This is the first in a series of Mana Pool draft notes—facts, history, characters, species, politics, locations, etc.—and are subject to change for the final result. Enjoy the readings.
One week after popular media became infatuated with Jaruka Teal’s presence, report the damage of the controversial containment protocol, and debate the “terran threat,” a small fishing vessel dubbed the Brigadier docked in Skagway, Alaska. It was not their regular port of call: it was an emergency. It’s hull was dented by a Wave Crystal. Holes were noticed and had to be patched, but the cabin it leaked into had to be pumped hourly. The bridge’s roof was caved in, also by a Wave Crystal, but was embedded in the steel behind the captain’s chair. Their radio equipment was fried, no change to signal the Coast Guard until leaving international waters and signal a ship with lights and flare guns. Three out of the four-man crew were severely dehydrated, malnourished, and had signs of post-shock. The captain disclosed that the fourth crew member went overboard when the Wave passed over them, hit by the crystal. The only remains of him was a severed left leg.
Like many others, the captain didn’t believe Asteroid Helen would crash and thought best to keep on fishing. He was three payments away from being debt free. The collective repairs of his vessel would bring him to bankruptcy, and he refused to accept it. He sold off the boat for scrap, let his crew go, and found work on the docks to one day rebuild his fishing career.
His eyewitness account of the Wave and the crash out at sea was important because his boat was the closest than any other vessel. Any information about it was gold to understand what really happened. There is still a possibility that someone was out there, seeing the crash up close, but that was a pipe dream for theorists.
Once the asteroid entered the atmosphere and flew over the ship, the Brigadier’s equipment suffered an EMP pulse nobody could determine how it was generated. The sound-breaking shockwave almost capsized the Brigadier from an ocean wave. Through his binoculars, the captain watched the asteroid crash over the horizon.
It is still unknown how it prevented a tsunami or not ignite the oxygen in the air or flash boil the water, but the Brigadier’s crew didn’t care once the tower of white light rose.
There are three distinct periods of The Wave: the crystal fall, the infection, and the awakening, each one following the next.
In crystal fall, once the tower reached to roughly 30,000ft, it spread to open a rift through space and time, from where or when is still debated and theorized, even with the Department of Experimental Magicks of the Galactic Republic. Ground Zero was then covered in impenetrable clouds. The rift expanded and when the tower extinguished itself, the ring formed, expanding as fast as people could track it. It was over the Brigadier within minutes. The ship’s first mate – scared to consider going to church for the first time since grade school – saw within the rift. He described it as, “a hellish space of reds and purples. I would not suppose demons lived there.”
Crystals fell, like meteors from space and debris from crumbling skyscrapers. There was minimal coverage on the Brigadier to take.
The rift expanded, blanketing the planet’s surface and ocean depths with Wave Crystals. It didn’t matter if the land had life, but human presence was the Wave’s target. Once the Wave hit the mainland, the crystals grew in size and shape. Some buildings survived, while others crumbled from shattered foundations or ripped support beams. Highways and freeways pot-marked, bridges and overpasses collapsed, gridlocking a city’s major infrastructure. Thinner crystals impaled the less fortunate. Rural areas saw minimal crystal fall. Major electrical grids and communications lines were crippled.
The expected cost of damage across the world was, for lack of the better word, undetermined.
Once the rift left the devastated land and the loss of life was so much to comprehend, the crystals started glowing, from the smallest shards to the towering monoliths. Their glow intensified and so did a sound, much like a merged ohm or ah, low to make human bones shake. The major result came from the larger crystals as the sound and light hit their peak. Light burst from them without shattering the crystals. It separated into individual orbs of white light, not much bigger than softballs, and impossible to count them. Streams of light circled a solid ball of light, bright enough to cause blind spots in people’s eyesight. They hovered in the air, and after a minute, every orb scurried like an agitated ant colony, hunting down and merging with every human being. It didn’t matter if humans were hospital bed-bound, hiding under steel plates, in remote places far from civilization, or have yet to be born: no human was left untouched. On contact, people described it as being plugged into an electrical outlet: their nervous system overloaded, their cells tingled, and the amount of pain no human could combat.
Humans collapsed into a coma where they stood, their bodies still twitching minutes later, then still, breathing slow.
Before the awakening, areas were silent. No cars, trucks, trains, or planes(either grounded or taken down by crystals) operated. The sound of an apocalypse, the very sound of silence the earth never heard before humans invented the internal combustion engine. Humans slumbered for a full hour, and just as the Wave passed, humans opened their eyes, breathing in air, and scared of their changed world. Surveillance footage from backup power was frightening enough as animals walked about, unaffected.
It did not take long for the first humans to get their tattoos, marking them as the first terrans.
People scrambled to check with allied countries and were shocked on the Wave’s simple logic. India and China, the world’s most densely populated lands, was whittled down to rubble, corpses on every corner, and a massive blow to the world’s economy. The relief effort is still ongoing to this day as the bodies are still counted, and many aid organizations gave up due to heartache.
People imagined what the end of the Wave created. Determining the coordinates of the island, 55°41’09.3″S 35°34’30.8″E was the opposite, located between the South Atlantic and Indian oceans. Once military ships arrived, their expectations were short lived. The location was baron. Deep sea radar discovered a crystal cluster, seemingly useless in importance.
The UN urged military personnel in every allied country to gather and contain all crystals not stuck in the ground, stuffed in shipping containers, bunkers, storage buildings, anywhere with unused space. Any time to study them met with government and public opinion: no. Only the terrans and their damage on politics, economy, religion, and military were on everybody’s mind to corral and manage.
Four months later when political ease is nowhere in sight, from terran rights, military collapse, to religious conflicts, people noticed the crystals were growing as fast as ornate succulents. Many discredit the evidence and worry about the end of human life in four years.
Interesting note. When Jaruka Teal heard of the Wave from terrans captured with at Area 51/Groom Lake, he said that the rift acted like a similar spell for colony and refugee relocation. The Her Zunel Wahr. The complex ritual is used for temporary terraforming a planet, moon, or asteroid. The magic lasts for months for food production, rest, trade, repair, then move on. Everything else, Jaruka said, was in theory or illegal practice.
If the theory is sound, does this equate to an artificial creation?