Mark is away when the blanking occurs.
He is away from his wife, Mary.
Mark speaks on the phone with Mary before it happens.
He is beginning his trip home on the train from N.Y. City, when the blanking happens.
The sun glowed red, yet it was high in the sky. The light was red. Everything was red. It was difficult telling one color from another. Everywhere cars were left still in the middle of the road, just as they were when they lost power. All of them. Every single vehicle lost power.
Someone was saying that they had seen several airplanes crash into the ground. They too had lost all their power. Smoke from large fires filled the sky and weakened the already dim red light.
Car hoods were raised as many thought they could figure what was wrong.
What was wrong? What was wrong!
He weakened even more. All around them people walked about lost.
His thought process had slowed. Thinking was difficult. It
tired him quickly as it did others he saw sitting about catching their breath’s.
The first portion of our story describes his trip home amid the chaos that the city is in. He tells of Gena to many he encounter.
He sees how quickly the city falls into a state of madness.
The Universe blinked. At the flip of a cosmic switch, the structure of the Universe had altered for an instant, matter itself had weakened and while on the verge of unreeling, was struggling to return to normal.
For most, it was a sudden loss of breath, a swift punch to the stomach knocking the wind out of you. Breathing was difficult. People felt dizzy, grew sick and fainted. Some with terminal ailments were suddenly cured, and some without any ailment suddenly fell dead from a sudden ravaging cancer that had rushed through their bodies within days.
No one knew for sure what had happened and what effect it was having. Electronic devices stopped working. Nothing could be measured. The scientific community could only speculate on the cause of the effects they were witnessing with their own eyes.
Electronic communication was impossible. As if the world had suddenly grown ten times it’s size. You suddenly felt isolated.
The world slowed.
The sun glowed red in the sky.
Days and nights were longer.
The world had become passive.
Weather was calm, warm.
Tides stabilized. Barely from high to low.
An earthquake in California, China, killing thousands.
Tidal waves in the pacific.
Tidal swells in the Atlantic.
Within minutes the tides stabilised and stayed low.
Planes lost power, surprisingly some were able to glide to landings in various locations, with only a few casualties. But
many fell from the sky, crashing into the ground and killing hundreds.
As reports of disaster were presented, experts and eyewitnesses discussed and debated what it was that happened. And why?
The sun grew hotter, perhaps collapsing.
The moon’s orbit increased, as Earths gravity pull weakened.
Everywhere, man and animal died without reason.
And everywhere, many of the sick, handicapped and dying were cured.
But most odd of all, is the claim by many of having seen long dead loved ones, acting as if they were alive. And some who had seen images of their sons and daughters grown up, and then returning to their present state. As if three periods, the present, past and future co-existed.
The President’s Science Advisor explained the incident was a disruption of the fabric of the Universe.
What they found at first the naked eye could not yet see, but the telescope could as a fine white line cutting completely across the sky, no matter where the lens was pointed.
What was it?
Light. But generated by what?
Explosions. What was exploding?
What was causing the Universe to explode?
A wave of energy passing quickly through the universe.
Matter itself, the fabric of the Universe, was disturbed. Like dropping a pebble into a still pool of water. Matter, like the pool of water was disturbed by a wave of energy that is eminating from the source of the disruption, passing through matter itself, and destroying everything in its path. What it was and where, we don’t know. Perhaps a massive explosion occurring so long ago and so far away from Earth, that it’s concussion ruptured the universe, and created a shock wave traveling faster than the speed of light. Or perhaps a remnant of the big bang. A perpetual shock wave that is the impetus by which the universe expands, bouncing back and forth between the center and edges. A shock wave. In that pool of matter, a pebble was dropped.
It’s sound could be heard by radio telescopes that had reported it in, not knowing that what they were hearing was the thunder of the matter of the Universe exploding.
Whatever, it is as large as the Universe itself. Like a bulldozer shoveling a mountain of dirt, this wave of energy, was causing the matter before it to become so dense from it’s force, that it was superheating, exploding into a blinding white hot light and disintegrating into it’s smallest elements.
Will it pass through our solar system?
How long from now?
One year until it actually crosses us. That means we have about six months. By then we should be feeling the full effects of the wave.
When should we begin to feel anything.
We have already.
Someone recalled reading about an Indian belief in the God Siva. Siva was the God of regeneration, rebirth, whereby Siva would destroy the Universe and let it start anew, after being cleansed of the sin it had acrued over time.
This was the “wave”, the Hand of God sweeping across the universe. The tool by which, over a short span of 1 year, it was all coming to a cataclysmic end. A great “ripple” in the fabric of space and time, destroying everything in its path. Including Earth.
He looked upto the night sky. The stars moved, softly, slowly, like specks of dust in water swirling and falling toward an open drain, they coalesced toward a thin band of white light that to stretched endlessly across the Universe.
