Beyond the White

After a strange plague threatens humanity with extinction, six strangers agree to travel into the far reaches of space to locate a mysterious signal, confront their inner demons, and possibly become mankind's last hope for survival.

Preface: The Voice

                The first time it happened, none of us saw it coming. We all heard the voice, but who knew? Who could have known that the voice was right? When all of the televisions, radios, and mp3 players across the globe suddenly spoke to us in that chilling, inhuman voice, we all thought it was just a joke. No one actually believed that half of the world’s population could be eliminated that quickly. We were wrong.

                The second time, we still didn’t believe it was true. It had been a year since the world had so suddenly lost over three billion lives, but we had developed a sense of acceptance. Everyone lost someone, but we had all made peace with that. Life was beginning to restart; the world was beginning to move on.

                Exactly one year after the first attack, we were all going about our daily business, trying to forget the past. This time, the voice didn’t bother with our technology. Around noon, everything simply stopped. It was as if time itself froze in fear of the voice. Cars and planes hung motionless, boats and trains stood still, we all stared into the sky as that cold, inhuman voice repeated the message we had all heard a year before.

                “At twelve o’clock tomorrow, eastern standard time, half of the world’s population will die”

                Nothing more, nothing less. The voice didn’t repeat itself, it didn’t have to. Everyone heard it.

                After the voice stopped, everything seemed to restart. Time began to flow normally again; we all continued with our scheduled lives. None of us thought it could happen again, but inside, there was a stab of fear in all of our hearts. No one had truly gotten over the previous loss; it was impossible to imagine it would happen again. Again, we were wrong.

                That was eight years ago. Each year since, the voice has come back. The once great human race was quickly running out of time. It seemed like there was nothing we could do to stop our own extinction. With barely 7 million left out of 7 billion, it was looking grim. Scientists across the world raced to find answers, but nothing on earth could determine who or what was exterminating our race.

                It was time for Project 53 to begin stage 2: preparation for takeoff.

The End

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