An odd mixture of a RPG worldbook and stories that were probably derived from completed campaigns, made even odder by the fact that the original work is the Left Behind eschatological franchise, specifically the last two books, Glorious Appearing and Kingdom Come.
The corpus of the work consists of a RPG worldbook, a strategy game ("quest") run on 4chan which includes rules for replaying it, and a few short stories and novellas (including at least one example of Recursive Fanfiction ).
The setup for this 'verse is that Conservation of Competence ensures that while the Antichrist is an idiot, the people working for his telecom division are smart enough to keep the phones and data lines throughout the literal Apocalypse... which means that they are smart enough to ensure that the Battle of Armageddon technically never ends, by tuning out Jesus' power (the Word of God) with a series of sonic weapons and then locking Him in an airless container.
The problem, of course, is that the universe can't quite handle it and splits in two right down the middle.
In the first branch, "Tripocalypse", a second global earthquake restores the world's mountains and valleys as they were (and further wrecks the infrastructure) while great ion storms make a significant fraction of the Earth uninhabitable... while the removal of the Big God from the chessboard, however temporary, allows the older Small Gods to make their return. This, plus the lack of a consensus over just what the heck happened, makes sure that The Magic Comes Back within a few years.
The resulting world, a generation later, looks like it has been through a Cosy Catastrophe as the human (or post-human, or trans-human) race rebuilds.
In the second branch, "Left Beyond" proper, at the beginning of the story the Tribulation is over as it should have been; Jesus Christ is triumphant, and sets up His Kingdom here on earth for the Millennium. He first destroys the desecrated Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and then replaces it with a new and more grand Temple from which He will rule over all the earth. The world is flattened (no more mountains) and a sky canopy is created (no more night).
Since the last prophecy left in Revelation states that there will be one more final battle, a token opposition to Jesus' totalitarian rule must exist. This group is called The Other Light, which hope to gather followers for the Final Battle against God at the end of the Millennium and succeed in their goal of vanquishing Him through the help of their leader Satan, who is imprisoned in the Bottomless Pit for a thousand years.
Things go according to Divine plan for most of the Millennium, with Modern Stasis (at roughly late-1990s level) ensuing and The Other Light building a massive conventional army that is destined to be destroyed in an instant. About 900 years in, however, this army becomes large enough to require a computerized logistics system. This effectively gives a large amount of power to a small group of anonymous sysadmins (the players); they proceed to funnel resources away from TOL and start their own faction. Now, they have 100 years (turns) to avert or subvert the Apocalypse, lest the White Throne Judgement bring the story of Humanity to an end.
The two alternate timelines are linked, in that "Flipside" (the Millennial Kingdom) is a liminality within Tripocalypse Earth, and the occasional piece of technology in that time line makes its way back to the Kingdom by taking The Slow Path with a step sideways.
The current extent of this work can be found at:
Left Beyond RPG worldbook
The main story, a strategy-level chronicle of The Omega Legacy for +900: Left Beyond Quest
The Millennium Countdown, prequel/sidequel to Left Beyond Quest
WARNING: UNMARKED SPOILERS.
This body of work provides examples of:
- Age Without Youth: Happens to all Naturals in the final two centuries of the Millennium, in which they are stuck in extremely aged bodies but unable to die until the Millennium is finished. Some, like Chain Rosenzweig, use orthotics or prosthetics to get around and remain relevant to the story.
- Anti-Climax: Averted. In the original story, The Other Light battle versus Jesus Christ is over in a few seconds. In the game, it's over just as quickly, but merely sets up the second-to-last piece of the Omega's Thanatos Gambit.
- Asexuality: The relationship of the "glorifieds" with "naturals" and with each other, mostly due to the nature of their new bodies and minds. A number of MEC troopers also become asexual due to endocrine or neurological damage (others suffer the opposite effect).
- Attempted Rape: With an unbelieving under-100 "natural" (who was part of The Other Light) and a female "glorified" in the hopes of siring a child that may be able to live past 100 years of age without becoming a believer. God foiled the attempt by having the would-be rapist die in her arms and then incinerated. Given that "glorifieds" are not able to sire or have children, this would have proved to be pointless. A simple physical to retrieve DNA samples proves much more effective, although it doesn't do much for the perpetrators either.
