And I Feel Fine - Part 9: The Rapture

By Earl Wajenberg (


"At that time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." -- Matthew 24:30-31

"For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. ... I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left." -- Luke 17:24, 34-35

As soon as the angels return to Heaven, they hear a loud trumpet call from the East. Turning, they see it is Gabriel who blew the call. They also see into the Light. Instantly, wordlessly, each angel knows they must descend to Earth and start bringing people up to Heaven. The exact place, the exact list of people, and the ability to translate them to Heaven all come to the angel in the same moment.

This is the Rapture. Dispensationalists -- on whose theory I am basing this scenario -- place the Rapture at one of three dates: the beginning of the Tribulation (the most popular option), the 3.5-year-point in the middle, or the end (the least popular option). I am using the mid-point.

In moments, the world loses a third of its adult population. Without bias by creed, people vanish everywhere. Sometimes, they wink out before the eyes of others. Sometimes, there is a moment of ecstatic wonder in their faces. Sometimes they shout in fear at something invisible. Sometimes they run from unseen things for a few paces, before vanishing, or argue with the air a bit, then disappear.

Other times, the Raptured are taken by visible agents -- people who appear out of thin air and disappear, taking others with them, even as they question or protest. Or onlookers, those left behind, may glimpse beautiful or surreal shapes that seize folk and vanish with them.

Huge percentages of the mentally retarded are Raptured. All the children are gone, or almost all. Hardly any below the age of ten remain. The Rapture-rate for thirteen-year-olds is about twice that for the adult population. For sixteen and older, the rate is the same as for adults. Any unRaptured woman who was pregnant more than three months is suddenly pregnant no longer, and soon delivers an afterbirth. All other pregnancies died stillborn.

In minutes, it's over.

Roleplaying seed: The Rapture

The GM should land angelic PCs in the midst of the mortals they care most about. The GM also picks which ones are on the pick-up list. The angels arrive in their celestial forms, though they can use their vessels if they want to. But they should *hurry*. They may want to give their passengers a bit of warning -- they may have to *catch* some of them -- but the main thing is to grab them and ascend, then come back for the next.

What *do* you say to them? And what do you say to the by-standers whom you *aren't* taking?


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