In 2025, a brilliant star appeared in the sky. So bright it could be seen day and night.
Public officials said it was a supernova, but astronomers knew that wasn't possible, because there was no star in that location to go critical.
A few months later, a solar eclipse and lunar eclipse occurred simultaneously. Astronomers were baffled because that's physically impossible. Sun and moon must be in different positions.
Other inexplicable events began to happen. Overnight, a ziggurat appeared on a farm in Lancaster county, then disappeared. Public officials said it was a prank.
A herd of Irish elk was spotted in Kazakhstan. Yet Irish elk were thought to be extinct for millennia.
A lion killed a man in Akranes, Iceland. Officials had no idea where it came from.
Missing persons reports began to pour in. Not just people who went missing. But people who were seen to vanish. Sometimes one was taken, one was left.
Chicago police took a disoriented man into custody who was speaking gibberish. At first they assumed he was drunk or high on drugs. But the tox report was clean.
They recorded some of his ravings and played it back for a scholar at the Oriental Institute. At first the scholar couldn't recognize the dialect. Then they showed him something the man scribbled.
The scholar then identified the language as Eblaite. Because it's a dead language, no one knew the pronunciation. But the cuneiform script was identifiable.
Kate was dazed when she returned home late. Her husband Ralph was worried:
Ralph: What happened?
Kate: I was driving by the old abandoned house where I grew up. There was a light inside. I parked the car. Peered through the living room window. Saw a woman inside. So I knocked on the door, and my mother answered the door.
Ralph: That's impossible! She died 30 years ago.
Kate: I know! But it was her. She invited me inside. We sat down and talked. The living room looked just like it did when I was a kid, before the house was abandoned. Maybe I'm going crazy, but I know what I saw.
Ralph and Kate drove back to the house. When they got there it was dark. Ralph had to force the front door open. Inside it was musty and dilapidated–like no one had been there for years.
Kate decided to see her doctor the next day, in case she had brain cancer.
Government officials were giving bland assurances to dampen mass hysteria, but in private it was government officials who were panicking. Some generals speculated that it might be a prelude to an alien invasion.
Clint Underwood was a NASA astronomer and consultant to the President's National Security Advisor. Son of a pastor, he lost his faith when he studied at Cornell.
Now, however, he was beginning to suspect that the ancient prophecies were coming true. What if Jesus was coming back. What if he was bringing back the saints, in the Shekinah cloud.
Since the saints of the ages originally lived at different times, he theorized that when they returned en masse, they might bring back pockets of their own time. Things from the past might accompany them.
Clint was now explaining the situation to the ANSA.
ANSA: So what's your theory?
Clint: Well, to put it in layman's terms, I think we're experiencing the leading edge of a temporal shock wave. Ripples in time, reaching our shore–ahead of the wave.
Like a tidal wave generated by continental plates rubbing against each other. Only this is a temporal tidal wave. Ripples of time are casting bits and piece of the past onto the shore, so to speak.
ANSA: What about the eclipse?
Clint: That was the optical effect of a solar eclipse from one timeframe combined with a lunar eclipse from another timeframe.
ANSA: And what about missing persons?
Clint: That's a bounce-back effect, like ripples slapping the end of the pool. A temporal rip current that sucks some people into the event horizon.
Unfortunately, the closer it comes, the effects will be magnified.
ANSA: So what does that mean? Annihilation?
Clint: Not necessarily. Different timeframes can't coexist, for the same reason two physical objects can't occupy the same space at the same time. So it's highly disruptive. Possibly cataclysmic.
But if it's just pockets of past times, the effects might be more localized. Very destructive, but survival is possible. We can only pray for the best.