- Babies Ever After: Kenny and Ekaterina spend the rest of the Millennium having and raising children in their marriage together, and briefly come into play; some of their descendents join the Millennium Force, and one of them is shown having signed up with Engineers Without Borders to mitigate the damage during the Last War.
- Beat Them at Their Own Game: The Omega use the fixity of prophecy to operate unopposed when off Earth, confident that the global theocratic government will be complacent. At the White Throne Judgement, after being defeated, they deploy a simple fork bomb to ensure that the Judgement itself will last forever, which is not forbidden by any prophecy.
- Breakout Character: Kat. Originally intended to be just one more Heavy Mech Trooper, she ends up turning herself into a Lovecraftian monstruosity, being the last humanoid alive on Earth, and punching Jesus in the nuts (although she does not win that particular fight).
- The Cameo: Most Left Behind characters show up, however briefly, with the conspicuous exception of Rayford Steele. Given his canon Marty Stu status, as well as his advanced age, this is likely intentional.
- Celestial Bureaucracy: A brutally effective one. Jesus is the proverbial head of state, the Levite priests oversee the rebuilt Temple, and the 11 apostles act as the civil governors with King David as their leader. The Omega have their own literal version, in that the space colonies are too far away to be administered by the Omega directly due to speed-of-light delays and so a bureaucracy has to be set up to run them.
- Chaste Hero: Zak. The good doctor is not asexual, but explicitly states that he has no time for either hanky or panky until Humanity is safe.
- Claimed by the Supernatural: The Glorified characters. While they can be killed, they come back with no memory of their own death, and proving that they were ever dead is effectively rendered impossible due to selective cognitive dissonance. Also, in Jenny's case: she ends up embodying an avatar of the goddess Hekate.
- Comm Links: Christian citizens of the Millennial Kingdom and followers of The Other Light have cell phone implants that allowed them to communicate with each other over long distances. Followers of the Omega use smartphones (invented independently, and called stenopads in a case of intentional Zeerust), on the ground that they can be upgraded more quickly and have more functions.
- Crapsack World: The territories directly under the rule of The Other Light, which are shown to resemble North Korea due to TOL's need to put all their resources into military stockpiling. Literally everything in this world is edible, yet TOL peasants still end up being emaciated due to drug abuse and lack of sleep.
- Crapsaccharine World: The world of the Millennium in general. On one hand, there is no disease, almost no accidental death, and no danger except for that which The Other Light and The Omega bring into play. On the other, it's terminally boring, and exists under an undefeatable dictatorship. The sky is perpetually blue, so say goodbye to starry nights. Most everyone has to wear sunglasses during the day due to the Sun and Moon's extra power output. With very few exception, everybody is an obligate vegetarian. Every mountain and most interesting geographical features on Earth have been flattened by Jesus at the beginning of the story. In the last part of the Millennium, faithful believers with a Natural bodies are trapped in extremely aged bodies but are unable to die. Finally, The Empire formed by the various territorial governments loyal to Greater Jerusalem is literally run by Omniscient Morality License.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Almost any time The Other Light engage the Omega's forces; explained by an obvious technology gap and by the fact that The Other Light's military doctrine is intentionally deficient. The Final Battle, in which Jesus annihilates most of the forces of both The Other Light and the Omega in a single blow, also qualifies.
- The Day of Reckoning: The final day of the Millennial Kingdom has Satan released from his prison, where he joins up with The Other Light forces which had surrounded Jerusalem. Jesus emerges from the Temple and simply says "I AM WHO I AM" and instantly incinerates the invaders. Afterwards, the Judgement begins... but, thanks to the Omega's fork bomb, never ends, and the spacefaring colonists live on.
- The Dark Chick: Quinn. She is not a nice person, struggles with substance abuse throughout her life and unlife, and ultimately becomes a hero of Humanity because at that point in time it was convenient to have her be represented as a martyr for the cause, rather than for much in the way of personal merit. Nevertheless, she does her job with competence, most of the time.
- Death from Above: How The Only Light's army meets its end at the Final Battle. Averted with the relativistic kinetic strike weapons planned by The Outer Light: there is justifiable fear that building such a thing would cause the Apocalypse that the Omega are trying to avert. Also applies to some of the Angels in the skirmishes before the Final Battle: angelic wings have a lower flight ceiling than modern airplanes.
