous risk when he
performed a surgery on Weston’s spine. Due to the innumerable quantity of cancerous
cells, they could not all be removed.
Weston’s lobe was unlike any other medical case documented. Formed where his
medulla attached to his brain, it was nearly unnoticeable, and nearly unmentionable.
Weston was twelve when the Transoppoxilator changed the world; he was twelve when
his additional lobe, classified as the Cognesis lobe, awakened.
The change was slow at first; strange abilities characterized the first few weeks of his
twelfth year of life. Locked doors found themselves unlocked at a touch of his hand;
lights flickered when he got too close. By the fifth month of his twelfth year he started
feeling pain originating at his Cognesis lobe. Streaks of agony rippled down his spine to
his lower back. His eyesight became so keen he noticed small peculiarities such as

A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

threading errors in the socks of those walking by. As he focused on these small things
the pain worsened.
Nearing the end of the fifth month of his twelfth year, he went to see Dr. Brukara, in
hopes of finding an answer to his torment. Upon inspection, Dr. Brukara discovered the
millions of tumors spreading down Weston‘s spine. Within the next week, the doctor’s
hand was forced - removal of the spine was needed.
The problem was, when the procedure had ended, not a soul on the planet could
bring him back. The coma induced to diminish the pain had clutched the deepest
corners of his mind. So Weston slept, and those of Dearth wondered when their own
nightmares would end.

The intergalactic dishevelment that plagued the Dearthian world was no figment of
a child’s imagination. While Weston lay in his sarcophagus, the world of Dearth was
fighting against an aphotic blanket of malevolence that tucked in Dearth as a mother
might tuck in her child. There were battles between metalloid monsters and creatures of
incredible resilience. There were battles characterized by weapons of mass destruction,
and then finally, a weapon not of mass destruction but of total and utter annihilation of
all which was known. A destruction not of simply physical demolition, but a demolition
of the heart and soul, a destruction of good and happiness and the smiles of the people
of Dearth.
If Dearth were a photograph, the universe was staring into the negative of the once
beautiful planet. The white was now black, and the black now white. The good of the
world was now treated as if it were bad. Evil was now good. Darkness consumed the
planet of Dearth, the second planet of the Human race, as the great leaders of the past
sat in their jail cells of impenetrable steel.
Weston was their last hope. A hope they didn’t know to exist: a sleeping hope: a
dormant threat to the leader of the new Dearthian order.
The maximum-security prison holding the two ex-leaders was the highest

A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

concentration of darkness in all of Dearth. Lining the walls of the cells were the
remnants of past victims of the new order’s vengeance. Bloodstained bones reeked of
the past; torture, disease, and malnutrition awaited the inmates of Mastronomar Prison.
The device worked to perfection.
Dearth had been flipped off of its proverbial balance; it was now backwards, dying,
confused, dark, depressed, pained, evil... TOPOX-1 changed it all. The first
Transoppoxilation affected every known plane of existence with its storm. As its name
implies, it reversed all that was ever known.

The white was now black, and the black now white.

The once powerful lords fell to a state of weak, drained shells. Their God-granted
authorities were replaced with armor shining and sweeping duties. For a short time
after the firing of the Transoppoxilator, the new denizens of darkness sought refuge in
storm cellars. For when the twilight blanketed the forlorn, abandoned buildings of once
glorious empires, the imperial soldiers of The Despot’s military walked the towns, in
search of the helpless: an innocent; a hopeful: their favorite meal to rip to pieces and
send back to Mastronomar. After a time, few citizens remained from the previous white
order. The remaining few were forced into a life of complete secrecy, rarely coming out
of their underground shelters for fear of being taken to the cells of the new order.
The night cellars, crowded by the diurnal, did strange things to humans. Besides the
few righteous citizens seeking refuge, the cellars were overrun with Dearthian vermin,
beady-eyed creatures with an avid thirst for blood. Now allowed to run free, the vermin
were nearly the only creatures benefiting from the darkness. In the cellars, many of the
surviving citizens died from the diseases the vermin carried. Slowly the rats and
citizens differed in nearly unrecognizable ways. Slowly the human became the rat and
the rat the human.

The white was now black, and the black now white.

