In the last days of the great King Arthur, it was prophesied that he would return to England in the hour of her greatest need.
Whether people thought it was a mere legend or histotrical fact, the prophecy lasted through the years. In 1914, the Great War broke out, and England looked for their returning King. But he did not show. When the battle was finally over, in 1918, the number of faithful believers started to dwindle. If this World War was not the hour of greatest need, when would that hour be? How terrible would things need to be for Arthur to return?
Just over 30 years later, a young chancellor in Germany gave the world reason to be concerned. Another world war was on the horizon. And with this new threat approaching came a renewed interested in the legendary prophecy. Surely this was the hour of great need and King Arthur would return to aid England. It was not so. The bombing of London leveled more than hundreds of buildings. Hope was destroyed.
While the Second World War was over in 1945, and England began to rebuild, all faith in the greatest King that served the Isle remained in ruins. The sacred tomb, where many thought he was laid to rest, was left behind. The chapel that housed his tomb fell into disrepair. It was as if, in one solitary action, all of England, even all of Britain, rejected Arthur. Everything that he had promised was forgotten. Everything that he had done was dismissed. Everything that was prophesied was ignored.
King Arthur would return in the hour of greatest need? Hardly. The only way that they had survived was by their own strength. So the people of the England left the legend to be a legend.
There were other wars. And with each rising conflict, there were individuals that proclaimed that King Arthur was coming to save them. But he never showed. There was no miraculous resurrection of a dead King. Only the stark reality that they were alone.
Centuries passed. England moved into the 21st century. A turning point in the world’s history was the Second Cold War, between America and Russia. When the missles finally did fly, England did everything in her power to keep the people safe. Millions died. Hundreds of thousands suffered from nuclear radiation. Still no Arthur.
From the ashes of that Cold War, England rose up to become the great world leader that they were once more. Leading the way in biotechnology, space engineering, and global politics, the face of the world changed. No longer was England a part of an island. No longer was Great Britain a part of a larger whole or the leader of a commonwealth.
England became the world corporation. They manufactured everything. They supplied everything. And as mankind began to reach for the stars, it was the English flag that was planted on alien soil.
Little did they know, the hour of England’s greatest need was at hand.
It was the year 3016. Colonies on Mars were overrun, and people were attempting to terraform the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. It was on one of the moons of Saturn that a young astronaut found it, the first alien life form.
On earth, deep beneath the surface, forgotten in a stone coffin, a skeleton moved.
The life form was captured and taken for scientific analysis. Never before had alien life been seen so clearly. The universe was opening up in new ways of all of humanity.
The skeleton shifted. Bone cracked against bone. The right hand firmly gripped the sword that lay across the chest. Muscles started to develop and connected to form a large, athletic arm.
Scientists began to run their experiments on the life form. They cut and dissected. One scientist grabbed the electron probe, and unknowingly stabbed the alien’s heart. The noise that came from that dying alien rang out so loud and so high, the inner ears of every scientist in the complex shattered.
The muscles continued to grow, and the firmly dead man began to rub up against the confinements of his coffin. Though his tongue was not yet formed, he tried to command himself to be freed. Nothing happened. He cried out again, more intensely. The muscles kept growing and stretching. Flesh started to over that. Bones grew stronger and firmer.
They laid on the ground of their labs, screaming in pain. The alien had rendered them useless in a foul swoop. As it slowly called to its severed parts, the alien began to regrow. Larger and stronger.
As he grew, the space in the coffin became more and more restricting. He screamed out again, louder, and this time with articulation. He had almost regrown everything. His youth, his power and authority were welling up inside of him. And something new. Something that he had not felt before.
On the surface of the Earth, seismic tremors were felt. Something was moving beneath the ground. And in a large way. The shaking only seemed to intensify more and more. The dead man was coming. He was rising.
What once fit neatly in a microscope dish, now stood at a terrifying height. The alien had grown and began devouring the helpless scientists. Between the bloody bites, it shared the doom of the worlds with those yet to die.
“You pitiful creatures. So weak. So powerless. You are defeated by the weakest of our race. What will be left of you when my master raze your worlds? You will be the smear on the landscape that you thought I was.”
The strength that he felt surging through him did not stop. It seemed inhuman to do what he had done. To smash through his stone tomb, to borrow through the ground, he had laughed at the thought. But now he clawed his way to the surface. The earth exploded and out climbed the hero that the universe would need.
“O England, I ,your King Arthur, have returned in your hour of greatest need.”