If you haven’t read the first installment (but intend to) – spoiler alert.
That said, I must admit that I have a giddy feeling of excitement over recently completing the second book of the Continuity series. So, to release some of the balled up energy, I decided to post the prologue as a sort of teaser.
I say it’s finished, but I have a bad habit of second guessing myself and obsessively touching things up, so if the published result is slightly different, there you go. In any case, below is the intro to Continuity: Coalescence!
“I occasionally think how quickly our differences would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.”
As crazy as one may think the above comment sounds, reality dictates otherwise – for these words were spoken during an address to the United Nations in 1987 by an extraordinary human being. One that the vast majority of society recognizes and respects.
The speaker was none other than the President of the United States: Ronald Reagan.
There are seemingly an almost infinite number of stories which focus on an asteroid bringing about the end of mankind. Each one having its own distinct purpose, Continuity is no different. The Catalyst itself is not meant to be to primary focus of this story – rather the motif here is the long-awaited unification of humanity. Our species has spent far too long disputing trivial, shallow issues. It is time that we shed our menial differences and appreciate that the beauty of being human is our ability to amicably maintain our own individuality. Despite our differences, we are all human, and should thus be capable of loving one another regardless of our varying beliefs.
With the advent of the internet, mankind is finally beginning to realize how powerful the voice of a united people truly is. We are able to connect like never before, and are at last starting to coalesce. I genuinely hope that this trend leads to global unity – allowing us to focus on the next step in our societal evolution – expanding into the universe.
That said, here is where Carson and Jennifer’s story left off.
As society rapidly descends into collapse after the destruction of the United Nation’s ship, the Salvation, humanity’s fight for continuity rages on. The UN has been thrown for quite a loop since the destruction of our best hope for survival. Understanding the ramifications of the incident, Earth’s political leaders ultimately decided to hole up in a massive bunker along with humanity’s most valuable individuals, hoping for the best outcome following the impending destruction which The Catalyst is surely to bring. Their contingency plan consists of saving the wealthy and entitled, in addition to those that have been individually selected for their skills and knowledge for preserving our way of life once the damage is done. Thousands upon thousands have been ushered to underground fallout shelters scattered about the globe, built in anticipation of nuclear war. These bunkers are the only conventional hope against the expected fallout after impact, which is expected in less than 30 months.
Unbeknownst to the masses, the “vaccination” the UN intends to apply to “protect the people against foreign contaminants” also contains a serum which bonds to its recipients’ neurological networks, allowing the government access to their emotions, passions, and fears. What’s more, the serum includes highly sophisticated nano-transmitters which function as an individual’s “societal DNA”, housing one’s finances and other social transactions. The serum will allow administrators to track the purchases, monetary worth, and location of anyone who receives the injection. The United Nations intends to rebuild society upon this framework, with the entire planet submitting to their belief system – emerging as a united, networked, collective unit under one world government. President O’Hare, the main pioneer of this endeavor, fully intends to become the figurehead for this new government which the UN envisions.
The young Russian energy tycoon, Yuri Antonov, on the other hand, has a much different intention for the planet. After having his henchwoman Viktoriya Markovic sabotage the Salvation, he maintains a laaser focus on the construction of his own ship, the Savior. Yuri’s replacement for the Salvation is progressing at a pace much faster than expected. His legion of engineers, heavily influenced by various stimulants, are working harder than ever – as they are all intent on creating a space-faring vessel the Earth has never before seen. Viktoriya is at his side as always, more than willing to lend a hand to whatever attempts. Their goal is to allow total and unfiltered liberty, with only the strongest, most ruthless individuals rising to power.
Carson and Brody’s signal device turned out to be do exactly what they intended – leading to the reception of a series of characters that neither can interpret. Knowing that first contact will warrant disclosure to the public, Carson plans to take it upon himself to inform the world that we are not, in fact, alone in the universe. First, however, he needs to ascertain the meaning of the cryptic message. If it’s hostile or malicious, the public must be warned. If the response is benevolent, however, he will need to coordinate a way to contact the sender(s) directly; in hopes of diverting or destroying The Catalyst. Carson is consumed with his focus on stopping the malicious schemes that President O’Hare and the UN are planning in regard to the rest of the population.
The brilliant and beautiful NASA astrophysicist Jennifer McPherson, still distraught from the death of her mother, is struggling to maintain composure. In addition to Nina’s death, so much has happened during the past several months which severely tests Jennifer’s resolve; particularly her confrontation with Viktoriya Markovic at the Loew’s Hotel. Her uncertainty of what lies ahead troubles her greatly, resulting in a lingering sensation of vulnerability and helplessness. Despite her deep, inexplicable connection with Carson, which provides a certain degree of relief, nothing can quell her fears completely.
Needless to say, things are chaotic. Humanity’s very existence is in question and to anyone capable of providing a solution, the world is theirs for the taking. Our future depends on the actions of three extraordinary people. A control freak, a power-hungry liberator, and a dreamer.
A dreamer. That’s what he’s always been called.