It was hard to get anything worthwhile, though. Most of the world was convinced it was the Apocalypse. Religions that didn't have an "end of the world" scenario made them up. Bible verses were reinterpreted, ancient prophecies "discovered," and folks made their signs and walked around with them.
I remember some cynic saying that the world was so far gone that we didn't know how to do anything except stage meaningless protests. But really, what were we going to do? We didn't have anyone to turn to. Government was gone. Every single member of Congress was dead. The President, the Vice-President...everyone on down the chain of command. The British Prime Minister. Heads of state the world over. All gone.
But He didn't stop there. We didn't find out until a little later, but generals and other top brass in armies all over the world disappeared. Not just the official armies, either. I don't remember how long after Jerusalem - maybe three or four weeks, couldn't have been much more than that - we found out that al-Qaeda was gone. A soldier in the Middle East somewhere put footage on the 'net of sixteen gutted bodies. The faces were intact, and the press wasted no time in identifying them as the terrorist masterminds that the US and its allies had been hunting for since 2001. The War on Terror was over.
Well, sort of. You could say that He was a kind of terrorist. It fits, I guess. The choice He's always given the world is the same one that terrorists did: Comply or die. His methods are similar. His minions can strike at literally any time and from anywhere. The only difference between Them and suicide bombers is that They don't die in the process of an attack. So, sure, He's a lot like a terrorist.
But I have a hard time thinking of Him that way. When I saw Jerusalem fall, or when the news cameras showed the rubble that used to be Saint Peter's Basilica, I didn't feel the same thing as I did when the towers went down.
Those terrorists hated us. And "us" meant "Americans" or "Christians" or something. It meant me. It was personal. I didn't feel that when He began His takeover. After His first speech, when He warned us about Jerusalem, I got the sense that it wasn't personal. He didn't have that same kind of hatred. He wasn't a zealot. He just knew that, as a species, we were regularly killing each other and starving each other to death and date-raping the world and all of the people in it for nothing. For what He saw as nothing, anyway. And he just happened to have the power to do something about it.
I seriously doubt He was the first Opener. The power to open shadows isn't unique, and I can't believe that no one ever did it before He came along. I do think, though, that He was the first one who could control Them.
I've never met another Opener who could. In fact, They usually kill Openers first.
curse the darkness