HWE Asag Picture

Name: Asag

Alias: Scourge of Sumer, “Asag the Arson”, Ol’Burninator, Early media reports mislabeled the creature as “Kaijuron” after a mistranslation of the Japanese word “Kaiju”, (this has fell out of favor due to protests)

Factions: None.

Alignment: Chaotic Hostile

Factions: None

Status: ACTIVE

Rank: 4 (5)

Size: 55 meters (rearing)

Length: 100 meters

Wingspan: 160 meters (from wingtip to wingtip)

Weight: Moderate

Abilities:

Transonic Speed: At top speed, Asag can fly at speeds of up to mach 1. However its usual speed is typically slower.

Wrought Iron Sickles: Asags sickles and legs are likewise made of the very same resilient chitin which makes him tough to crack. Said sickles can cut through buildings and obstacles with ease… even kaiju flesh has a hard time not being cut through by it.

Radioactive Aura: Asag’s most defining feature, however, is its fiery aura of radiation surrounding him. This burning hot aura can reach such a high temperature that it is enough to cause most projectiles to explode or fall apart before striking Asag, giving Asag a burning hot aura of armor as well as cloaking its sickles with said armor. The latent radiation can also cause radiation poisoning or sickness to those exposed as well. Thus making melee combat with Asag difficult and projectile warfare problematic. However, that is only when Asag is agitated, when Asag is a calm state, the aura is much cooler, but still lethal to any organism near him.

Heat Ray: Spewing forth from Asag’s mouth is a chemical compound that is so hot that can melt most metals or incinerating most anything conventional around it. Most small organisms are atomized when exposed.

Venom: Asags most deadly trick is burning hot, radioactive venom which, when injected has a triple threat of: High Heat, Loaded Radiation content, and of course, the lethal venom which courses through the veins of any poor creature caught by its stinger, capable of causing a monster to combust through the inside out. Not a pretty end.

Burrowing Wasp: Asag can burrow to hide itself. Its aura, size and penchant for flames make it an easy trackable target otherwise. While not exponentially fast or graceful, Asag can concoct large expansive burrows which hide itself and mitigate its fire and radiation, making finding Asag after it flees very difficult.

Wasp Spawn: An implied ability that it has not made much use of. It is implied to create a veritable swarm of smaller wasps where Asag is their ruling patriarch judging by the remnants of dead giant wasp larvae in areas Asag has visited. This has raised speculation about Asag’s gender, however, its genetic makeup has shown that it is biologically male with parthenogenetic tendencies. How these spawn are born is up for debate, although it is clear it is not through any known means of reproduction, it is speculated there are born from bio matter that Asag has devoured and then ejected from the body in some fashion now containing Asag’s DNA and enigma essence to give them life. Asag’s cravings for smoke and nomadic tendencies are likely why it doesn’t bother creating more or even allowing them to live if this status quo were to change however… then it would make an already deadly threat deadlier.

Weaknesses:

Maneuverability over Speed: Asag most often doesn’t ever use its maximum speed, preferring to use a fraction of it for maneuverability. As Asags top speed can only be achieved in a straight line so its maximum speed can only be used to quickly escape a battle.

…but then I got High: Asag’s primary motivation is also its greatest weakness. It gets high from the smoke its flames creates, thus slowing Asag’s responses and making the insect very lethargic and calm for a time, leaving it open for a sneak attack.

CRUSHED: Something much bigger than Asag could theoretically man handle and crush the insect kaiju.

Plasma: … Or other hyper hot objects in a small amount of space. Like a laser blade. Such things will be able to burn through a limb or two of Asag.

Knock-Out Gas: Asag can easily be incapacitated by a special enigma-laced chemical compound known as “Knock Out Gas” which can render the creature unconscious.

