A humongous bright light shot out of the aperture at Pandora's Hideout and into the sky like a massive beacon, symbolizing that Lucifer, and Team Witness, had escaped from Hell. The group soon woke up in the darkened lair; however, Ichabod wasn't with them.
"Where's Ichabod..?" Gavin wondered groggily, looking around with his heavy head.
"I think he must be inside the Gorgon's cave; he died there, remember?" Lara answered.
Diana attempted to contact Ichabod's cell phone using hers. Unfortunately, it didn't have a lot of power left, and there were no bars showing in the upper left-hand corner. Service was completely out of the question, just as the power was when the Horseman of Death and the Tribulations following him shut down all electricity.
"Guess we better get going. There's not much time." Jenny rose up slowly.
"Yeah, there's no telling what Lucifer and the Horsemen have in store now." Alex added.
And so the group unanimously decided to search for him. Meanwhile, the remaining Witness woke up in the subterranean lair, the same location where he was slewed by his son, Henry. The gash was still there, but in the process of healing, and the tragic duel and his journey through the underworld were still fresh in his mind. He was still too weak from moving as his body weighed like a ton of lead. Despite the sharp pain in his chest, he wondered where his allies were. Then he recalled the place where the Hellhound dragged his soul. Still, he had some sporadic hallucinations of his son, Abraham, Lucifer, and his horrible experiences as he desperately waited, and waited...and waited some more.
The world was nearly something they'd never expected. According to a decaying headline that was laying on the street like an old parchment, Sleepy Hollow, amongst other major cities, have turned to ruin in a manner of days. All of the seven trumpets were blown. Everyone and everything they knew were gone forever and Lucifer was released. They noticed the sky was incredibly dark with a mix of black and an opaque vermillion. All roads were deserted, cars were demolished, buildings were abandoned. The air was heavy and toxic, nearly making their mouths dry and their throats scratchy, like exposing to pollen. Everything was deathly silent; no chirping from birds nor insects, there was no chatter from any townsfolk whether they'd be chatting on a phone, walking a dog, or running a business.
Everyone was stunned while they explored the ruined city. "No..!" It was enough for Jenny to lean into Gavin.
His eyes perked up as he remembered, "But...but, Ichabod. Is he..?"
Lara assured, "Don't worry, he's a Witness. I survived a dystopian world. I know he's still alive, and would find a way to do the same." She would never forget his older, imprisoned self, nor the condition the country was in once Dreyfuss became America's immortal president. The sergeant took her word for it. Still, they could only stand in horror.
"Every settlement has been destroyed..!" Alex barely found her words.
"Satan will pay for this." Diana replied earnestly, even though it may seem impossible.
"If He's still here." Jake said. "It looks pretty quiet. I sure hope the Horsemen won't sneak up on us."
"We need somewhere to relinquish our weapons." Jenny volunteered. "After our misadventures in Hell, we seem to be nowhere near battle-ready. And we definitely need Crane for our, and his, survival."
With a brief pause, Lara declared with a nod, "Let's do it."
While trekking along, they were preoccupied on what would happen to the survivors, if they were lucky they were any: Gavin was worrying about his dad, Don, Ichabod, and Molly; while Diana was mostly worried for her daughter, as was Lara for her past vessel. Jenny kept on thinking of her old man, Ezra, wondering if he was still hanging in there with the troubled civilians Henry influenced. The others felt the same for their comrades, even for Chief Falcolor and the refugees trapped in The Vault. They knew that Washington was an eternity to travel to, and most of the automobiles, maybe Ichabod's SUV, were already demolished by Satan's awakening. Still, they marched on toward the snake lake, sticking together and trying to calm their fears and anxieties.
Elsewhere, Ichabod was staying low to the burnt ground. He even smelt the soil, seeing if he could catch his friends' scent without letting himself be detected by the evil forces. The intense odor was like sulfur, stinging his nose. He still tried to keep his cover and stealth as he trodden onward.
The team continued walking through the dead forest removing any brown foliage in their path. Through the shaken brush, they saw a disfigured shadow of what appeared to be a man. They weren't sure if he was just a survivor or an enemy disguised as a beggar. They remained alert as they slowly marched up to him. The individual still remained crouched and low to the ground, until his hide was removed.
With an intense stroke of luck, they found Ichabod! He reunited and gave everyone some tight hugs, despite his hurt constitution. But it was Lara that really caught his eye. He couldn't thank her enough, leading the team on this perilous rescue mission. She did say she had a promise to keep. They figured they can regroup in the Archives, and repair their weapons.