- Death's Hourglass: Averted. While lacking the actual timepiece, citizens of the Millennial Kingdom know that "naturals" who stay unbelievers by the time they reach 100 will instantly die and go to Hell. This fate can only be averted by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior... or by signing up with the Omega, who will turn them into cyber-zombies by using a Metabolic Extension Controller. The catch? You are no longer eligible for salvation, and lose your sense of touch and your ability to perceive pleasure or pain.
- Distant Finale: The end of the story is in Millennial Year 1010 or so, when the interstellar colony ship finally arrives at Alpha Centauri. The White Throne Judgement has been made to get stuck in a loop, and the surviving posthuman colonists manage to turn a diminished version of the Omega back on to help them colonize the new solar system.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": An inversion: Buck Williams now goes by his actual name Cameron, as here in the Millennium there is nothing for him to "buck".
- Dont Call Me Ishmael: The commander of a hidden base of The Only Light is named Ishmael. He doesn't do much.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Literally what happens to the Archangel Michael, courtesy of a M104 military bridgelayer. It works about as well as one would expect, enough so that he does not show up again in the Millennial Kingdom (either in canon or in the fanfic).
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: What takes place at the end when the old earth passes away. Jesus caused the Sun to go nova, destroying most of humanity and most local space assets that the Omega had.
- Easily Forgiven: Regardless of one's criminal past, becoming a Christian comes with instant forgiveness both spiritual and judicial. By contrast, even the most moral and selfless Omega agent or unbelieving civilian is doomed to an eternity in Hell.
- Endless Daytime: In the Millennial Kingdom, there's still a morning and an evening, but the Moon is as bright as the Sun used to be, while the Sun is now 49 times as bright. The only way to experience nighttime is to fly into space above the water/ice canopy, or visit Night City, which was built within an enormous underground cavern.
- Also in the "new heavens and new earth", there is no night due to a reconstructed canopy.
- Expecting Someone Taller: The reaction people have to the resurrected patriarch Noah. The story makes it unclear whether the Flood actually happened or not, although Noah seems to think so.
- Fatal Family Photo: Invoked in the original work: Rayford Steele requests a picture of the original Tribulation Force at an end-of-the-Millennium party. He is the only member out of the core group who is a natural, while Bruce, Cameron and Chloe are glorifieds. Even Rayford is shocked as to how old he is. Averted in the game: Omega agents rarely bother taking pictures while off duty, since the Omega is tracking them pretty much all the time.
- Final Battle: The battle between Jesus and the Millennium Force, Satan's army, and the Legion of Light near the end. To believers, it looks like a Curb-Stomp Battle in which God just smokes Satan's entire army into ashes in seconds. To those in the field, a number of acts of treachery, two advances and a retreat happen in the space of less than two minutes.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: The Lake of Fire, which Satan and all those who have rejected God throughout the ages are sent to. The people of Misrayim eventually their culture to a sufficient level of confidence that people begin to train for its rigors, as part of Ancient Egyptian revivalism.
- Flaunting Your Fleets: The large and slow invasion of the grounds near the Temple at the very end counts as a land-based example. The Omega has a small navy, mostly consisting of submarines and a single long range artillery ship. It is used to flatten the walls of Ezekiel's Temple, but since The Other Light and the Temple have no navies, there is no big naval battle.
- Fountain of Youth: The Pacifican version of MEC technology is mostly organic, and by the end of the Millennium the "zombie" bodies are capable of self-healing like regular living bodies would be. Effectively, this gives pseudo-immortality to anyone willing to keep up with the latest upgrades. The Glorified, of course, are frozen in the prime of life. By the time the Millennium ends, however, the longest-living "naturals" who are believers are decrepit.
- Gaiden Game: This, to the Left Behind series. The story parallels that of the last book in the series, down to the Curb-Stomp Battle, but significantly expands on the universe. Tripocalypse is an alternate interpretation of the Millennial Kingdom.
- God and Satan Are Both Jerks: God spends a thousand years as the autocratic ruler of Earth, zapping people with lightning for various crimes and being the head of The Theocracy. Satan has relatively little influence on The Other Light, but promotes building a slave army - and may have been working for God all along in the first place.