This was the only way for man to exist in the dark. Man found nutrition in garbage
A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

and his eyes too became beady and sensitive to light. It was only in this way that man
could go about in secrecy; when he becomes beast, man’s superiors see him as less of a
threat. Slowly his superiors live only as man lives among vermin, only threatening if
they prove pestilential. Yet, it only requires one man to tame the vermin, as Peter did
with his pipe. As he befriends the creatures of the Underdearth, they become like pets,
and slowly the vermin lose their bestial qualities. Then the rat, no longer a rodent,
becomes a weapon: a tool for taking what man would call his own.

Darkness prevailed: an empty void characterized Weston’s environment. Soliciting

his ears was an ominous, low purr, resounding from a nameless source. The small
medical bed he awoke on shook softly from the vibrations of the drone. There was
emptiness in all directions.
His heartbeat quickened; Weston began to panic. He pulled the needles from his
body that kept him alive in undisturbed slumber for so long. He leapt to his feet after
freeing himself from the plastic vines, only to collapse with the realization that his legs
were powerless jello. They had completely forgotten what it meant to stand, left unused
for so long. Weston’s body was numb; he tried to move with all his strength, slowly
pumping blood to his extremities. An onlooker may have found him quite comical, had
there been friendly eyes anywhere near. He climbed to his hands and knees and when
he mustered the strength to press on, he began exploring the darkness.
As he investigated, he began recollecting the room. Memories slowly returned to
him. He remembered the medical starkness of the walls he now unknowingly was
entombed in. Weston them remembered the reason of his residence in this room to
begin with. He remembered the spine transplant and the great financial burden it
placed on his family. He quickly returned to his bed with the fear of ruining the work
the doctors had completed on him.
Weston pressed the nurse call-button in order to inform a nurse that he had
awakened. To the dismay of the young medical triumph no nurse answered his plea.
He presumed it to be night and the nurse to be off duty by the lack of light hitting the
A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

blinds covering the windows. He looked at the clock to find that time was apparently at
a stand still. This made Weston wonder; he thought about the changes that took place
as he lied on his cot for so long. This brain activity was characterized by thoughts much
deeper than he had yet used since the awakening. His Cognesis brain lobe too awoke
from its slumber.
Weston saw a flash of light and witnessed the recent sufferings of the human race in
mere milliseconds. Weston stepped out of bed and with newfound energy walked to
the window. Like Rip Van Winkle, he realized that the world had changed since he had
last closed his eyes. When he pulled the string connected to his window’s blinds, the
window gave out and the sole remaining wall keeping back the rubble shattered. The
rockslide that tumbled to the floor informed Weston of the source of the dark conditions
of the room. The cave-in of the ceiling allowed the dirt above to fall through. The
hospital lay under tons of rock and dirt, an abandoned fortress of the old order.
Miraculously, through months of disregard, the hospital survived, and with it the hope
of countless Dearthians.
Weston climbed the mound of dirt surrounding the window. The window looked
into the hallway connecting the many rooms. He made his way through a narrow crawl
space between dirt and ceiling and slid out the opposite end. He looked down the
hallway both over his shoulder and ahead of him. He headed in the direction of a slight
light that flickered in the distance.
After countless moments of déjà vu and nearly a hundred flickering light bulbs,
Weston found the entrance to a derelict bathroom. The rusted nameplate of the door
hung loosely from a single screw. He fell against the door, making it swing open and
bang against the aged marble of the bathroom wall. He fell to his hands and knees,
exhausted from the endless monotony of walking. He finally regained strength in his
legs only to have it taken again by intricate hallways and endless locked doors.
The bathroom was a dank, forgotten dwelling to a multitude of bacterium known
only to the moist corridors of the Underdearth. As he climbed to his feet, Weston nearly

