Vancouver roiled in its death throes as an infernal light seared the sky and cast a bloody hue on the city. The clouds parted, revealing a fleet of ships that descended from the conflagration and hovered above the fleeing masses. Fueled by the faceless terror concealed in the winged vessels, the last semblance of normality crumbled while a desperate populace sought escape.
Besieged by armies of elementals and chameleon infested, the few remaining services ground to a halt, plunging the city into darkness and despair. Vehicles littered the roads and highways like corpses as the exodus veered toward a place that existed only as a vision.
"The lake!" rose a universal cry. "Sanctuary waits at Emerald Lake..."
Above, the fleet of ships directed the panicked crowds like dogs driving a herd of sheep.
Screams penetrated the endless night, the cry of children a soul-wracking litany. The ferocity of the winter was no match for the terror that prodded humanity's desperate survivors into the jagged snow-capped mountains beyond. The snow was dotted with dark shapes huddled in blankets, overcoats or anything that would give them warmth.
In the struggle to reach Emerald Lake, human fell upon human, the last traces of sanity crumbling like wave-tossed sandcastles. Mothers abandoned screaming babies, young people left their children or parents behind. Humanity raced against the last minutes of the world, the finishing line--a place known only as a sanctuary. No one knew where or how the rumors about Emerald Lake had started, only that their destination awaited them in the distant mountains.
An eerie green mist funneled from the ships and cocooned selected groups from the mob. They raised their arms entreatingly to embrace the darkness that consumed their souls, their cries welcoming the diabolical baptism. Emptied of the last vestiges of humanity, their souls forfeit, the possessed fell upon those hovering between belief and unbelief, between the darkness and the light.