- God Is Good: The Millenium Kingdom certainly thinks so, given that He makes it a really safe place to live (if boring).
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Gratuitous Hebrew is what everyone is speaking in the Millennial Kingdom, though for the sake of the players it's all translated into English.
- Grow Old with Me: Averted: most of the characters on the Omega's side become cyborgs in order to avoid Hell. Others are cryofrozen, even though the technology barely works. Yet others decide to die and face the Judgement. Valentina in particular chooses to die naturally and face God in person, after making sure that her tribe of space enthusiasts has a real shot at leaving Earth and her lovers Jeb and Cordylon are assured a future with them.
- Happily Ever After: For the believers, who get to go to Heaven, and the space colonists, who get to reach Alpha Centauri and keep Humanity alive. Most everyone else goes to Hell. God Himself ends up continuing the Judgement for eternity, according to His own wishes.
- HeelFaith Turn: A few members of both TOL and the Omega do this, notably, most of the drop troopers sent to recover the spider tank prototype from Millennium Force agents - they end up being converted with a Street Preacher speech while the fight is going on.
- Immortal Procreation Clause: Goes beyond this with the "glorifieds", since they won't even have the desire for sexual intercourse. DNA extraction is successful, but doesn't do much.
- Ironic Birthday: In Misray and Pacifican culture, one's 100th birthday, since it also marks death and resurrection as a cyborg unless you are a believer.
- Kill It with Fire: Desolator trooper Ziggy's favorite combat tactic, and to a lesser extent Kat's. In their cases, the fire in question is often nuclear in nature. At the very end, Jesus scours The Other Light and the Omega from Earth via firestorm.
- Kill the God: Supposedly The Other Light's plan, and also the Omega's plan in the beginning. Both fail. Fortunately for humanity, the Omega had several backup options.
- Lucifer Is Good: The viewpoint of the Other Light faction. The Omega end up deciding early on that Satan is an Ineffectual Villain at best or a mole in God's employ at worst; while they fail to assassinate him, they manage to keep him irrelevant.
- Mass Resurrection: Invoked several times. The Other Light use bootleg metabolic extension controllers to establish a zombie army, which is eventually commandeered by the Archangel Phanuel. The Omega practice this on a continuous industrial scale, to keep people out of Hell. And all the unsaved dead are resurrected at the Great White Throne judgment at the end of the Millennium - most actually face judgement, so they go right back into the lake of fire...
- Meaningless Villain Victory: A few all around, regardless of who the villains are. The Millennium Force score two with the capture of a prototype spider tank and the destruction of what they thought was the Omega mainframe... but this has no strategic effect in their favor. The Omega deal a crushing blow to Satan... just before Jesus scours the Earth of all life anyway. The Other Light conquer Russia and Western Africa... but mostly because the other two factions let them do so since the territories are no longer strategically relevant. God succeeds in fulfilling all the prophecies, and revels in the glory of judging humanity forever... but post-humanity gets on with life.
- The Mole: Pretty much every named character who isn't a Biblical figure or a Glorified spends some time as this. Oddly, there were no triple agents (or if there were, the players never noticed them).
- Not What It Looks Like: Inverted: most instances of classic Not What It Looks Like are actually exactly what it looks like. It helps that of the three factions, one is ruled by an omniscient being, one is a dictatorial police state, and one is run by a pervasive quasi-AI that runs on (and monitors) every bit of electronics in every home.
- Oh, Crap!: Averted many times. Canonically with Lucifer, who has nothing to say once the Sun goes nova and scours most life from the Earth - he has nothing to say in the source material, so this is kept. Also averted in the endgame with Jesus, who continues to proclaim His triumph even after being cut in two by Kat's cybernetic lobster claw. Many other times before an execution: most characters either face their death with dignity or are eliminated by complete surprise. Played straight with an infiltrator into the Omega's domain who, thanks to virtual reality and designer drugs, is treated to an experience that is literally worse than Hell.