Personality: An incredibly hyper-destructive and aggressive monster which seems to exist to raze anything and everything it comes across. Asag has a rhyme and reason for its destruction in that sheer amounts of things it lights ablaze results in a lot of smoke: which Asag uses to get… high. Asag is a monster addicted to smoke of burnable materials, most often synthetic materials, which results in conflict with mankind at large. Asag is very self-centered but not to any insane degree to qualify as particularly malicious. Asag is nomadic, never staying in one place for very long, meaning tracking and holding down Asag for very long is a difficult task indeed. Asag, while ‘sober’ is incredibly aggressive however, and reacts violently to any and all perceived threats, which either is a defense mechanism or triggering its predatory instinct to hunt and kill, which given its size results in it considering many things potential prey, or more accurately “perceived kindling” although Asag will also devour portions of its prey if given the chance as well. Although when “high” Asag is very lethargic and calm, often ignoring a perceived threat allowing for Asag to be caught off guard. However, once injured or in Pain, Asag will then speed away as opposed to fighting.

Biography and Origins:

*to be revealed at a date later*

History:

March 18th, 2033:

While news was just getting out of major earth shattering events involving a massive calamity unfolding elsewhere in the United States, the rest of the world carried on. That would not last long.

-Death Valley, California-

The sun was blisteringly hot. The lowest geographic point in the entire United States as well as one of the hottest places on Earth was not the most ideal choices for an archaeological expedition, to say the least. Half a dozen young men and women bemoaned the circumstances, as they swatted their brows of sweat build up.

The circumstances were as followed: Days ago, a massive, global earthquake rocked the Earth. Revealing many strange pockets in the Earth. One such strange pocket just so happened to appear in Death Valley, and initial reports indicated the discovery of strange writings and archaeological artifacts were discovered near the site.

Enter the University of California: Berkeley who is the first group to arrive on the scene. The group consisted of the professor leading the expedition as well as six graduate students all taking part in the research. The head of the Berkeley Archaeological division and leading the expedition was Professor Yancy Archibald, a specialist in Native American cultures of which he speculated that the strange artifacts were remnants of some sort of native tribe or civilization that was present in the area.

Amongst the six students was an exchange student from New Zealand, bank rolled on a scholarship from some big-Enigma tech corporation of sorts. The professor didn’t mind, as she turned out to be one of his brightest pupil’s in years, he didn’t know what was being taught in the New Zealand education system, but the results spoke for themselves. At an age of only nineteen years of age, the young woman was already on her way to earning her Master’s Degree. Naturally, this brought some resentment from the other students further compounded by the differing styles and opinions she brought which conflicted with their own adherence to Critical Progressive Theorems. That said, her more open and consensus approach to human culture made her an excellent pupil, indeed, the professor had no doubts that she would be a household name in her field in a few years’ time if she continued with her studies, he could only imagine what her doctor’s thesis would be like…

“Professor Archibald?” the young woman in question asked trying to sway the professor from his pondering. The group was currently trekking through the Death Valley back country, hiking through incredibly hot temperatures and rugged terrain to get to their destination.

“Yes, Kyra?” he stopped and turned to the rest of his students, some breathing a sigh of relief by even the smallest of breaks.

Kyra Scott. New Zealand foreign Exchange student. Prodigy of both the Cultural and Archaeological.

“I’ve been meaning to ask, considering the region, is it possible that the artifacts in question belonged to the Timbisha tribe?”

“Most likely, given that the Timbisha Shoshone Band has been in this region for thousands of years, it is unlikely that it is any other group that came before, although it is also likely it could be from other groups prospecting for gold in the region in the 19th century or later.”

“A worst case scenario, I’m guessing.” Kyra mused.

“For my line of work, most definitely. And I’m sure your peers would be woefully agitated that we came all the way out here for a few gold pans! Haha!” the professor gave a hearty laugh.

“Not funny” came one of the other students from the back. Kyra took a look around to the other five students as the professor announced a five minute break. Various sighs of relief were heard as the students

“Damn, I can’t get a cell signal anywhere out here…” Another voice was heard bemoaning to himself.

Two more students were heard conversing in quiet voices. “Did you hear about what’s going on in Miami?”

“Yeah man, another reactor destroyed! Do you think it was terrorists?”

“I don’t know, I heard weird things though. Like mass fires and a giant…something moving around in the ocean.”

