Now, another strange thing happens. As Daniel watches, suddenly a barrage of stars falls from the sky, forming a sort of wall in front of the pursuers. This stops them, but only momentarily.
Startled, Walt and Kerry hurriedly finish the repairs and make a mad dash for the door of the ship, dodging the single stars which now continue to fall one by one.
As they enter the ship, bolting the door behind them, Walt calls out breathlessly to Daniel, who, having closed the window, is still staring of it at the falling stars: "O.K., Dan, We’re ready!"
All three rush to the controls. As Kerry begins to pull the lever, the sound of angry fists can be heard, beating upon the door.
"Wow!" Just in time!" observes Daniel as the cylinder is airborne once more.
CHAPTER 8: HUMANISM AND HOPE
"That’s for sure--'Just in time'!"
Once again, the cylinder lifts upward from the earth and hangs there suspended, revolving in preparation for the time jump. In this one minute, as all three glance out the window, they see something even more startling than all the things they have seen so far. The sky above them suddenly splits apart, revealing a great void beyond. A moment later, the earth beneath them splits opens and the mountains move from one place to another. Although they are able to see this for only one minute, the scene will leave a lasting impression on their minds.
Once again, the cylinder, is making its way slowly back in time.
"Wow! What was that?"
"Nothing like anything I ever saw before."
"Did you see th' way th' sky just split wide open?"
"Th' sky? Did you see th' way th’ mountains moved around?--like they were playing music chairs--and just that quick too!" Walt snaps his fingers.
"Sure is th’ weirdest thing I’ve ever seen!"
"What could have caused it?"
"Maybe my uncle was right,” Walt muses. “I mean, they said something about the people who believed in Jesus disappearing and, well, my uncle said that the New Testament says that once the believers in Jesus are taken up, a great time of tribulation will come upon the earth. Maybe everything we’ve seen is part of that tribulation. Maybe God allowed us to be pulled here in order to show us we are wrong about Jesus and Christianity."
"Ha!" scoffs Daniel, "Come on! Get ahold of yourself and be reasonable will y' Walt! What could Jesus possibly have to do with any of this?! Anybody knows he was just a man like us--oh, a wonderful teacher to be sure, but he died over 2,000 years ago. I fail to see what he could possibly have to do with any of this."
"That’s for sure!" asserts Kerry. "We certainly don’t need to concern ourselves with the ridiculous claims of Christianity. What we’ve seen is simply Nature responding to the sin and wickedness around her."
"Of course," agrees Walt. I know that Christianity is just a small off-beat religion, hardly worth considering. And everybody did say my uncle was crazy. It’s just that everything started to fit together. But, like you say, the disappearances are probably only coincidental, and the phenomenon can only be the natural response of Nature itself to all of the--"
Walt’s rambling pensive discourse is suddenly interrupted by the sound of a loud thumping noise, coming from the direction of the supply dump.
"What was that?"
"I don’t know, but let’s find out!"
"Probably a rat."
"Seems to be coming from over there."
They creep up slowly on the pile of boxes and, together, suddenly lift three of the boxes away. To their surprise, they find a person. It’s the stocky scientist from the troublesome time.
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