The world was on the edge. there was no order. no law. you had to scavenge and struggle for necessities. and fight to protect what little was yours. Each time the wave rose it showered debris upon the earth that was once alien worlds millions of light years away, and now the residue of the waves destruction.
Mark meets Gena, at which they have fast impersonal sex. They sit together in a darkened apartment and listen to the radio for news as to what is happening.
Intro Harry and his wife Laura. She stands at the window pondering her dreams and images of a strange man she’s never met, approaching from the heart of the wave. She will meet him.
Harry knows of her dreams and is jealous.
Mark struggles thru the ruined city streets. He had travelled too long, and felt so tired. But he had yet to feel failure. He felt so close.
The world was like a sauna. The poles melted. the water level rose steadily each day. High tides have become as deadly as the heat of the wave. The heat is incredible. Storms raged constantly, lightening striking everything.
It was all coming to an end. And now they stood upon a
threshold of fire. they waited for it to happen. all any one could do, was lay down and wait to die.
He continued his march through the rubble that was once a small desert town. Piles of cement blocks, wood and ash, all scorched by the heat of the wave, and crushed by debris thrown forth by the wave as it approached. It’s bright light peeked softly over the eastern horizon, as the sun began to set on the western.
Within an hour it would fill half the sky, it’s heat and
light beyond that level at which a human being could live. Anyone outside then would burn, and be found, if so lucky, burned black.
Having reached the top of a mountain of ash and cement, he lost his balance and fell. He rolled twenty feet or so to the bottom. He slowly turned over and saw he was surrounded by a complex of adobe buildings, that was now in ruins but for most of it’s lower level. Their windows stared at him like black soulless eyes. Except for one, where he though he could see someone looking out of the window, looking at him. He tried to crawl to that building. But his strength was gone. All that was left was just enough to burn under the heat and light of the wave.
Behind him, a wall of fiery light rose in the sky.
He closed his eyes, so tired that he was, and thought how he would die alone, as he always believed he would. The darkness of
his closed eye lids blackened even more. His head swelled, his body numbed, and he felt like he was floating.
He awakens in a room.
Mark lay on a beaten mattress, on the floor of a room without direct sunlight. His breathing was labored, almost sickly. The air was thick and hot. It hung so thick and still that he felt he was drowning in still swamp water.
Mark wore only a pair of torn white shorts.
The inside of the apartment was of damp crumbling sheet rock. The windows were covered with dark sheets, nailed down at the edges where bright white light still bled through so strong it filled the whole apartment.
Is visited by a strange woman, who stands at the door staring at him. She leaves.
He gets up and wanders about.
While wandering, human cries tickle the walls with reverberation, so subtle so distant, that he wondered if they were real, ghosts of those who died and still suffered, hot air squeezing through cracks in the walls, or just his imagination.
He finds Harry. From the condition of his skin, Harry could tell that Mark has exposed himself to the Wave once too often.
Harry asks if Mark is looking for someone?
A name? Perhaps Harry knows her.
Mark has struggled back home since the blanking. He found their home had been destroyed.
Perhaps? Wondered Harry.
Harry tells him that Gena is dead, allegedly killed by the Beast they call, Matthew. Harry takes him to the room Gena stayed in.
Harry was the rich scion of a large estate outside of town. He prompted everyone to stay in his fortress like home while the wave tore the world apart.
Harry became sick and fell into a coma at the blanking. After he awakened, he gathered all the town people left homeless by the fires, and invited them for shelter in his home. He met Gena, who he soon realised was the girl in his terrible nightmare in which he saw her body awash in blood. He never told her this. And realised later that his dream might have been a premonition.
He goes onto tell about the beast that has welled from the Earth to wreak havoc among them. Harry admits succumbing to his powers, but Gena was strong and held the people together. But it was not enough. Matthew finally her took down into his darkened lair, and killed her.
In a back room painted black and shaded, stood a large barreled black telescope. Beside it metal shelving with several dark lenses, and two pair of heavy protective fitted welding glasses.
The black telescope (It’s blackness was odd. Symbolic?). A ten inch diameter lens rested atop it’s long six foot barrel. At the bottom he found not the standard one and a half inch eye piece, but a ten inch ground glass screen, upon which the image seen through the telescope could be seen.
But what would anyone want to look at.
Harry enters. They greet each other. He takes note of how Mark admires his telescope.
Harry finds that Mark seems to feel better now that he is
walking about. Mark agrees but for the dizziness that still rocks him.
Mark asks if he was the one who saved him, and Harry nods.
Mark asks how Harry had found him?
Harry had seen Mark crossing the lot as he was closing the shutters on the windows of his apartment that face the courtyard. He watched Mark until he collapsed along the edge of the lot.
