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Summary: The third part in this series on the end times, it looks at the great tribulation

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It started the day everybody disappeared, well not everybody disappeared but a lot of people did. And from there it went from bad to worse. No one was sure who was simply missing and who had been lost in the tragedies that followed the disappearances. Those who remembered September 11th tried to draw comparisons but that event paled in comparison with what happened this time. To start with over a billion people just disappeared. Which in itself was unsettling until you realized the implications of aircraft suddenly without pilots crashing into buildings, buses whose drivers suddenly disappeared, millions of cars driving at highway speeds now without drivers and tankers and container ships without helmsman?

The devastation was felt world wide, there wasn’t even one country that had been spared. People didn’t know if their loved ones had disappeared or were victims of the devastation that followed the disappearance. Emergency crews were taxed beyond belief, cleanup efforts were stymied globally chaos reigned. To make matters worse many of the organizations and relief agencies that would normally have stepped in to provide help had virtually disappeared themselves. Sure the organizations were there, but there was nobody to man them, and if they had personnel they didn’t have money because most of their donors were gone.

Then came the conflict, countries and nations blaming each other for the devastation, and with no voice of reason to be heard it wasn’t long before words became action and all the various factions were fighting amongst themselves and then it was just a matter of time until the conflict reached around the globe. In the past there had been wars called world wars because they involved so many countries, but never before in history had there been a war that involved every nation on the earth.

When the toll of the combat was added to the devastation that had already rocked our planet it wasn’t long before crops began to fail because the resources were being poured into trying to deal with casualties and fatalities from both combat and catastrophe. Famine spread across the world, the most essential foods became out of reach for all but the wealthiest people. And so it was only a natural consequence that added to the chaos, confusion and hunger was disease. The fatalities were piling up, literally piling up as the resources weren’t there even in the prosperous countries to deal with death on this scale. As decomposition began to set in all kinds of sickness followed, cholera, malaria, aids. And it seemed as if the most compassionate of the health givers had disappeared in the initial event. Before the wars, famine and plagues were over another billion people had died. And so this was the beginning of the end of the world as we know it.

And then it was as if the earth itself turned against humanity. Earthquakes, eclipses, meteorite showers, salt water fish dying and fresh water supplies becoming unfit to drink, and the bugs, ugly bugs. Millions of locusts swarming across the earth eating everything in sight and the stings, the stings hurt like blazes and there was nothing that could be done.

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