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Antiquity Calais: Standing at Armageddon Chapter One - The Perfect Crime
Chapter One: The Perfect Crime
The wind was howling violently, and waves crashed louder than the thunder that was cracking almost as soon as myriad bolts of lightning flashed. The sea rose with such fury that water was landing on rocks that were normally well above the high water mark. Weather forecasters were at a complete loss to explain the sudden change in the weather. Only ten minutes previous there had been scarcely a cloud in the sky. By then, it was dark as night. The beaches cleared of sunbathers, and even the hardiest fools who would never turn up a wave had vacated for the perceived safer environs off shore. Yet, there was one man who not only braved these elements, but seemed to revel in their power.
He stood five feet, ten inches tall, but his extraordinarily strong frame gave the appearance that he was much larger. He was dressed entirely in black, complete with a cape that was whipping with the wind behind him. The only hair on his head formed a goatee - even his eyebrows had been shaved. His skin was a ghostly white so brilliant it appeared he had not seen the light of day for years. Witnesses, had there been any, may have thought he was a specter, not a man.
Perhaps he was a specter, because he stood atop the rocks overlooking the ocean, with lightning continuing to flash, and it appeared as if the energy was channeling through his body, as he raised his arms out over the ocean. He looked like Moses, standing beside the Red Sea, only instead of causing the sea to part, creating safe passage for the Israelites, this man seemed to be conjuring the storm that was rising along the east coast of the United States. Certainly, this could be no man, because no man could have endured the relentless fury of the sea, as a tidal wave swelled in the Atlantic, a wave so huge that it could actually be seen from space. Yet, he stood seemingly impervious to the conditions.
The man cackled with glee, as the enormous wave grew on the horizon. How many miles away was that wave? Only he and the Creator could have known. It was already filling the sky! Yet, as the wave approached the shoreline, this man stood riveted, with his arms outstretched, and his skin literally glowing. Surely this man would die once the wave reached the shore.
No wave in recorded history reached the height of this tsunami, and millions of people along the coast line were about to see their lives end. Portland, Boston, Providence, New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and cities all the way down to Key West would soon be under water. Yet, as the wave was about to inundate the strange man in black, he vanished without a trace.
Three thousand miles away, Antiquity Calais awoke with a start. There was an intense pain in his chest, and he thought he must have been having a heart attack. As soon as he could catch his breath, he exclaimed, "Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!" and he darted from his bed to his television set, where he turned on the news.
"No, no, no, no, no! This can't be happening."
Channel after channel had been knocked off the air. Certainly, the wave couldn't have disrupted the satellites in space, Antiquity thought. But then the thought occurred to him - the satellites needed a signal from Earth to retransmit around the globe.
"CNN is based in Atlanta, ABC, NBC, CBS, New York, they're all on the east coast," Antiquity muttered to himself. "Yeah, but they'll have signals rerouted, sure."
As soon as Antiquity said those words, the television came to life, with a harried appearing anchorwoman on the verge of tears.
"We're coming to you from Los Angeles where we are receiving reports that a tsunami has just inundated the east coast of the United States...."
"Oh my, it's true!" Antiquity exclaimed, as he reached for his phone.
Antiquity dialed the phone rapidly, all the while saying, "Please pick up, please pick up?!" He was in the middle of his 12th recitation of that frantic phrase when a female voice on the other end said:
"You have reached the Calais family. Please leave a message after the beep."
"OK, they're not answering, but at least the machine is answering, so they're not under water," Antiquity said, only semi-aware that this muttering was the message he was leaving on his parents' answering machine.
He hung up, and then dialed his sister's number. They didn't have an answering machine, so at least if someone answered the phone, it would be a living, breathing, human being.
"Ally! It's Antiquity!"
Ally, short for Allasia, was Antiquity's next youngest sibling, 14 months younger than he, the oldest of four. A mother of two, she and her family lived below Antiquity's parents, in the duplex they had been raised in.
"Tell me everybody is OK."
"Yeah, mom and dad are down here with us. We've got the storm clouds, but the wave missed us."
"You said it. It didn't take you too long to find out."
"Oh, well, I had CNN on," Antiquity fibbed. He didn't want to share with his sister that he had witnessed the whole thing, and that he believed there was an utterly human connection to this tragedy.