- Older Than They Look: Pretty much everyone. Once the Millennium starts, all the naturals who enter this time period experience decreased aging. Glorified do not age at all. People with an active metabolic extension controller start decaying, which is in fact aging at the regular human rate, but have the benefit of replaceable parts and grafted organs. By the end of the Millennium, however, the longest-living naturals (who at that point are all believers) end up really showing their age.
- One True Threesome: Played straight in-universe with Jeb, Cordylon, and Valentina, at least until the latter dies of old age after refusing cybernetic implants out of loyalty for those of her people who died before they were available. Thanks to properly designed privacy settings, even the Omega does not know if the three get up to anything intimate during private time, or just geek out about various topics. On the believers side, averted between Captain Steele and his two wives, since both of the latter are now Glorified and therefore asexual.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: A few. Near the end, Jesus does this to the invading TOL forces and most of the Omega's Legion of Light. Satan: CHARGE! Jesus: I AM WHO I AM. (cue annihilation of the two armies via a nova). A few moments after that, Kat does this to King David, exclaiming "Bite me!" and punching his head off with a vat-grown cybernetic lobster claw. Doubly funny considering that lobsters aren't kosher, and Kat's player was Jewish.
- Public Domain Character: The various Old Testament heroes, including Jesus, Satan and Yahweh. Jenny Everywhere makes two appearances, one as Cendrillon's friend in the prequel novel, one as a minor side quest in the game.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Many, on every side. One of the Omega sysadmins manages to finally produce a semi-sentient spider tank, only to see it stolen. TOL succeeds in taking the Russian and East African territories, but by then it's too late for them to do anything with it other than roll their army through it. Even God Himself manages to make everything work out to His satisfaction, only to find Himself playing through a slightly different versions of the White Throne Judgement for eternity while post-humanity heads for the stars.
- Screw Destiny: The entire point of the game. Interestingly, while all the prophecies end up happening exactly on schedule, they are often made meaningless (or at least less meaningful) via whatever loopholes the heroes and villains can think up.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Jesus does this to Satan yet again in this story, right before sending him into the Lake of Fire. Earlier, Valentina is implied to be doing this with a Creationist scientist when the interstellar probe indicates signs of life on one of Alpha Centauri's planets. Earlier still, Jeb does this with the Archangel Azrael. Subverted when Kat faces Jesus: He starts giving her one, while she's more The Quiet One type and goes straight to the rocket-punching.
- La Résistance: Pretty much everyone other than the Temple government. Doesn't make them nice people, at all - arguably the nicest faction is the Omega, and their controlling quasi-AI was expressly designed to be amoral for the sake of efficiency.
- Rooting for the Empire: A curious in-universe example of subversion, since the original work's author wants to depict the theocratic global government as good and La Résistance as evil. The person running the game flips this back on its head again. What Recursive Fanfiction exists is (intentionally) ambiguous about it.
- Restart the World: Invoked twice. On the believing side, the old heavens and earth pass away, to suddenly be replaced with a new heavens and earth at the end. The new planet is, if possible, even less interesting than the mountainless Earth that the book took place in, since there's no more sea either. On the side of the space colonists, it's exactly what they will have to do in order to be successful on Alpha Centauri.
- Shining City: New Jerusalem, which appears at the end of the story. Inverted with Night City, a town built inside an enormous underground cavern specifically for the purpose of letting people experience nighttime.
- The Something Force: The Millennium Force, here portrayed as would-be volunteer enforcers for the global government; while consisting of only four people in the novel, in the game they are shown to have grown into a global organization focusing on youth outreach. Inverted with the Omega's canopy drop troopers, who end up calling themselves the Sudden Transport Division with all the obvious puns that the name implies.
- Shout-Out: Law enforcement agencies loyal to the Millennial Kingdom Government share the same uniforms and communication protocols with ADVENT Soldiers.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Renowned theologian and master debater Tsion Ben-Judah keeps doing this to opponents during debates, since it worked well for him in the original stories. The Omega tries to do this to God at the Judgement, and fails.