“What do you mean by giant something, you been blazing up?”

“Naw man, I don’t do that shit and you know it. I saw some news of something big and green moving around in the swamps, crazy stuff man. I mean, global earthquake, spaceship crash, and now a destroyed town and giant monster? What the hell is going on these days?”

“Calm down, you two.” a female voice from earlier interjected. “Giant monster? You honestly believe that fantasy-stuff?”

“Yeah, and you want to know what else is fantasy? Enigma.”

“Ugh—“ she huffed.

“Alright, break over.” The professor announced, earning a myriad of moans from the student body. “We’re almost there anyways, so just a little while longer students.”

Kyra wiped her brow and set off after the professor, the other students following the professors lead with some grumbling.

---Thirty minutes later---

… The professor couldn’t believe his eyes. When he first heard the reports, he thought it was a small cavern that was once closed by a mudslide or the like. He didn’t expect this:

A massive maw of a cave ruptured through the side of a mountain. The entrance had to be at least sixty feet high! The position of the cave entrance also made it impossible to see from the air, as the other mountains in the area obscured and hid the cave from above. It probably could have been here for decades and no one would have known. The Earthquake most have widened the entrance making it as visible as it is now, that was the only rational explanation the professor could come up with… but as he would later find… the situation was far from rational.

The group steadily made their way through the rugged terrain and into the cave opening, the cave’s mouth descended deep into the Earth. The descent was gradual and could be walked with ease without much worry. The caves roof seemed unusually sturdy, the professor wasn’t exactly the best expert on geology (having specializing in the humanities) but he did know enough to propose that the cave was likely a large volcanic magma tube from a time when the region was volcanically active some million years ago. Before the professor continued however:

“Um… professor, wouldn’t be wise to contact a geological survey team first before we take the unnecessary risk of descending into a hitherto unknown cave system?” Kyra asked cautiously

“Drat, you’re right.” The professor fumed silently and unsure of the circumstances. Cave exploration was indeed a very dangerous affair, especially one that was revealed as a result of an Earthquake.

“Come now, professor.” One of the other students who had before berated the two of her peers earlier interjected. “This is a once in a lifetime discovery! I don’t know about you, but I think it’s worth a look~”

“I disagree, Kenzie.” Kyra snapped. “The surroundings could be unstable. If another aftershock occurs or other geological phenomenon happens we could be trapped or worse.”

“What a spoilsport.” The other student, Kenzie snidely remarked at Kyra. “I don’t know how it’s handled in sheep country, but here we *take* risks and those who take risks get rewarded.”

Kyra began to fume at the audacity of the other student.

“Enough! Kyra’s right, it’s too dangerous, we need more equipment and a proper survey team for this---- wait, where do you think you’re going?!” he called out as the student began to descend into the cave.

“Earning my fame!” Kenzie called out without looking back as she began to descend further into the cave.

“Ugh, damn fool!” the professor called out and began to amble after her.

“Professor?!” Kyra asked nervously.

“You’re all my responsibility. I can’t let a one of you go off in there, if anything happens it’s all on my head.” The professor spoke pragmatically. “If any one of you want to stay behind so be it, I’m heading on in.”

Kyra didn’t know what to do. On one hand she felt the urge to stay behind where it was safe, on the other hand, her curiosity egged herself on to go forth into the unknown.

And so she stumbled in after the professor. She was affront with anxiety, stress and exhilaration. Here she was, venturing forth into the unknown. The unknown of which was thought lost with the imperial explorers of old.

Little did Kyra know that her decision to go forth into this unknown to was one that would change her life.

--

-Seven Hours Later-

A lone California Highway Patrol cruiser was barreling its way down the central highway that made its way through Death Valley National Park, as it made its daily patrol of the region. Seventy or so years prior, Death Valley was made infamous as one of the camps of the infamous Manson Family and their madness. Now, Death Valley was quiet… but still deathly hot. Safe in the air-conditioned confines of his police cruiser the Officer James Larson scanned the sides of the road for any one suspicious or in need of assistance. Being stranded in a broken down car in this heat would be a metaphorical death sentence for any poor sod.