"Well, I'm glad you're safe. What are you guys hearing there?"
"Well you know we don't have television, and all dad wants to talk about is the end of the world."
"He could be right."
"Oh, be real."
"I am being real! Do you know how huge this wave was? The entire east coast is under water! This is Biblical!"
"So I guess you're on dad's side. Mom! Antiquity's on the phone! He agrees with dad!"
It was obvious that Allasia had not yet learned of the magnitude of this tidal wave. This was not an event like the tsunami that had devastated Southeast Asia a few years previous. That one would appear to be good surfing conditions compared with this monster. Antiquity chuckled when he thought maybe Allasia had the right idea. He wished he didn't know as much as he did.
"Hi mom. Everybody dry?"
"Yeah...." She said, with extra emphasis.
"So I gather that dad is brushing off his copy of the Thunder of Justice."
"He's reading it as we speak."
"And you think he's full of it?"
"And you don't?"
"No mom, I don't."
"I'll grant you that this is a catastrophe, but the end of the world?"
"I don't know if it's the end of the world, but I'm sure there is a Hell of a war going on between Heaven and Hell, and Earth is stuck right in the middle of it."
"Why do you think that? There is probably a perfectly good explanation they'll have for this, although I have to admit that I'm really curious what that explanation may be."
"I'll answer your question in a minute, but before I do, let me ask you another. Why do you think my answer is not the real explanation?"
"Maybe it's because if I admit this really is part of the battle of Armageddon I'll have to admit that your father may be right."
Antiquity chuckled, then said, "Fair enough mom. Now I'll answer your question. What would you say if I told you that I saw this tidal wave before the news broke, and there was a man who caused it?"
"If I didn't know you, I'd say you were insane. But since I know you're not, I would say that it sounds like you've had another premonition."
"Not a premonition per se. A vision, yes, but it was not in advance of the wave. It was like I was there. And there was this man dressed in black. It looked like he was channeling energy through his body, and somehow causing that wave." Antiquity's mother didn't respond, which prompted him to say, "Mom? What do you think?"
After a tantalizing moment's silence, she said, "I think you need to speak with your father."
"OK, love you mom."
"I love you too."
A few moments later, Antiquity's father came to the phone. After initial salutations, the elder Calais said, "So what do you make of this?"
"Mom didn't tell you what I saw?"
"No, she just told me you were on the phone."
Antiquity proceeded to enlighten his father, who was already predisposed to believe just about anything Antiquity had to say on the subject. At the conclusion, nonetheless, Lucien Calais said, "Oh my...."
Secure with the knowledge that his family was safe, Antiquity started calling other east coast friends. Unfortunately, it appeared that the entire west coast was talking with their friends and family on the east coast (or trying to, at any rate), so the phone circuits were jammed. Frustrated, he gave up trying, and turned his attention back to CNN. He was so riveted to the television screen that he just about jumped out of his skin when the telephone rang.
"Chris! I was just trying to reach you!"
Christopher Carter was a licensed psycho-therapist who had been friends with Antiquity since their earliest days of college, attending a small Catholic school in Southern Maine, St. Joseph's College.
"I just wanted to see if you had heard the news, and if so, to let you know that Bob Manfred and I are OK."
"Yes, I did hear the news. In fact, you could say that I heard it before any of the victims, or at least, at the same time."
"Dude, are you saying what I think you're saying?"
Antiquity then related his experience to Chris, anxious to know what he thought, given his background in psychotherapy.
"Man, if every airport in America weren't backed up about now, I'd hop on a plane and get out there to see you. It's probably a lot safer on the west coast than the east coast, at the moment."
"I wouldn't say that. Just because that one was on the east coast doesn't mean the next attack won't be on the west coast. And if my theory is correct, he's not going to stop with a tidal wave. If this guy has somehow learned how to harness the power of energy and use it as a weapon, imagine what he could do! He could be a one man Armageddon machine! And what's worse, no one in their right mind is going to think that this was the ultimate terrorist attack. It's just too far fetched! It's like he's committed the greatest mass murder in history because no one thinks it is one! He's committed the perfect crime!"