- The Theocracy: The Millennial Kingdom government, which consists of God as ultimate ruler, Jesus as the ruler of the world, King David as the ruler of Israel, and the apostles as the rulers of the twelve tribes of Israel. The rest of the world is allowed to make their own arrangements, within limits - a major plot point is securing the right to vote for people under 100 in Egypt and California. In general, Millennial Earth is portrayed as a fairly stark theocracy, with the establishment permitting some forms of speech but blocking open debate in territorial parliaments, having people who commit "actual crimes" be put to death by Divine lightning and people who do not commit crimes but oppose the regime be interned and/or deported to Greater Jerusalem for "audiences" with the apostles, and causing those who would not become believers in Christ to live either as unbelievers or as members of the Other Light for only 100 years before they "die of unbelief" and immediately sent to Hell (unless cyborgized by the Omega or TOL or, more rarely, cryopreserved).
- Thousand-Year Reign: What the original story is all about. The games focuses on the last century of the Millennium only, in order to be playable at a reasonable pace.
- Time Skip: While the game is billed as 4X in the Millennial Kingdom, only the last century of it is played through in detail. One turn is equal to one year. There is a brief Time Skip at the end, due to the interstellar colony ship being slower than light and taking about twenty years to reach Alpha Centauri.
- Too Dumb to Live: So, so many. This, combined with the generally nihilistic approach of the three big powers (God, Satan, and the Omega) and the simulationist nature of the game, means a remarkably high body count. Most heroes and villains end up needing to be rebuilt or regenerated, some multiple times.... and some just flat out die.
- The Only Light subsect of the Other Light faction, either believing God and Jesus don't exist despite the contrary evidence, or treating them as if they didn't exist.
- The Other Light as a whole. Their strategy is atrocious and they care very little for their peasant class.
- The Millennium Force. Counting on supernatural protection, they infiltrate a cybernetic fortress with four lightly armed teenagers... and unlike the others, mostly get away with it (This turned out to have been intentional on the Omega's part: the quasi-AI were transitioning from existing in a data center to becoming entirely cloud based).
- The Archangel Azrael. Sent to repeat the Tenth Plague of Egypt when the territory revolted, it did not count on facing both modern weapons ( Muggles Do It Better after all) and the unrelenting fury of mothers and fathers fighting to protect their children.
- Trash the Set: The whole earth gets destroyed at the end of the Millennium and is replaced with a new one. This includes almost every piece of technology present in the Solar System.
- Unreliable Narrator: The very end's canonicity is in question, since it is recovered from a data packet sent via quantum entanglement and compressed using lossy techniques to save bandwidth. The survivors of the Judgement have little reason to believe that they are safe from God.
- Voice of the Resistance: The internet, as it gets rebuilt. A key plot point that shows up a lot is shaping the message after a caper, with failure to do so often undoing the benefits of the mission itself.
- Was Too Hard On Them: As with the end of the Tribulation period, Jesus clearly didn't like having to send the unbelievers to their sentence at the Great White Throne judgment. But He does anyway, which means He is fair game for the Omega's posthumous retaliation.
- Wedding Day: Played with near the end. Ryan Andrews and Tethys, two bitter rivals in the development of two societies of semi-aquatic humans, end up getting married on the day when they board the colony spaceship: turns out that throughout their conflict they developed a mutual respect that, due to their massive egos, they could not share with anyone else. Averted in most other cases.
- Where Are They Now: The game ends with the few survivors of the Judgement looking out at the new world they have reached. It's explicitly stated that most of the rest of Humanity still ends up in Hell, though.
- With Us or Against Us: Played straight, to a fault. The Temple government states absolutely that there is only one force opposing it, The Other Light, and that the very real antagonism between TOL and the Omega is either a civil war within the rebel faction, or a distraction or ruse. As far as believers are concerned, if you are not with God, you are with Satan... even if your plan involves eliminating Satan before eliminating God. (Neither work, but fortunately, there were backup plans).
- World-Healing Wave: Performed by God after scorching the surfaces of all the inner planets with a supernaturally generated solar nova.
- You Can't Fight Fate: The entire theme of the game. Played straight in that the prophecies all come to pass on schedule, subverted in that despite this, humanity (or rather, post-humanity) marches on.
- Zeerust: Intentionally invoked. Since in-universe the Rapture happened in the late 1990s, technology has developed differently - for instance, computer graphics and machine vision are less advanced than they are in real life, while digital signal processing for sound and ultrasound is more advanced. Since the original work invokes Modern Stasis for the entire 1000-year reign, this is specifically noted to be intentional.