A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

slipped on the ooze dripping from the neglected faucets on the bathroom’s east wall. He
clambered over to the nearest sink and rubbed the grime off the broken mirror in front
of him.
The mirror reflected a solemn, brown haired adult. Weston’s hair had grown to his
shoulders and a moustache and beard now hid his identity. White seas filled with red
streaks surrounded his bright blue irises. They were accompanied by a tired
gloominess; he didn’t even recognize himself. Weston picked up a shard of glass out of
the sink and began to sheer off tangles of hair. When he had the mess shortened to a
shaggy, medium length, Weston left the bathroom.
He continued on in his exploration of the vast infirmary sometimes coming to dead
ends where the roof had caved in, leaving large piles of dirt and rock scattered across
the broom-forsaken tile. Everywhere Weston explored, it was the same monotonous
desecration. Broken glass cut his feet and the ceiling sagged with the weight of the
rubble resting above it. Weston began to realize it was with great luck the roof and
walls had not already collapsed. It seemed as though he had stretched this luck to a
breaking point. Weston had to escape. He walked back to his room and lay on the bed.
His thoughts wandered and slowly his brain slipped into unconsciousness. As he slept
his brain was informed of great things.
A tall, dark prison slowly came into view. The vision zoomed in closer to show
thousands of bodies hanging from the wall. Closer and it could be seen these corpses
were not just bodies, but skeletons, some only partially rotted still with flesh on their
bones. As the vision panned out a man fell with the noose around his neck, and came to
an abrupt stop, his neck broken. Then in Weston’s ears rang a young deep voice.
“The void is ascertained. The horseman’s reign endures whilst his rivals remain
Suddenly, the view shifted to a man, young with long, gold hair and disgusting
moth-eaten garments, sprinting through tall, thin grass. The man ran as fast as his legs
could carry him, in a desperate sprint, as if he was being followed. His eyes closed in on

A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

the mountains ahead of him. For a final time, the vision changed, but this time three
dark figures sat opposite each other in a dim cavern lit only by the light of a golden
moon. One figure was too far in the shadows to be seen, one was a wolf with a silver
coat, and the other appeared to be the man who had been running. Weston could not
hear what the young disheveled man was saying because once again the voice was
ringing in his ears.
“From the rubble you emerge a man, but from the darkness you will emerge a
He shuddered into reality when a cacophonous explosion roared through the
hospital. The intensity of the noise and the vibrations grew louder and stronger. Weston
leapt to his feet, wincing as he skipped to the crawl space to the hallway. He rolled into
the hall into the middle of the tumult.
It was an earthquake. The hospital was being pulverized by massive waves of earth
and rock. Weston’s eyes widened when he saw a storm of debris flying towards him.
He leapt up in panic and sprinted as fast as possible in the opposite direction of the
impending doom. He never before ran so fast in his life. If a locked door blocked an
escape into another hallway, he threw the weight of his body against it; he wasn’t
prepared to die.
He grabbed a gurney and leapt on top of it, kicking off to accelerate down the
hallway. The weightlessness of traveling on wheels rather than running on his cut feet
was only a moment’s reprieve; he crashed on a pile of dirt and was tossed into a glass
case on the wall. When he got to his feet the walls began collapsing around him. He
struggled as he pushed open a door, every joint and muscle in his body aching. A
massive flight of stairs stood before him, a dim light soaking the steps from above. The
light wasn’t from the creepy, flickering bulbs of the hospital maze behind him.
He climbed with new hope. Nearly ten feet from the top, the explosion reached the
stairs. The cloud seemed to scream with rage as it gained on Weston. It slammed into
his back when the ceilings and floors collapsed, launching him out the doors. His

A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

unconscious body rolled down a weed-covered hill, coming to rest beneath a moonlit
He awoke to cool air flooding his lungs. The full moon shone bright. He had escaped
the rubble, but what now was he to do? He felt secure under the tree with branches
grown to the ground sheltering him. Exhausted from his escape, he closed his eyes to

Weston awoke again, now to a world of glowing light. It was daylight, but not the
light of a bright sun. The light seemed gray, as if dark clouds blanketed the sun. Weston
had no time to wonder where he was. He immediately knew that he needed to move
on. He stood up expecting soreness and stinging pain from his previous night’s
adventure, but found his body refreshed and relaxed. The cuts on his feet were now
only scars and the bruises had disappeared. He stepped beyond his shelter and looked
out into the gloomy world. Far in the distance there were mountains consumed by fog,
but they were hundreds of miles away.
As Weston stood gawking, a man walked down a road a quarter of a mile ahead.
The man looked gruff and unfriendly and had the air of one not to expect help from.
Weston did not call out. He got closer, hiding himself behind giant boulders as he went
until he was only thirty feet behind the oaf. An oaf he was, with a disgruntled mop of
hair upon his head he looked more ogre than human. A blanket of whiskers, whiskers
that barely allowed an opening to eat, see, or breath, covered his face. The clothes that
hung over his shoulders seemed to be made for an elephant, yet they still seemed to fit
him properly. On his breast an emblem caught the eye of Weston. It was blood red with
a deep purple crescent moon over a black cross. Weston’s observations were halted
with the sound of a diesel engine rumbling down the dusty road.
Weston hurried behind one of the boulders. The dirty four-by-four pickup sauntered
up to a stop adjacent to the ogre-like man. He grimaced at the man in the driver’s seat
and started to walk around the back of the truck. When he reached the tailgate, he

