Chapter 1: Earth

By John Adams Theibert Jr.

In the fall at the beginning of the twenty first century, a twelve-year-old girl, named Shannon Pasher, became lost on the beach for over a month in the coastal town of Kittery, Maine. She was seen walking out to sea, and for a time, she was thought to have drowned in the depths of the frigid North Atlantic Ocean. She had not drowned; she just went to find her father, Roderick. Roderick was lost at sea in a boating accident when Shannon was ten years old.

Shannon’s father was a North Atlantic fisherman with his own midsized commercial fishing vessel, and a three-member crew. On an ordinary fishing trip, to the cod-rich waters off the coast of New England, Roderick’s boat was hit by an unusually large rogue wave that broke as they were skirting the coastline heading north. Roderick’s fishing boat was found washed up on shore. Roderick’s crew swam to the rocky beach of a nearby small offshore island where the coastguard had recovered them before they succumbed to the icy waters. However, there was no sign of Shannon’s father anywhere in the wreckage. The crew said that they lost sight of Roderick after the boat capsized.

It was widely accepted that Roderick drowned in the ocean, but since the crew did not see him go under, Shannon believed that he might be found one day. Shannon tried to keep her dream alive that her father might be rescued, but as time passed she started to lose hope that he was alive. The grief of her father’s disappearance was still fresh in her mind, even after nearly two years.

However, the reason that she went out to sea, was not only that she thought that she could find her father, but she was compelled by something that she had found on the beach, a small brightly-glowing vividly-colored stone. The stone glowed with a light that made things around it also softly-glow on their own. It convinced her that her father was calling to her off in the distance on the shell covered stony beach; however, she did not walk down the beach. She walked straight into the water. The rock that she picked up, from the middle of the beach, produce an image into her mind of the beach in front of her, instead of the crashing churning oceanic waters.

As she began to walk beneath the waves, she did not feel the crashing of the waves, or the freezing water touching her skin. She submerged beneath the splashing frothy breakers. She heard her father off in the distance just out of sight. Shannon’s mother Sandra was watching her daughter play on the beach, in the early-morning, from her vantage point on the porch. Sandra saw Shannon holding the glowing stone, and Shannon’s mother supposed that her daughter took a flashlight with her to look inside of shells.

As Shannon submerged, her mother, stunned, ran down the steps of the porch, and on to the beach, desperately trying to reach the ocean, to retrieve her daughter. As Sandra splashed into the cold oceanic waters, she could not reach her daughter because Shannon had already gone too far into the ocean. As Sandra dived into the icy brine, she saw a light dimly glowing in the clouded foamy depths.

The soft light blinked out as Shannon walked past a small offshore ridge. Sandra supposed that the flashlight sank in the undertow and that Shannon had been taken with it. Sandra could not see where Shannon went, so Shannon’s mother frantically swam back to shore and ran back to her house, freezing and soaking wet, and urgently called the coastguard, and the police for help.

Shannon moved into the deep waters, and the stone that she carried, kept her blood oxygenated so that she did not need to breathe. She began to walk on the ocean floor with no more effort than walking on a sandy beach. She went into a deep trance, no longer seeing her father on the beach, rather she believed that she was dreaming, and she could still hear her father’s voice calling to her far out to sea. She started to see, hear, and experience the oceanic environment surrounding her. She did not realize that she was in the ocean; instead, she believed that she was dreaming of her experiences in the Atlantic, and she forgot that she already awoke that day. She kept walking for hours, days, and then weeks.

She would walk down vertical walls of stone and up towering underwater mountains because the stone gave her variable buoyancy, according to whether she needed to go up or down in the water. When she came to the top of a submerged mountain close to the surface, she could see the cascading columns of golden sunlight, and the shimmering, silver, gold, and copper fish that swam in vast pulsating schools of alternating shapes. She also saw massive gray humpback whales that moved along side her to inspect her until she went too deep for them to follow her. In the vast blackness of the extreme-deep ocean, she saw the animated flickering green, yellow, and white lights of the bioluminescent jellyfish, and anglerfish.

The stone also nourished her blood with nutrients and fresh water, so that she did not need to eat or drink. She didn’t need sleep, and never got tired of walking, because the stone she held in her hands regulated her biochemicals, making her feel as if she had only been walking for a few minutes, to follow her father’s voice into the depths. She did not realize that she walked the depths of the ocean, for five weeks, four days, and nineteen hours.

