The darkness stretched across the face of the Earth. It boasted of its strength, ominous and convincing. The people could not bear to look at it. They had ignored its approach in the same fearful manner, but it came anyway, and now that it was there they tried in vain to continue in denial. But the darkness would not remain subtle and would no longer allow anyone, friend or foe, to merely get by and feign ignorance. It demanded observance. Allegiance was optional. To stand in fear was enough.
It claimed lands. It raised flags. It told lies that no one could discern because they had long before disregarded the truth.
The people hid themselves in caves and reasoning, but the darkness found them out and taunted them. They sought hope from other people, strong men from other worlds who seemed to hold some kind of power, any power. They entreated wise men and prophets and those who would tell them what the next day would bring, an elderly woman, long passed, whose words were old even before she died, a man who counted numbers, a woman who dreamed and said, "This is the way, walk in it." But if any truth emerged from these sources, though it rarely did, they discarded it quickly. These were people uncomfortable with the truth. And the darkness used that to enslave them.
They would have remained shackled, chained to deception, unable to see, and hopeless, had not a savior come. When the light broke through and revealed what they had been fooled by they could hardly believe it. Small lies. Tiny, imperceptible verges from the truth. Momentary delusions. It wasn't a giant's victory that had triumphed over them, but many small compromises made day by day and slowly over time until they were confused and lost in unfamiliar terrain. And when the realization came, they could not believe how close it had been all along.