Today was a just another day in the region, Officer Larson was not expecting anything to go awry or anything out of the ordinary to happen.

Unfortunately, fate had other plans.

Out of the corner of his eye he spotted something unusual. He pulled over to the side of the road and stared a good five to ten minutes at the spectacle. The sky to the north was a flash with orange and red colors. However, to his awe the red cloud suddenly began to move upwards and further and further away at frightening speed. He was baffled, so he called in the report to the station as well as making the request to the local military base if they had any record of military exercises in the region. He waited another ten minutes before his radio crackled again, this time it reporting that the air force has no aircraft in the air at this time.

Officer Larson bit his thumb, his last attempt to rationally explain the phenomenon away was for not. He called in that we was going to respond to suspicious activity and headed off. He was heading northwest, towards the world-famous Racetrack Playa and its famous sailing stones. The location he guessed the orange cloud originated from.

However before he could get there, he pulled to a sudden halt as a figure ambled out in front of his cruiser. He was about to get out and make an arrest for what he assumed with public drunkenness and being and endangering the public when he realized that the person in front of him was covered in soot or dirt. He got out and asked for the individual’s name.

She was a woman, college age, blond hair. As he got out he saw more to the story, her cloths were ripped and torn and her bespectacled face was bruised. A woman who escaped from being kidnapped or abusive boyfriend or spouse? He asked himself. He asked her of her name, no response. She was dazed and confused, it was then he saw the look on her face, a face that he knew all too well: shock. Trauma.

He helped the young woman into his car and offered his canteen, but the offer was turned down as she just sat there, gazing off into space, clutching a bag of some sorts tightly. He proceeded to radio in the picking up of his guest and reported that was proceeding back to the station. Before he could finish, sirens were heard blaring in the distance. He turned to see an entire convey of firetrucks barreling down the road, towards Racetrack Playa. His radio blared: the responder reporting a massive wild fire in the region forty thousand acres and rising fast.

Orange Cloud. The traumatized woman in his back seat. And now a wildfire? What on earth was going on here?

The Officer didn’t have time to ponder the case as he barreled back towards the station.

--

-Two hours later-

Officer Larson was setting back with his arms folded as he stared holes into the television. The local news stations were now reporting in mass on the local bizarre happenings happening in his county. The wildfire near Racetrack Playa has all but ballooned in size, nearing one hundred thousand acres and absolutely no containment. Two more wildfires have cropped up in Inyo County, one in the national forest near Mount Whitney, and the other clear up near Mammoth. Helicopter footage of Racetrack Playa was just about to be shown to get a full breadth of the fire…

… The news reporter gasped, a gasp of which even Larson had to echo.

The dry lake of Racetrack Playa was gone. The massive lakebed famous for its moving stones and scenic venues was now nothing more than a giant fissure. Other officers who had come back from patrols stood flabbergasted in the doorway as they watched the news helicopter fly in for a closer look. The location looked as if the entire dry-lake had sank into the Earth in a massive, kilometer wide sink hole. Strangely though, along the edges of the crater, massive grooves were carved downwards as if something large had crawled out of it. Before a closer examination could be done, sudden turbulence and malfunctioning equipment caused the news feed from the helicopter to cut out. The newscasters reported that it was simply technological malfunction in the cameras and equipment and apologized for the inconvenience before cutting back to other reporters as they tried to get anything of note by interviewing the fire chief.

Larson grumbled as he got up and went into the interview rooms, where the station’s recent guest was being kept.

She hadn’t talked since she had arrived and had only recently accepted the water given to her. The local hospital had already been called and the plans to move her were already being discussed. Larson’s brow furrowed as her stared at the broken girl through the two-way mirror. He knew she was at the center of SOMETHING. He just didn’t know what, or if she was at all connected to the orange cloud her saw, or the freak wildfires that now dotted the county.