Mark would have died if Harry hadn’t gone out there just in time. He wonders how Mark had even lived through it at all.
Mark asks how long he has been out? Harry says almost two days. He asks what city he is in?
Harry snickers, and asks if it really matters?
Harry then asks where Mark is from?
Mark asks if that really matters?
They smile sadly at each other.
Harry comments on Marks admiration of his telescope.
What do you look at? Wondered Mark.
The Wave, responded Harry.
Yes. Almost everyday I watch it as it rises, sometimes later while it fills the sky.
I don’t know.
Harry goes onto explain how he built the telescope himself, and how it works, ultimately viewing your target on a large 10″ diagonal ground glass view finder.
Harry asks Mark if he would like to look. It fills the sky now.
Yes, said Mark.
Mark had never seen it this close.
Harry prepares his guest by giving him a pair of heavy
sunglass. Closing and locking the door. Then opening the shutters on the ground glass itslf. The light of the wave filled the room like water filling an empty pail, even though it was only coming from hole ten by ten.
At first Mark could see nothing but the glare that seemed to even overpower the glasses that he wore. But his eyes seemed to adjust. Harry reached for him and guided him to the large optical view finder at the bottom of the cylinder that was the telescope.
He pointed down for Mark to look at the view finder.
Mark looked through the telescope at the sky with the blinding white light of the “wave”. He could see stars and whole galaxies exploding before it. If you looked hard enough, you would see it was growing larger and getting closer by the minute. And if you looked even harder you would see the matter of the universe being torn apart. A natural force bending and stretching the universe as it passed through it, leaving the remnants of exploded stars and galaxies, and the stillness of death in it’s wake.
“What do you see?”
“Explosions,” exclaimed Mark. “It’s like fire. A massive wall of fire. Like hell!”
“Incredible! Isn’t it?”
Mark steps back away from the telescope. Harry takes it as a cue and slides the black mask back over the ground glass, and the room is dark again.
Nancy, Harry’s wife, enters the room. the same woman that stood at the door to the room he slept in. she is frantic, soaked with sweat. she paces the room. she was worried he left, stepping into the heat of the wave. she goes on about the wave, believing its presence to be a god send. mans last chapter. the end. she wonders what he sees through the telescope. he asks her to look, but she refuses, afraid to see death. she doesn’t understand how mark can look at the wave. it is like looking death in the face. she becomes angry. she doesn’t understand why it is happening. she would rather not look at it. she doesn’t understand why he looks at it. he’s always looking at it. as if they were enjoying it. he ponders her condition. she is on the edge.
Harry is worried. he leaves to go down and comfort her. he still loves her.
Harry calls out to Nancy. There is no answer. He walks into the bedroom where she lays in bed under a still ceiling fan. He speaks to her again. Her eyes shift to look at him without a movement from her head. She stares at him, her face red from the heat, soaked with sweat, thin and drawn from exhaustion and malnutrition. The stare is blank, cold, recognising only his presence in the room and feeling nothing.
Mark prowls the building alone. He is followed about, and chased by some large dark figure. An animal? A man?
Mark awakens, and hears rushing water. stepping to the window, he sees an ocean of water rushing to fill the desert.
death is near. he waits for it.
Mark sat alone on the edge of the roof. There was no wind. The heavy mist of moisture hung still in the air, hiding the setting wave, and its bright band of white light setting in the west, still overpowering the weak light of the sun. the heat of the wave was fresh. the sun was the only light in the sky, along
with the moon that was more like a sun due to it’s reflection of the light of the wave.
Mark felt another presence, and turned to see Nancy, Harry’s wife, wearing only a white terricloth bathrobe. They spoke as she slowly seduced him but stopped short, and then began to rant and rave, like Christine his wife used to. She stood on the edge of the cliff, and threw away the robe, revealing a thin still shapely body the was badly bruised from beatings. He walks to her. As he gets closer, he realizes she is crying, head bowed. Mark, almost shocked, realizes why she is standing there.
From behind emerges Harry. In tears, he calls out to Nancy to step away from the ledge.
She turned to him. Tears filled her eyes. “I can’t wait anymore, Harry,” she cried.
“Nancy. Nancy please. Step away from the edge.”
“No! I want to die when I’m ready.”
“But you’re leaving me alone!”
“We talked about it, Harry. Remember.”
For a short suspenseful moment, she was hidden by a thick mist crawling by.
“I told you I would do it when I felt I was ready. I want to have the honor of choosing the time and method of my own death.”
“But you believed – “
“I don’t believe that anymore. There is no God. There is no Heaven. We’re alone. We’re all alone! We have nothing left but to have a hand in our own deaths.”
“Nancy?” Harry began to cry.
“I’m ready, Harry.”
Harry stood frozen for a moment, and then ran to the edge. His husky stature suddenly weakened. His knees buckled. And he fell to the ground. He bowed his head over the edge, without looking down, and cried.