Finally, she could hear her father’s voice no more, and she stopped walking. When she stopped, she went further into a trance. The glowing stone that she carried with her began to resonate and illuminate brightly. The sound from the stone started out like a low humming from a large hummingbird. The sound increased in intensity until it became a shrill wail, and then a deafening, resounding roar. The brilliance of the light from the stone, increased until it completely past through her body, as if she were made of stained glass. The water around the stone began to boil, and pancake sized bubbles of steam swirled above her head into the darkness, but she was not burned. Shannon was over three miles under the ocean’s surface in the center of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, in a vast mid-oceanic trench, which was volcanically active.

She could see for miles around her, because of the brilliant light that the stone produced. The walls of the channel rose hundreds of feet up, with sharp vertical sides. The trench also contained a jagged rock-covered bottom, with black-smokers billowing up super-heated water. The reverberation of the luminescent stone increased further until the sides of the trench began to quake and break. Massive boulders and sheets of rock started to crash all around her. Some of the huge slabs of granite were as large as a football field. As the tremendous mountains of rock and earth were collapsing all around her, she was protected from harm, by the power that came from the glowing stone.

The immensely powerful sound waves that emanated from the stone pulverized the gigantic objects and blasted them against the massive walls of the trench, filling the water with clouds of dust. The stone also kept her body from succumbing to the immense heat and blasting sound-pressure, which the water around her reached from the energy that the stone gave off, by surrounding her skin in a thin vacuum and then regulating her internal pressure.

The stone she held in her hands started to hover up to the height of her forehead, and then it moved towards her and began to enter her skull. She started to float in the midst of the water with her back arched, and her arms stretched out to her side. As the stone moved into her skull, the flesh and bone split apart around it creating an opening that it could enter into. It inserted itself so that it was just under her skull and skin as the bone and skin closed around it. It was located approximately near her pituitary gland, just behind her lower forehead above the juncture between her eyes. Her head started to shine brilliant white, and the rest of her body illuminated translucent pink as the stone created a small bone cavity under her skull.

After the stone fully inserted itself in her skull, and the skin, bone, and, sinew closed around it, there was no shred of a scar remaining. She began to float just above the surface of the ocean floor. Then the resonating stopped, and she fell into a deep coma. Soon after that the stone silenced, and stopped giving off light. The trench slowly calmed, and the dust settled, coating her in a thick layer of silt as she floated above the seabed facing downwards.

The event of the stone going into Shannon Pasher’s skull was a fusion of life energies. The stone was composed of life-energy, in a form of a substance called Spectral Zyborahz, from a planet full of advance life, far in the distant past, in a different universe. That planet, called Ghuyphan fell into a black hole and all of the life energies from that planet, collapsed into a solid stone of pure life-energy. Thus, the stone’s life-energy became as powerful as the life energies contained within a planet full of advance life. The stone of Spectral Zyborahz would create a planet full of advance life, by using her as a conduit to instill life into the recently created synthetic universe of Sephohmvohs. Arievlex used the UCO to create Sephohmvohs.

However, she was not yet ready to embark into a new world that she would create, from the life energies in the stone, which had fused with her under the Atlantic. Therefore, she only generated herself a new body. The body she created was the same as her original one, only her new body, was not generated under the ocean, where her first body was located. She generated her new body on the beach, where she first found the Spectral Zyborahz. Her original body remained under the Atlantic Ocean, in the Mid-Atlantic-Ridge, protected by the stone of life-energy while her new body went back to join her mother in Kittery, Maine.

Her new body was found five weeks later after she walked to the trench in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. She was not aware that she now had two bodies, and her first body lay at the bottom of the North Atlantic, in a deep coma. She materialized with a deep booming sound, like distant thunder, from her new body quickly entering the atmosphere.

She was found walking along the beach, early in the morning before light. Everything was normal, the only thing different was that she had been gone for over a month, and there had been a frantic search for her. The coastguard and the police conducted an all out search but with no results. Just as suddenly as she disappeared, she reappeared, not far from where she was last seen.

The police and the coastguard were about to give up the search. Early in the morning, Sandra was on the beach desperately trying to convince the police chief to continue the search. The police chief had come out to Sandra’s house in the early morning, to tell her that they had to stop the search. However, she felt confident that they were extremely close to finding her daughter. For some strange reason, Sandra was sure about it. Then she heard a low rumbling, like rolling thunder and turned around. She saw a faint shadow of a small person walking down the dark early-morning beach. She stared in disbelief.

Sandra thought to herself, “Oh if only that could be her.”

