The sound rang out through the
Citadel of the Ringmasters - loud, droning and ominous.
It rang out from the Citadel, and could be heard across the land.
It rang out across the world, and all on the Earth that some knew as D-476 could hear its sound.
It rang out from the twin spires of Beacon Terra One, out across the surface of the world known as Nova Valdris.
On an Earth where a former Ringwraith known as 'Michael' lived, every person in the city of Los Angeles could hear the deep, fear-inducing sound ring out through the night.
On the world where the small, ursine race known as the Effrani lived with a population of fur seals that had emigrated from Earth and the population of Ringbearers who operated bases on a sourthern archipalago, all looked up to the night sky as the sound seemed to pulse out from the huge, shimmering sets of planetary rings known as the Rings of Light.
On a world known only (and in ironic jest) as 'Zerth' (for 'Zombie Earth'), Ian Llwyd and Anastasia Rowe awoke from their massive bed in the former British Monarch's sleeping chambers in Buckingham Palace, both feeling a sudden dread as the sound rang out through the room.
On an Earth where her heart was shattered forever, Danielle Todds stood in front of a burned-out shell of a home, placed by her in a permanent temporal stasis field (something that only she, as the wielder of the only full-power Defender Ring in existence, could accomplish), as she carried out a tradition she had started almost eight decades earlier - to visit the ruins on the day her family had arrived in what was once the City of Lawndale.
As she placed a single pink rose in front of the ruins, the temporal field fell with a roaring of sound... a sound that rang out from the ruins, and filled her with a cold terror.
On many worlds, crowds gathered in wonder and concern as - in every part of the world where the Silver Circle Foundation held a location, the deep, ominous sound rang out across the land.
In their Williamsburg home, Daria Morgendorffer and her husband, Michael Fulton, held hands as they stood outside their home and looked up in the sky - as did many of their neighbors, and so many persons who had stopped their cars in the road next to their home - wondering where the ominous sound was coming from.
Inside their home, the small black cat – 'Bump' - hid beneath a couch and meowed in fear, while her sister, the tortoise-shell cat known as 'Sissy' went to the window where she had first seen her sister and lifted her paws so that she could see out into the distance.
Both Daria and Michael turned, staring in confusion and wonder at the sight of their pet crying out to something - not in fear, but as if she were trying to get the attention of something they could not see.
Pouring out of the front door of Legion Tower, the group of super-powered teens known as the Legion could hear the ominous sound thronging out across the surface of the Earth.
Five minutes later, they would discover that the sound was coming from the home of one Mrs. Johanssen - and she was nowhere to be found.
On another Earth, the survivors of the Daylight Crisis - the Legionnaires, and members of the U.S. Marshals and the U.S. Military Command among them, found that the thronging sound was rising from a patch of earth where the home of one Anthony DeMartino had once lived.
Across the continent, in the only surviving American city of Las Vegas, Peter Morgan and the man known only as 'Mr. Veggie' - two members of the organization known as Arcana - looked up from their lunch of fresh salmon to hear the sound, as well.
Aboard the Sky Vault Saleesa, a crowd - average persons, gifted humans and Ringbearers alike - gathered in the giant park where an open-air concert had been underway, all staring wordlessly as the sound rang out from a young, blonde-haired woman known as Courtney.
Later, some would remember seeing her mouth the words "Yeah. Just another day of being me."
Only the Ringbearer known as Archangel - traveling between dimensions - could not hear the sound.
Throughout all realities, wherever a being stood who wore the Ring - Defender, or Vengeance - the sound could be heard.
It was the sound of the Cloister Bell.
It was the sound of The Beginning of The End.
Calling The Children Home
A Tale of the Ringbearers - set in the 'Judith Strikes!' shared-world series - by Brother Grimace.