"There is something you must know, my son." said the old man, sitting in his rocking chair. "Something which not many realize is happening. Something which many do not want to know."
"What is it, dad?" replied the boy, barely over the age of fourteen.
Tears well up in the old mans eyes as he prepares for his son's departure. "You are the last of your kind. You cannot die." He seems to be talking to himself, now, trying to explain something difficult that he must do.
"I'm immortal?" the boy says, grinning. "Be serious, what's bothering you?"
"No… Not immortal." His meaning was completely misunderstood. "You cannot die. You must not die."
"Die? I'm not old enough to worry about marriage yet, and you're already worrying about my death?"
"Be silent, for you know not what you speak of. They… They all fell…" His voice trails off, and his tears are shed openly now. The boy, sensing the seriousness of the matter, quits his grinning and a look of worry places itself on his face.
"The gods… They all fell… One by one, at first so slowly it was imperceptible. The people stopped believing, stopped having faith." He pulled the pistol from the drawer, an antique six shooter, and put it in a holster on his belt. "The world stood still for a heartbeat each time one was slain. Something died, in all of us, each time a god perished."
"Gods?" the boy saw the gun and started to fear.
"There were once a great many of them, for man was imaginative and curious at one time. A god for everything, there was, and even more for nothing. A great hero who died ascended to become a god. At one time they even walked among us, unseen, keeping tabs on us. That time passed long ago, and we were content to worship them, they to watch from afar. But even that has stopped… There are so few of us left, Akaeus. So few… Do you know how long it has been since that name has been uttered on earth?" The man went into the closet and, motioning for his son to help him, pulled out a great chest. From around his neck he took a great golden key and unlocked the chest, opening it to reveal its contents.
"Woah…" the boy exhaled. He still couldn't wrap his head around what was going on, or even why his father called him that name, but he could appreciate what he saw in the chest.
In the chest was a longsword which shone gold, the light seeming to lap at the edges of the chest.
"This is your weapon, Akaeus. It is the Lamina Aurea, the Golden Blade. It can be wielded by none but you. It cannot even be touched. Do not try to let any mortal touch it, or they will surely die."
"W-Why are you talking like that?" the boy was scared now, but looked at the blade with awe. He felt… He felt right, in its presence. He felt somehow cleaner, stronger.
"You and your brothers are the last of the gods. You are humanities last hope." His face was grave, his voice somber. "Take your blade, Akaeus, and take the scabbard. In the scabbard it can be neither seen nor sensed by anything mankind or demonkind has." The old man wrapped his arms around something lying next to the blade, visible only hazily in the golden light coming from the blade. He hands it to the boy and instructs him on how to attach it to his belt. "Take up your blade, boy, and go to this address immediately. Your siblings will be waiting for you." He handed the boy a slip of paper, plain lined paper any schoolboy might use for his assignments. The paper was closed around a wad of hundred dollar bills, and the address was written in all capital letters on the center of the paper.
"W-Wait, my siblings? I have no brothers or sisters, dad, what are you talking about? Demonkind? Are you crazy? And what's with all this money? Where'd you get it?" Bewildered, he started to back away from the blade, but a firm push by the old man almost sent him stumbling over the chest.
"Right now the rest of your brothers and sisters are being shown and prepared, the same as you are, and if you do not go there then all hope will be lost and humanity will perish. You are the last of the gods, my son, and you are the last hope for humanity. Go, now, before it is too late." The old man unholster's his six shooter and checks the rounds in the chamber, the bullets shining a brilliant hue of silver. "Here they come."
As he spoke, the door crashed open and was torn off its hinges. Four men in hoodies and jeans came through, wielding daggers as black as night. The old man let off four shots, and three of the men dropped. The last one snarled and launched itself at him but the old man sidestepped at the last moment and shot the thing in the back of its head. Black blood spattered all over the floor, and the wooden floorboards hissed and steam rose from where the blood dropped. He kicked the body away from him and the hood came loose, revealing a leathery black scalp and yellowed eyes with red pupils, betraying the fact that these were not men. The nose was nonexistent and the nostrils jutted straight out from the center if their faces.
"Blackmen. There will be eight more, they always travel in dozens. Go, quickly!" The boy was still struggling with the sword, trying to get it into the invisible scabbard, when the battle occurred. He stood stunned now, staring at his father.
"This is real, isn't it? This isn't a nightmare… This is real…" He looked about ready to burst into tears when a strong grip was felt on his shoulder.
"Be strong, my son, for you will be needed in the coming Armageddon." The words brought consolation to the boys' heart, and his courage swelled. He sheathed the sword with little difficulty and nodded to his father.
"I'm ready. Let's go."
"I'm not going with you, I'm afraid. I cannot go. You must go on ahead, boy, go to the address I specified." He talked as they walked out of the door, and the old man motioned for the boy to go down the stairs. "I will make my last stand here." Tears welled in his eyes once more as he pushed the protesting boy through the stairway's door just as the rest of the Blackmen rounded the corner. Snarling at losing their prey, they formed their legendary battle formation, a spear like formation. The old man let off the remaining two shots from his pistol, downing two of them, and then spread his arms and shouted in a language not heard on earth in millennia. He erupted in a sphere of golden light, burning everything in that corridor to a crisp and evaporating his own body in a flash of steam. Similar circumstances across the city led each of the last of the gods on their own path as they were shown their true selves and forced to play their role.
If they made it, perhaps humanity had a chance. If they made it.