Her sack she was carrying didn’t provide much information either in regards to who she was or her role in all of it… with the exception of a strange tablet. Said tablet had writing the officer had never seen before, also on the tablet was a strange petroglyph: in the shape of what seemed to be a large wasp that was encircled in a halo of fire. No one else at the station could make anything out of the tablet, though one officer suggested it looked like some type of language or writings he saw on the history channel once.

It was then another officer entered, and told Larson that one of the responders just got a call from UC Berkeley: one of their professors and his classes hasn’t checked back with them in hours. When asked for further details, they explained that their Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology director Dr. Yancy Archibald had taken a trip to Death Valley with six of his master’s degree students in regards to reports of ancient archaeological artifacts found in the area. The wildfires in the region and the lack of contact have made several families of the students as well as other faculty concerned for the expedition’s wellbeing.

Larson looked through the glass and back at the woman, she looked the part for a student alright. Larson asked the other officer asked if they got any names, student id’s or photos from Berkeley to corroborate their current guest’s identity… it took about half an hour for the University to respond with the requested paperwork. Student ID’s with photos of six young adults of varying ages, most were in their mid to late twenties, as expected of a master’s degree program, but the outlier was what caught his eye:

A blond, bespectacled nineteen year old transfer student from New Zealand, studying abroad on a rather pricey scholarship bankrolled by the Abrams Corporation: Larson found his match. Getting permission from the district chief (being the one who picked her up, she might be more receptive to a familiar face), he proceeded to enter the room to try and to interview her.

Some progress was made, but not much. She was receptive and was responded when presented with her name, which snapped her out of her trauma-induced gaze and managed to get some responses including the self-confirmation of her identity. Other than that, nothing substantial. When her classmates and professor was brought up, she froze and began to have what seemed to be a panic attack, from that point on the interview was essentially over. However just as he was about to leave:

“…It killed them... It killed them…It killed them...” The traumatized young woman began uttering in a sort of mantra of madness.

Officer Larson turned and asked:

“What did? What killed who?”

At first the young woman didn’t answer, instead just repeating the phrase without acknowledging the other person in the room. Her eyes were widened and glazed over as if reliving a traumatic experience.

However before the interview was over, one last word was uttered:

“Asag.”

At first the officer didn’t know what to make of it. His colleagues were likewise stumped. That evening, the traumatized young woman was taken to the local airstrip and flown down to the central valley where she could be better cared for and get proper psychological analysis and treatment. When Larson returned home to his single bedroom apartment, he couldn’t help but to think of the strange case and proceeded to enter the strange word into a search engine to see what popped up...

… ten minutes later he was in his car and rushing towards the Police Station. The Tablet. That was Sumerian Cuneiform. What was a tablet of Sumerian Cuneiform doing in California? Furthermore, “Asag” was the name of a rock-demon of sorts, who was ‘so hideous that the rivers boiled and fish floated up dead’.

He didn’t know what to make of all this. the orange cloud, the sudden freak wildfires, entire college expedition missing, massive fissure in Death Valley, and now a traumatized college student with a tablet of Sumerian cuneiform with the words ‘hideous rock demon’ emblazoned stumbles in front of his cruiser… all happening in the same day: there was no way any of these things could be coincidence. Furthermore, the giant global earthquake just a few days prior and the crashing spaceship… it was like the world has gone mad.

--

The Next Morning

“Hello and welcome to News10 at Six! For today’s morning broadcast: Wildfires out of control! Mysterious cold case in Death Valley: Missing College Students and the traumatized survivor who is the key and the discovery she had which is making headlines across the world. This and more within the hour.

The Wildfires that began yesterday afternoon in Inyo County are still not under control. The aptly named Whitney Fire has already burned 250,000 acres of national forest surrounding Mount Whitney. Fire crews are doing their best, but the inferno is not showing any signs of being contained or slowing down, estimates are already being conflated for it surpassing the 2013 Rim Fire in terms of sheer size within the span of a few more days if this blaze is not under control.