Meanwhile, one of the Horsemen returned with some news. They were setting up shop at the devastated Fredericks Manor.
"He looked a little different, though, but I'm sure it was that rogue Witness, Ichabod Crane." Logan said.
"So, my father has went through Hell and back." Henry boomed to his new associate as he beamed with delight. "But he is forgetting one small detail, Hell is now on Earth. Satan has risen and the apocalypse is nigh." He began to gleam as there was little to no hope for the feeble mortals. Every one of the Horsemen seem to be satisfied in their own destruction, especially Logan. Yet, they still have the Witnesses and their Guardians to finish off, which he thought would be a cinch.
"I'll alert our generals at once. I'm sure we're gonna have a hell of a time wiping out the Witnesses and their foolish friends!" he smirked.
War stood up and changed into his avatar. "Then let us start. Lucifer cannot wait to get a piece of them. However, He wants Ichabod to suffer and watch them fall around him. He will be as weak as a helpless puppy. And then we'll slaughter him; there will be no escape, and the world shall permanently be in our grasp!"
As the team headed to the Archives, Jake and Diana were carrying the battered Witness on their shoulders. The seven then saw the Angel of Death, Abaddon, in the distance leading his troops of Locusts from a huge scar in the earth. Jenny summarized it was the bottomless pit. He was a large angel having red eyes, enormous eagle-like wings, and wearing nothing but red trousers like a monk's. Wielding a humongous bow and arrow as well as a quiver rivaling his body size, he had a clan of strange creatures with scorpion tails, numerous frog-like legs, bare chests and faces belonging to humans, and nearly built like centaurs the size of a feral mammal. They looked upon the seven and sneered.
Gavin prepared for battle, but Ichabod grabbed him by the arm as he told him, "Lower your weapons. They'll ignore unless they'll consider us a threat." He reluctantly withdrew his blade.
According to the Freemason, Abaddon was believed to be the Destroyer translated from ancient Greek; since he's an angel from Hell, Abaddon was considered to be Lucifer, or one of the angels that fell with Him. Ichabod assured his teammates he's not an enemy. He and his legion only hunt down those that don't have the symbol of God; however, they still have the seven Virtues. Thus they're safe unless if they should be provoked during their five-month conquest.
"Five months?!" Jake hollered, while still gazing at the nightmarish angel. "You're telling me we have to wait five whole months until they're done?! We can't last that long!"
"Which is why we must prepare ourselves for Armageddon; the final battle." Ichabod said. "We cannot get involved with the warring nations. We must press on."
"If we hadn't been able to restore Crane, he could've been their number one target." Lara said. "They only take down those that possess the number of the Beast, or those that are just neutral."
"I sure hope Molly will be alright." Diana was full of anxiety.
"Don't worry, Miss Thomas. She's a child Witness. She'll be fine as long as we can vanquish all evil."
"How do we do this, Ichabod?" Gavin asked.
His mind still tried to remain sharp despite his painful body. He was beginning to look pale. "Come. We should head to the Archives, post-haste."
With easy passage, since no one was occupying the neighboring offices, Team Witness had finally made it to their shelter. The glass windows have been shattered, debris was everywhere, there was hardly any light despite the sky. So, Jenny lit a lantern using a match while Ichabod sat in a rickety chair. Even though everything was tossed asunder, the former professor still had some intel thanks to his eidetic memory. Lara applied some soothing cream upon his injured chest, though the deep, cinnabar flesh wound was barely visible. While Gavin shaded the broken windows, and salted beneath the locked doors and sills.
Jenny blew out the burning match and walked up to her loyal CO. "Alright, Crane. What's the plan?" she queried.
Everyone drew their attention; it was no doubt he would have some extensive knowledge since he was Lucifer's right-hand-man albeit temporarily. They gathered with him and the lit lantern as they took out some goods; it was as almost they were around a bonfire while camping in the woods, except it was at the abandoned armory.
He recited, "This silence quiets Heaven, so that it can focus on what is about to be revealed. It is the lull before the storm. The trumpets repeat themselves, again and again, throughout history, just as the seal judgments do, until the second coming of Christ."
Everyone, except Jenny and Lara, weren't convinced. "English, doc." Jake said impatiently.
The former intervened, "The fifth trumpet sound is the first Woe out of three. Before this trumpet sounds, an angel or an eagle appears, flying in mid-heaven, and warns, 'Woe, woe, woe, to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpets of the three angels who are about to sound!'