A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

unlatched it, and rolled a bag into the truck. The bag was stained scarlet, as were the
man’s clothes and arms. He walked to the passenger door, and climbed into the vehicle.
Weston took his chance. He bent as low as he could and hurried to the pickup. He
was not going to make it. The man in the car started driving. Weston’s heart skipped.
He needed that truck. He needed it to stop.
His entire body became tense as the engine sputtered, it smoked, and the truck
growled to a halt. When he could not move the truck, the driver cursed and pounded
on the wheel while revving the engine. Weston made it to the tailgate. The stall was
exactly what he needed to get aboard. Weston left the new world behind him as he
crawled in the back, right when the truck kicked forward and began moving again. The
air was filled with a noxious odor. A massive bloodstained axe, a large coiled rope, a
tool kit, and the bag the man was carrying accompanied Weston. The sudden pitch
rolled the bag into Weston. A dark spot on the bag landed on his hand, and a blackish
liquid seeped out. He lifted his hand to his nose and smelled the ooze. It was blood.
Weston gagged. He almost jumped off the truck in disgust, but he controlled
himself; he needed to stay on the truck. He believed it was his ticket to civilization, so
he closed his eyes and tried desperately to ignore the stench. A corpse now
accompanied him. What a pleasant surprise. He focused on his task, remembering his
dream. Surely this truck was going somewhere where he could find some kind of
guidance. The fumes emitting from the bag slowly began to disappear as if Weston was
willing them away.
Weston became alert and tried to catch glimpses of the landscape over the side of the
truck. The ride continued throughout the day and into the night. When the little light
that did exist disappeared Weston tried to sleep, but the rutted road made this
impossible. After some time the truck started to slow. Artificial light flooded the bed
sending Weston into a panic. The truck was stopped. He feared the men would come
back for the body. As they stepped down from the cab of the truck Weston tried to
hunker down into the darkest area of the bed.

A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

An intense light blinded him and he heard a man shout, “Hey you!” In that instant
his entire body fell limp. He felt completely relaxed and invigorated. The back of his
head began to throb, but he dare not clutch it in instinct to try and ease the pain. He
began to fear he had been caught and he would be killed with the terrible axe that lay
inches from his head. The pain was evanescent, for when the light vanished he saw only
the dark sky through the top of the truck. He saw a man in a doorway beyond the truck.
The light did not come from a guard discovering his position. He had envisioned the
light, the words, and the man in the doorway. Moments later Weston heard it again, an
unmistakable “Hey you!” exactly the same as the first. It echoed down the streets of the
empty village. The two oafs stopped their trip to retrieve their victim and changed their
attention to the man who had just hailed them.
Weston had no time to ponder what just happened. He seized the opportunity to
escape his less than ideal conditions. Filled with adrenaline, Weston rolled out the back
of the truck bed hoping the men would not see him. He quickly ducked into an
alleyway and ran. Jumping over walls and fences Weston ran to put as much distance
as he could between himself and the truck behind him. Suddenly, while looking back, a
hand covered Weston’s mouth and dragged him through a side door in a building. He
was pulled by surprising strength down an unlit stairway and through another door.
He was in a cellar lit only by a single candle in the far corner. Weston’s heart thumped.
Was he to escape one danger only to be thrown into another? His mouth was uncovered
and immediately Weston leapt away and said, “Where am I?” His captor failed to
answer. Instead he asked a peculiar question of his own.
“Are you the one?”
A tattered, brown cloak veiled the man. The hood and darkness of the room added
to the mystery of the enigmatic man before him. Weston backed away and demanded
an answer. “Tell me where I am first! What’s going?”
“Please, stay calm.”
“Stay calm? I just woke up in some old hospital, nearly got crushed by mountains of