Missing Berkley Students! The Inyo County Police Department had their hands full with a mysterious cold case of which has authorities baffled. A college archaeological field trip to Death Valley suddenly vanishes with all but one person missing. Five people including Sacramento native Professor Yancy Archibald are still missing. More on the scene:

The vehicles of the college trip have been discovered, parked and abandon near a hiking trail ten or so kilometers from Racetrack Playa, of which yesterday a massive fissure in the earth had opened up. Police crews searching the area found a dead in their case when their K9 units followed the scent to an isolated, dead end valley. We aren’t getting much at this time, but the prevailing theory is that the group found a cave system which collapsed with them inside of it when a freak earthquake occurred. While Police are not confirming or denying anything, I must stress this is only a theory, but with the sudden fissure in Racetrack Playa and the wildfires, I’d be hard-pressed to have any other rational explanation. Search and Rescue teams have been called, but due to the danger of the surrounding fires and the sheer terrain it is highly unlikely that police will try and go through with a rescue effort so it is very unlikely that there will be any other survivors from this tragedy. Back to you.

That’s unfortunate. Our hopes and prayers go out to the victims’ families. The sole survivor from that incident is currently being cared for in a hospital in Fresno. We have not been given Ar name as of yet, however we do know that it is a woman is currently being treated for severe psychological trauma from the incident. Police are still holding out hope so that she could recover from the trauma and shed some much needed light as to what happened in that tragedy in the mountains. I have just been informed that there has been more information released… the student is a New Zealand national and foreign exchange student on scholarship. However, this is all we know at this time in regards to her identity. I repeat the sole survivor is a woman, and a New Zealand national.

However, a certain piece of police evidence has leaked and is making waves: dubbed the Death Valley Tablet. While it is still in police custody, images circulating amongst forensics groups and more recently, academic groups have caused quite a stir as to what it could entail. Carried in a sack by the surviving student, described is a two foot long, one foot wide black tablet inscribed in clear cuneiform of a Sumerian origin from the ancient Mesopotamian civilization in Iraq. At this time, no one knows what to make of it, or if it is a hoax. Enigma and Carbon Dating still have not had a chance to work with the strange artifact, meaning an exact age is impossible to discern at the current time. UFO enthusiasts are already claiming that the tablet is clear evidence of alien life educating mankind in the ways of written language.

In regards to that--- what—oh. I’m sorry, but Breaking News.

A passenger jet with six hundred people aboard has went missing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The Jet, carrying Passengers from San Francisco to Las Vegas disappeared from radar ten minutes ago. We have no other information at this time. I repeat, we have no other information at this time.

--

Unfamiliar ceiling. That’s all Kyra saw as she gazed upwards from her hospital bed. She felt hot--- even though it was a cool seventy degrees in her hospital room. She would never forget that heat. The heat deep in the earth--- the heat that--- the heat that---

Tears welled in her eyes. She didn’t want to remember. She didn’t want to remember that. Why was she remembering that? She heard that the police were looking for the rest of her class--- she knew it was fruitless. She saw them. She saw all of them--- She—she--- saw all of them burn.

Kenzie. Foolish girl. Everything would be fine if she only listened. Everything would be fine if she took caution and let the survey teams come in first. Everything would be fine if she wasn’t reckless and removed the seal and releasing--- it. Everything would be fine if she didn’t go into that cave--- yet Kyra tried to save her, she and the Professor was the last to perish. She’d be fine if she’d simply stay put and didn’t try to run, attracting ITS attention. The professor ran after her to try and save her--- it was too late. Kyra watched as a woman with her entire life ahead of her and her current mentor was incinerated to nothing but atoms, leaving not even a corpse behind. The professors bag with the discovery of a lifetime was that remained as the cave--- nay, hollow earth collapsed.

Kyra did not remember anything after that. She did not remember how she got out of that literal hell. She did not even remember being helped into the Police cruiser. Last she remembers was being at the Police Station being offered water. The Bag! The Bag with Professor Yancy’s discovery of a lifetime--- it’s gone! Its--- oh, it was in police custody, that’s good then. At least something good happened. But it’s not enough--- the tablet is not enough—the ziggurats under the earth, the ancient technology that worked with Enigma--- all of that was now lost--- and in their wake a mythological terror was now loose in the modern world. She did not what it was. She did not where it came from. All she knew was the name inscribed into its being and onto the tablet: the demon whose presence caused the rivers to boil.