"The fifth trumpet prompts a giant star to fall from Heaven. The star is given the key to the bottomless pit. After opening it, the smoke that rises out darkens the air and blocks the sunlight. Then from out of the smoke, the Locusts were unleashed."
"T-those were the horrid creatures?!" Gavin was in fright.
"Precisely. They were scorpion-tailed warhorses, having a man's face with lion's teeth." Her hands descended behind her head, "Their hair was long like that of a woman's and flew with locust-like wings. They had golden crowns and are protected with iron-like breastplates."
Lara added, "They were commanded by their king, Abaddon, to torment any man who does not have the seal of God on their forehead, by using their fatal stingers. It was also made clear to them that they must not kill anyone during their five-month mission of torment."
Ichabod continued, "After the fifth trumpet blast, the sixth one sounds. This is the Second Woe, where four angels are released from their binds to the great river, Euphrates. They commanded a brute force of 200 million mounted troops whose horses dissipate plague from out of their mouths, most notably: fire, smoke, and brimstone. The mounted horsemen wore breastplates with the color of fire, hyacinth, and brimstone. These horses have a lion's head and their tails were like a serpent, even with a snake head. They are responsible for the deaths of a third of mankind who are stricken by the plague that emanated from these armies."
"So...we have both the Locusts and this army to deal with?!" Jake was becoming more frantic.
"Chill, Jake. Crane said we shouldn't interfere." Alex replied. "This isn't our fight." She faced their leader in confirmation, "Right?"
"This is not our battle. This can't. Let them do what is needed." Ichabod said.
"The sound of the seventh trumpet signals the Third Woe, the final plague." Jenny explained. "This is the last trumpet sound and the final woe. Loud voices in heaven which say, 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.' People actually thank the Almighty and praise for the wrath that came. The dead were judged and the righteous were rewarded."
"And then come the Seven Bowls." Lara intervened. Everyone, but Ichabod and Jenny, took a deep sigh of oppression.
"There's more to this..?" Gavin couldn't take anymore.
Jenny said, "When the first bowl is poured out, foul and painful sores come upon those bearing the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image."
"Well, that's a relief." Diana said. "At least we know guilty minds would suffer the consequences."
"Yes. And the second bowl is poured out, the seas and the oceans all become blood, forcing everything in the sea to die." Lara added.
"As would the rivers and the remaining sources of water once the third bowl is poured out. Then the sun causes a major heatwave to scorch the planet with fire with the fourth bowl."
"Indeed, Miss Jenny. After the fifth bowl is poured out, a thick darkness overwhelms the kingdom of the beast." Ichabod said.
"Wait, so Hell also gets darkened? That's a good one." Gavin exclaimed.
He still went on, "When the sixth bowl is poured out, the great river Euphrates dries up so that the kings of the east might cross to be prepared to battle. Three unclean spirits with the appearance of frogs come, one each, out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These demonic spirits work Satanic miracles to gather the nations of the world to battle against the forces of good during the Armageddon. Jesus says that his coming will be like that of a thief in the night, urging his followers to stay alert."
"And those are the wars we cannot fight." Diana concluded.
"And finally, the seventh bowl, a global earthquake causes the cities of the world to collapse. All the mountains and islands are removed. Giant hailstones weighing nearly 100 pounds plummet onto the planet. The plagues are so severe that the wicked's hatred of God intensifies while the incorrigible continue to curse at Him." Jenny finished.
"Wait a second." Alex said. This was undoubtedly tough for the clueless quartet to endure. "Are you saying that the Seven Trumpets are similar to the Seven Plagues?"
The artifact hunter stuck up a finger, "The seven Bowl judgements ARE similar in nature to the Trumpet judgments, but far more serious. There will be no warning when they come. In addition, there are three key differences between the Trumpet judgments and the Vial judgments." She took a breather as she sat. "These Trumpet judgments are plagues that bring partial devastation and curses only one-third of nature and people, while the Bowl judgments are more severe, direct assaults against humanity and nature, thus bringing more chaos on the earth than the Trumpet judgments. Lastly, the Trumpet judgments offer a chance for redemption and repentance, while the Vial judgments do not; they're instead a direct assault on those who have taken the mark of the Beast, and to those who are considered incorrigible and arrogant, thus makes them impossible to save."