Mark discovers from Harry that Nancy was being raped regularly by Mathew the ogre.
afterwards, Harry goes mad. the screams ring throughout the tenement. like a wolf howling at the moon, he cries to the wave.
then it stops.
mark cautiously enters the apartment. there he finds ed hung. dead.
mark is now terribly alone.
should he do the same. he is afraid to. just as he always has been to take the initiative.
While he is watched, Mark discovers where Gena is. She is dead. But not gone.
Harry reappears and challenges Mark. Harry is Matthew. There is no Matthew but in Harry’s and Nancy’s mind. Harry knew that Mark was coming and waited for him.
The battle is brutal. Harry is strong. His powers are almost supernatural as Mark witnesses Harry’s transformation into the beast while they battle. They battle out in the light of the wave as the earth is rained by debris.
The world begins to collapse around them. The building falls with them in it.
Mark watches as debris from the wave bombards the Earth.
Mark is dying.
He feels he is falling away when the noise stops. He is still surrounded by the chaos, but bending down over him is Gena.
We see that Harry lays on a large slab of concrete, from which he can see that a field of light protects Mark. She kneels down beside him, takes his head in her arms and rests it in her bosom.
He was on the edge now. Too close to wait for the inevitable. Not alone.
“Your not alone, Mark.”
It was a soft reassuring touch.
He saw nothing but a blinding white light.
But it was Gena.
Where did she come from?
Where had she been?
How did she get here?
She wonders if he understood the letter. The last few were difficult to write. Trying to put into words, that which could not be described, but only seen, felt, and experienced.
She has returned to protect him. Rescue him and take him
away from death. She explains that she has reached a level of development within the Universe that few have yet reached.
Mark wonders if he is being taken to that level too.
She has not returned because he is ready, but because she loves him.
He will be ready someday, but not yet.
But each of her kind and ability have been given the opportunity because of the wave, to save some of the kind she once was. He is one of those chosen.
Because she loves him.
But if she is what she says she is, then his is no where near her level of mental development. Why would she want him around?
He won’t exactly be with her.
He is not ready to exist as she does.
And she can not stay too long with him.
The total extermination of an intelligent species cannot be allowed to happen. It has been happening throughout the universe;
just before the wave arrives, those chosen are protected and then returned to cope on a new world.
He will one day be ready to meet her, as she really is, just as he will be ready to understand what he really is.
She loves him. He loves her.
The universal concept of love is a concept beyond recognition and explanation. It is a real, tangible scientific
structure. Love and emotions are necessary, once achieved by an intelligent species, it can never change. An emotions definition can never change, for it is perfect at conception. Love is necessary and felt by all. No matter how advanced the being.
One day he will awaken to it’s true beauty, and to his true reality. And she will be there to share it with him.
He feels undeserving. Why should he go on while others die.
He is not special in kind. He is not getting something no one else will inevitably get. No one actually dies. When death occurs, it is not the end. The most important part continues to grow.
In his case, there is more he can achieve at his level.
The wave will disrupt development for many, but a few must continue along an uninterrupted path. Those few must survive to continue the physical state of the universe. It is an important level along a path that will end in the ultimate truth. Mark will not know this truth because of his privilege to be kept alive by beings that have seen the truth of the universe.
In a way, his own existence will be interrupted to save him. He will know things no one else will, and this knowledge will
accelerate his spiritual progress, but his conscious mind will remember nothing.
Mass chaos occurs as the wave gets closer. The laws of physics are laid aside and physical chaos reigns. Objects in it’s path are torn apart. Some survive, but in a physical state totally unlike it before.
The world is slammed with flinging extraterrestrial objects. The color of the sky changes into a fire red. The face of the
Earth changes, as if a million years of geologic development were happening in days.
As she reveals herself to him, he learns she can only maintain that state for a little while longer. The Earth is
destroying itself. She is beginning to fade. He must decide now.
She pleads with him.
He is afraid. Unsure of taking the kind of risk he’d always wanted to take.
Damn it all!
He grabs her hand, raps his arms around her, they embrace. Their presence fades.
Matthew has watched from a distance, saddened by being left alone.
The Earth dies.
Mark awakens on a different world, at first unsure of what is going on.
Is this a dream?
He remembers Gena. He recalls their “celestial” love making.
Was it all a dream?
No. It was all real. Very real.
He runs to her, but she warns him to stay away. She is here for only a few minutes, their touching each other would be destructive.
He asks where he is?
On a new world. His new home. Learn to take care of it. It is also a living thing, and you must treat it as such.
She must let go, for now. She may, or may not return.
“I love you.”
She is gone.
He turns and stands to behold his new home, a new world. He forgot to ask if there were anyone else on the world with him. It did not matter.
He stepped forward.