Was it a creation of this ancient cuneiform writing underground civilization? Or was it something they branded and sealed beneath the earth? Yes. Thinking about this calmed her. Better than thinking about--- about--- tragedy. Kyra almost wished for the nightmares that plagued her as a girl to come back. The nightmares of that tragedy almost ten years prior. The meltdown at Christchurch which orphaned her.

The fantasy depictions of the masked creature and spear-wielding demon fighting the priest fighting the intangible entity amidst the burning flames of chaos. These nightmares which ran rampant in the days following the disaster now seemed like a distant childish fantasy to the real nightmare she was faced with. Yet… both times she was the sole survivor. What irony. Yet now there was nothing could do but to wait and stare at the ceiling. Hope to be able to have a coherent thought before breaking down in panic and anxiety over the tragedy she witnessed. But who would believe her. She’d ruin her entire potential career over this, monsters and ruins and lost civilizations.

So would be it in a normal society or a normal world--- however with her tragedy--- she did not realize--- that her tragedy would be the tragedy of an entire state in short order….

--

The wreckage of the passenger jet that disappeared hours earlier had finally been discovered in the foothills east of the Sacramento valley. No survivors. The resulting wildfire from the crash still burned as crews picked apart the wreckage searching for any clue of what happened. The entire exterior of the plane was singed and melted as if exposed to extremely high temperatures. What was stranger was that the plane’s wings seemed to be forcibly removed as if by a some sort of collision from above as if something large had ripped the plane’s wings from it in mid-air. It took a while, but the black box was finally recovered.

The findings were strange: before the loss of contact pilots reported a massive blip on their radar followed by what seemed to be a large orange cloud moving faster than they were in the distance. The suddenly the “cloud” turned around directly towards the crew--- and that’s all that was recorded as the recorder fried. When looking for the cause, forensics were shocked to find the black box and the entire crash site to be doused with high amounts of radiation. The black box and the crash site were quarantined and the responders hospitalized for signs of severe radiation poisoning.

Elsewhere in California similar signs of radiation sickness were cropping up: from firefighters fighting the Whitney Fire to the News crew investigating the Racetrack Playa Fissure. And the survivor of the college expedition was likewise showing some radiation sickness. The official report by Officer James Larson was suddenly startling, as he reported seeing a similar orange cloud in the vicinity of Racetrack Playa before he picked up Kyra Scott prior to the discovery of the Blackbox. Soon reports poured in from all over the Sierra Nevada of seeing an Orange cloud in the vicinity of the many wildfires now running rampant through California.

No one knew what was happening. Conspiracy theories were exploding over forums and social media websites all over the internet. Nearly all of them connected the pieces together to the global earthquake that occurred days prior. Some blamed Aliens and Alien invasion, some said it was the result of a new enigma-tech weapon go haywire, others even blamed it on the coming Abrahamic apocalypse. However no one expected the truth of what was to come.

Or the new age it would herald.

--

Santa Clara, California.

Silicon Valley has not done well since the Enigma tech boom. The tech industry bubble effectively popped with that as people migrated elsewhere where the real money and real progress was being done. New Zealand, world leader of the Enigma tech boom, was growing exponentially economically, and already it was on its way to surpassing the GDP of California. Silicon Valley on the other hand had been steadily losing its population and economic standing since then. Now the only places that remained were software companies, social media moguls, and other internet based companies.

Otherwise, Silicon Valley was suffering a slow, but steady decline. Many famous companies who once dominated Silicon Valley’s skyline with impressive officer buildings were now empty and vacant and up for sale but no one to buy them. Email giants in the 2000’s were now a distant memory, clickbait news sites who stirred up controversy on the heels of several scandals were now forgotten, their sites that once tried so hard to get the attention of the masses now nothing but digital memory. The grandeur that Silicon Valley once had was now no more.