In frantic desperation, she shouted out. “Shannon? Shannon? Shannon!”

The little figure started to run towards Sandra, from about a football field’s distance away. When Sandra saw the girl running, she started to run towards her also, discovering that it was indeed Shannon. Sandra embraced Shannon as soon as they reached one another. Sandra never asked where Shannon had been, because Sandra had been the one that saw Shannon go under the waves. Shannon was not hurt, or in any serious health condition, but still she was rushed to the local hospital. At the hospital, the doctor and his nurses went right to work, treating her for trauma.

The news of her disappearance had been widespread, and no one had seen her for the entire time that she was missing. The worst possible situation had to be taken into consideration. Could she have drowned, and washed up on the beach? Even though, her clothes were dry and clean, she had to be checked over for any sign of long-term environmental exposure. All the tests that were done on her came out negative. The doctor questioned her after the testing was completed.

She sat on the uncomfortable, short bed that was in the small doctor’s office. The doctor and his nurse came into the room, and the doctor began to ask her some questions. “Hello, Shannon. I am Dr. Tutman. I have been over all your examinations. I have good news. You seem to be in good health because all the tests we did were negative. But, I am still concerned about you. Do you know where you have been for all this time Shannon? Everyone thought you had drowned. Your mother said that she saw you go under the waves and not come up. What happened? I need to know to make an accurate diagnosis about your condition. If I knew you drown and recovered I will have some additional tests performed,” Dr. Tutman said in a sincere tone.

Shannon thought for a minute, and then she replied, “I am ok, I, I just got lost, I think. Where is my mother?” She said.

Dr. Tutman said, “She is in the waiting room. Nurse, please go get Miss Pasher, her daughter wants to see her.” Then, Dr. Tutman turned and asked Shannon again, “You have been gone for over a month, Shannon. Where were you all that time? You couldn’t have been lost, so long, without someone seeing you.”

“I was just, I don’t know, I think, I was just lost. I can’t remember where I was. I am sorry for all this trouble. I think I was just on the beach. I don’t know where,” Shannon muttered.

“What is the last thing you remember Shannon? Do you remember drowning or going into the water at all?” Dr. Tutman asked concerned.

“No, I don’t think so. I was just going down to play on the beach. I could see something. It was a glowing rock. The sky got dark extremely fast when I touched the rock. I heard a loud noise like thunder. I was scared, I thought it would rain. So, I just started walking back home. I could see my mom. I don’t know why it got dark. Maybe there was a storm or the rock caused it somehow,” Shannon said.

“When did it get dark?” Dr. Tutman asked.

“When I touched the rock, it got dark. I just woke up. I wanted to play on the beach. Is it still dark?” Shannon replied.

“No, Shannon it is light outside. You don’t have to worry. We will find out what happened,” The doctor said sympathetically.

Shannon spoke up, “But, doctor, you said that I was gone, I think, you said, for more than a month. What did you mean?”

“Shannon, five weeks is how long we have been looking for you. Anyway, you don’t have to worry. You are ok. Everything will be ok,” Dr. Tutman said calmly.

Just then, Sandra walked in, smiled, and gave Shannon a reassuring hug. “Is everything alright doctor?” Sandra asked.

“Yes, everything is ok. Shannon might have a little amnesia, but she is otherwise remarkably healthy,” Dr. Tutman said enthusiastically.

“Amnesia? Did she hit her head on something?” Sandra said, alarmed.

“As far as the X-rays show she is perfectly alright, but we could run a MRI scan to be sure,” Doctor Tutman said.

“Ok, that will be good,” Sandra said, and looked down at Shannon to see if she looked ok.

Dr. Tutman took Shannon, and she was given an MRI scan, but nothing was wrong, so she was allowed to go home. The next day a couple of private investigators were to come and see Shannon and Sandra.

Shannon’s house was in Kittery, Maine, near the coast. Shannon’s house was white and looked well fitted to its New England surroundings. The three-story house had a third-story attic, which had a single window in the center of the black triangular rooftop.

In Shannon’s room, in the attic, there were pictures of lighthouses. Over Shannon’s bed, there hung a large picture of a majestic, red-and-white-striped lighthouse, and in her bedroom window, there was a stain-glass motif of a large white lighthouse centered above a sheer cliff face. The lighthouse in her window would shine and make its image on the wall, across the room from Shannon’s bed, when the sun would rise in the morning. On Shannon’s bed covers; there was a picture of a large, black-and-white-ringed lighthouse. Shannon’s lamp next to her bed on the nightstand was a blue tin lighthouse covered in gold stars and crescent moons that would light up and fill her room with their projections at night.