A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

earth when the sky started falling, and was almost killed by a couple of murdering
ogres! What’s going on?”
“Tell me boy, what is your name? And these men, describe them,” the strange little
man was probably in his 60s although he had perfect posture. He had a foot long silver
beard and great bushy eyebrows. His solid, slate gray eyes analyzed Weston. Weston let
out an impatient sigh and replied with a changed tone.
“I’m sorry, this is all very strange to me. My name is Weston Kalibri and it’d be
awesome if you could fill me in. The man holding the bag was big. He had dark auburn
hair with a long beard; the man in the truck was skinny. I didn’t see him really. One of
them had a patch on his chest–“ In the short pause Weston took to clear his throat the
old man said,
“Ah yes, explain the patch.”
“Well, the patch itself was red; very dark red actually. There was a black cross with
a purple crescent moon over it. He was carrying a bag with blood dripping from it. I got
here by hiding in the bed of their truck. When the truck stopped in this town I lit out as
fast as I could down the nearest alleyway. That’s all I know. Now please, tell me what’s
going on.”
“First tell me, when were you admitted to St. Lawrence and how old are you?”
“I was admitted exactly six months after my fifteenth birthday and I don’t know
how long I was in the—Wait… how’d you know I came from St. Lawrence?”
Weston raised his voice but the old man quickly hushed him.
“Keep it down!” he whispered.
“I’m sick of playing games! Why are you being so mysterious and asking so many
questions? I want answers!”
The old man went into the darkness beyond the candle. Weston feared he had been
too harsh and the man was abandoning him, but he quickly returned to the ring of light
that seemed restrained to the small corner of the dark cellar. He carried with him a
paper worn from years of handling, folded several times. As the man drew closer,

A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

Weston saw him holding what looked to be a map. He had not seen a map of Dearth
since the lands were Transoppoxilated. It was quite the spectacle; landmasses had
shifted, buildings were constructed, names were changed.
The man stooped down and set the map on the floor. “There,” he said as he pointed
to a large range of mountains. North of the mountain range was a river of equal length,
and just north of that was the word “Mistral.”
“We’re here in Mistral,” the man said as he again directed Weston’s attention to the
map. He pulled another folded paper from his pocket. It was very small, only folded
once. It was a piece of parchment, no bigger than the man’s hand. He unfolded it,
handed it to Weston, and said, “I received this a fortnight ago.” The handwriting was
rather sloppy; the note was definitely scribbled out in a hurry. It read:

“In fourteen cycles of the sky, a shaken boy

will require aid. He must embark on a
journey to the place where the land desires
the touch of the heavens; where the earth
itself rises from the plains as if to appease
its hunger. There, in the darkness, his
encounter will be the prison’s bane.”
“I’ve read it over and over again. Fourteen cycles of the sky, of course means
fourteen days. I assume you are the shaken boy; you’ve told me you’ve escaped death
twice. This parchment… It came to me in the fangs of a silver wolf. I’ve heard of only
one man who possesses a friendship with such an animal. If this letter came from the
man I think it did, than you must follow its instructions.” The man lowered his head
and took two deep breaths. He lifted his head with a solemn look.
“Weston, you must head south to the Telekin Mountains. The letter describes lands

A History of Darkness Josh McDaniel
Daniel Herbert

that desire the touch of the heavens and rise from the plains. Mountains are the only
landmass that fit this description. These mountains reach out of the Transoppoxilator’s
effects. They don’t suffer from Lord Tark’s darkness. The letter said the darkness is your
destination. This troubled me at first, but then I realized that in the Telekin Mountains,
the only darkness is in the Caves. Weston you must go there. The prison, Mastronomar,
must be the prison mentioned. If you find something within the mountain caves that
will destroy that fortress of death, there is hope. You must go now; time is of the
essence.” At that word a silver wolf stepped out into the light. Its eyes glowed with age
and wisdom. Its fur was pure silver from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. It was
almost three feet tall on four legs. Weston backed away but the old man assured his
“This is the wolf of which I speak. It will guide your journey. Waste no time Weston.
We will meet again.” His words echoed in Weston’s mind as the man disappeared into
the darkness. The door of the cellar locked shut and the wolf turned towards a door in
the far corner, hidden from Weston until now. He swiftly opened the door and followed
the wolf as it drifted up the staircase and out into the darkness. Weston followed close
behind until they reached the end of the town. They stayed in the tall grass as they
circled around the guards. The two headed south, towards the Black River and towards
the Telekin Mountains.
The cool sea breeze drifted in from the West brushing off the hair of the wolf’s
glistening body. They ran through the plains, the land lit by a golden moon.


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