Everyone expected Silicon Valley and its tech firms too eventually whether away and be ended with a whimper.

However… fate was not so forgiving…for the end should come… with a bang.

All over Northern California, reports of a strange orange cloud were pouring in. Amateur videos of the strange phenomenon flooded the internet, followed shortly thereafter by news footage. Calls flooded nearby air-traffic control and police stations by concerned citizens asking for confirmation of any planes in the air---

Just as the entire worlds eyes were on Northern California and its spectacle… a truth long since forgotten by humanity revealed itself.

Some say the world will end in fire… and as if to answer such desire--- a deafening screech and sound of buzzing emanated throughout Santa Clara. The temperatures began to rise as steam rose from the streets--- people gazed upwards in apprehension to see what strange phenomenon existed above them: they were met not with an orange cloud but what seemed to be a burning wreck whose energies crackled and orange sizzling aura burned the air.

It was on that day, when the eyes of the world were watching, mankind received a wakeup call. For too long mankind had coughed up myth, legend, faith, and cryptids… all as fairy tales in a rationalist post-enlightenment world. God is dead declared the Philosophers. Faith was on the wrong side of history declared the Progressives. Cryptids and Mysticism were make-believe declared the Skeptics.

However… in a single moment… that mindset would be changed forever.

Gods did exist. Monsters did inhabit the dark regions of our planet. And some things cannot be explained.

And what happened on that tragic day in March, would be only the beginning of a new age. While the UN reports from Miami ensure they were aware that something was awry in the dark recesses of the world, the public was not fully aware of the giants that dwelled hidden in the recesses of the globe.

For on that day in March, in the city of Santa Clara… the first Kaiju attack took place. A giant arthropod, around 100 meters in total length: a bizarre mixture of wasp, centipede, scorpion and mantis descended from the sky onto downtown Santa Clara.

--

Hours passed and all that remains is nothing but a burnt out husk. Already the world is shocked and alarmed at the sudden tragedy. An attack on the creature, dubbed “Asag” after the related tablet was discovered in Death Valley, was carried out by bombers. Nothing worked until, for some reason, it was in a state of lethargy. In which a military barrage of enigma tech bombs managed to cause it to flee.

However, it flew away at such a hide speed that it was impossible to track it as it disappeared into the burnt out Sierra Nevada mountain range. Attempts to track it have been fruitless.

However, before the United States or the world could react… more sightings of other strange beasts of similar size. After a similar attack in Japan, the term “Kaiju” began to be applied to these strange giant monsters. Norway… attacked by a giant crocodilian. Japan… a giant serpent. Wisconsin… a giant aquatic feline.

Thus was the birth of a new era.

--

Kyra gazed out the window of her hospital room. The roaring sound of Fighter Jets deafened her ears as they flew low and fast towards the Northwest. She heard commotion all around her from the other rooms--- given the horror she went through days prior, it wasn’t hard to guess why. Anxiety lurched in her stomach, but Kyra repressed it. She will not let that horrible beast consume her life or her will.

At this point, the world now knows what is responsible for the deaths of her classmates and professor: they know the cause of the wildfires: and now knows the horror that laid buried for countless millennia beneath the earth.

But she couldn’t let that thing beat her. In fact… all it did was raised questions in her head: what was that thing? How does it exist? Are there any others like it? Furthermore, that strange Sumerian like culture within in the Hollow Earth. They were older and far more advanced than even the most advanced ancient civilizations, Kyra would even go so far and to say even more advanced then contemporary society. How far did they extend? Were they the only one? What other strange hollow worlds exist unknown under mankind’s very feet? These questions would keep her going. She would not let another tragedy take ahold of her life.

The coming weeks will be decisive to mankind’s very existence. As the mystery of what really is within the confines of the underground earth would be elaborated on. Tomorrow Kyra would try to explain everything to the authorities, and explain everything that happened: the burning demon… Asag was real, and was now running amuck in California. There would be no way to disprove that, as such it and the tablet would provide critical key points to back up her claims. This was the only start of a new age and a new mystery:

The Hollow Earth Enigma.

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