The next day Shannon was expecting some visitors, from the local investigation team. They drove into Shannon’s long gravel driveway, from the old narrow paved road that curved around the sharp beachhead. A navy-blue car pulled into the driveway at Shannon’s home, and two investigators dressed in neat dark navy-blue suits got out, and walked up the steps to the porch, to ring the doorbell. The doorbell chimed like an old grandfather clock. Shannon and her mother both came to the door. “Hi, please come in and make yourselves at home, I assume you are the investigators that were supposed to come today,” Sandra said politely.

“Yes we are ma’am. Good afternoon; Miss Pasher and Shannon, I am Miss Peterson, and this is my partner Mr. Tudalbahm,” Miss Peterson said. Shannon chuckled a bit.

“It’s ok, I get that a lot,” Mr. Tudalbahm said.

“Ok, Shannon, we’re here to see if we can find out what happened to you, the past five weeks. Do you remember anything about the morning when you went out to play on the beach?” Miss Peterson questioned.

“Yes, it was early in the morning, but it was just turning light, and I just wanted to see if I could find some new shells or something pretty for my dresser. I could see the rock after I walked down the beach for a while. The rock was pretty. I touched it to pick it up, and the sky got dark,” Shannon said confidently.

“What did the rock look like, Shannon?” Mr. Tudalbahm asked.

“It was sort of clear and shiny, and it had a rainbow swirling on top of it,” Shannon stated.

“Did you see anyone on the beach, that morning?” Miss Peterson asked.

“I just saw my mom. She had come out to watch me play.” Shannon said.

“What happened then, Shannon?” Mr. Tudalbahm asked.

“Well, the sky got dark extremely quick. I looked around for a bit because I was lost. I could see my mom with some men on the beach,” Shannon replied.

“Who were the men that you saw? Did you recognize any of them?” Mr. Tudalbahm questioned.

“They were the policemen that brought me to the hospital. I didn’t know why they did that, but when I got there, the doctor said I had amnesia because I didn’t remember I was lost, for, um, over a month,” Shannon replied.

“You don’t remember anything else, then, Shannon?” Miss Peterson asked.

“No, the sky got dark real fast. I guess I must have blacked out. Then I decided to walk back home. Maybe, there was a storm coming because I heard some thunder. I think, I was lost somehow, ’cause I don’t remember where I was, for all that time,” Shannon said cautiously.

“Ok, Shannon that is all for now. Thank you,” Miss Peterson said.

After that Shannon was not questioned any more, but the issue of kidnapping came up; however, there was never any evidence of foul play. Therefore, she just went back to her, normal playful, self, and in the fall, she started going back to school. She was in the seventh grade. She started the year normally. She did her homework and played with friends. Something highly unexpected happened. She had gone on a field-trip, with her class to the Federal Administration of Science Exploration Research, FASER. FASER was a newly created government agency specifically designed to support scientific research and development done in the US, under the guise of the exploration of science. Her class visited FASER as a part of the schools new initiative to advance the science department, which lagged behind the state average.

At FASER, she saw many unusual looking technical things, and for the first time, she felt particularly interested in science. FASER had scheduled an IQ test, only giving it to students that desired to take it. Even her teacher, Mrs. Shutters took it in an effort to inspire her students. Her new found interest in technology, and Mrs. Shutter’s motivation gave her desire and courage to take the IQ test. After the IQ test had ended, all the students that took the IQ test rejoined the other students, and they all went out for ice cream.

The next week at school she felt extraordinarily good about the trip, and could not stop talking about it with her friends. In the afternoon, the IQ test results came in, and all the students that had taken the test were asked to go to the main office to pick them up. She was excited and hurried down to the office. She was one of the first to arrive at the office, to pick up the IQ test results. The attendant handed her the envelope, and she opened it franticly. It said that she was invited to come back to FASER anytime and in the envelope was a passcard. The passcard allowed her entrance into FASER the next time she came.

She noticed that none of the other students got a pass-card. All the other students just got an invitation to come back to FASER. Most of the other students were disappointed, about the fact that they did not get their IQ test results. However, she was somehow exceptional. She got a pass-card, and it looked genuine. She was tremendously interested, and decided that she would take a trip to FASER for the grand tour that the pass-card promised if her mom would allow it. Her mom thought that it would be a good idea, so they planned it as a part of winter vacation.