Ichabod said in a coy manner, "All this must've happened when you all left." His face then lifted, "There was also a time between the seven trumpets and the seven bowls in which the Witnesses had been discovered, hunted down for three and a half years, and finally slaughtered. And then ascend into Heaven three days later, like Jesus did." Up until Ichabod's demise, it took longer since the Tribulations started with Moloch and the Headless Horseman; it's been four years since. And Washington never finished his own Book of Revelation after the war, though Ichabod concluded that this could be the start of a new Heaven and Earth, compared to the old book that highlighted the first coming of Christ and the war between Jerusalem and Israel.
He paused for a bit and looked around their silent turf, although throughout the long lectures, night fell. "We appear to be safe for now. Let's chance some rest. I'll keep a lookout." They obliged, and everyone except Lara left and settled down. While the team slept, they went into a separate room and got involved in a personal discussion.
Ichabod became more depressed and he noticed Lara following him. He wondered why she would stick close to him after all the crises he had caused. She actually chose to stay with him for company and also nurse him back to health. She even removed his top and wiped away the grime and dry blood. She wanted to be the one to comfort him, after all that chaos and misery he had gone through. Especially when involving the Hellhound, Katrina and Benedict, and swallowing the Seeds of Doubt and letting Lucifer rise and smite the earth. She can relate to him since even she grew up in a devastated world, as well as siding with the enemy who kept on feeding her lies, particularly with Diana's and Ichabod's fate, and deceiving her on killing her friends. She also remembered she was about twenty years younger, when she saved him from a spiritual trial, saying that even though he feels alone and that he let his friends down, he still possessed hope, even in her darker future and to this day, and he should never give up on it no matter what. He still kept blaming himself for ruining the world in both times.
He felt he was cursed all his life, even once he was resurrected and had the mantle handed down to him by General Washington, he wished that he wasn't chosen in the first place since he couldn't bare it. Lara assured him he was never a burden; it was all Lucifer, and the Witnesses must finish their destiny as one. Their only chance was to defeat the Horsemen and Lucifer in order to restore balance to the world.
He embraced her as he appreciated everything she did for him and their allies after all these decades of torment. He wished he can do the same if their roles were reversed. They looked deeply into each other's eyes, their minds were racing with their hearts. Then, something unexpected happened. They never wanted to let each other go. They kissed each other passionately, and soon their bodies intertwined. It was as if both the past and the future would merge in the here and now. They did, and while it was a first for Lara, Ichabod mentioned he hadn't felt this blissful in so long. At last, they found their significant other, even though ironically they were Witnesses from different time paradoxes.
They were now one, both in body and spirit, and they felt that nothing can pry them apart as long as they would stick together and win over their greatest adversary yet.A/N: I know there were some story elements from Revelation that I didn't include like the Woman of the Apocalypse, or the Dragon with the ten tails and six heads that were supposed to represent kings, or the Beasts emerging from the land and the sea, or even the false prophet, which may be Henry..? Either way, Revelation was just far too complicated; I can't seem to understand all the chapters, plus I'm not religious. Maybe it comes to saying, history can be repeated, but we could always change the details. Even I'm not sure if the apocalypse would happen for real, or how the world restored itself with all those indestructible beasts of darkness. That's just plain overkill! And I CAN'T be sure how it's supposed to be done!The Gestahl Empire then the Dark World will play once Team Witness emerge into the post-apocalyptic world from the Inferno. The second and third parts of "Omen," also from FFVI will play afterward as they look for Ichabod's wounded vessel; I know it's late, but keep in mind the remastered soundtrack would be used for each of the pieces from FFVI made by sschafi1. As the Witnesses settle down with each other, there is this gentle version of the main theme, not "Abbie and Crane," in a D key, but I don't know what it's called; I wish more of the soundtrack, aside from Season 1, would be accessible.
I hope it wasn't wrong for me for the would-be-won't-they couple would stay together, in this case Ichabod x Lara. I know this was a sign of a show about to be cancelled, and I'm sure people would get upset since they were hoping for Ichabbie instead. It was difficult to lose Abbie, but we should move on and accept Lara as the new Witness; so I guess it's Ichara now? Idk, but I hope fans would follow my lead here and support this pairing. Even though it hasn't been mentioned, sadly, I believe that Lara is about two decades older than her past self.
So the final showdown is about to begin. Sorry if the chapter's pacing was bad. Will Team Witness emerge victorious, or will the Horsemen give them the slip again? Will the Witnesses and their team survive the apocalypse? All the answers in the next missing episode!