“And the Prince of Light thou hast appointed from ancient times to come to our support…to bring the Darkness low and magnify Light…to stand forever and to destroy all the sons of Darkness…” —The Dead Sea Scrolls, War Scroll, XIII
No one is there to see Konrad Selivanov slide a wafer-thin disk, reflecting the colors of the rainbow like a sheen of oil floating atop a puddle, into the console of his great machine. No one sees him flip a series of switches, his fingers acting with a practiced certainty, or hears the sigh and hiss as the Engine of Discord comes to life. No agencies, private or national, intercept the signal sent via satellite phone to numerous locations around the planet, where similar machines are engaged. No one, save for a few sensitive souls, notices the disruption to the Earth’s lifeforce, the planet’s etheric harmony. The Earth continues to spin. Men continue to breathe. Life continues. But the end of it all has begun.
Each uneasy peace along contested borders shatters and old wars begin anew. Those who already carry hatred in their hearts feel compelled to act on them. So-called “ethnic cleansing” resumes in pockets of the African continent, begins in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. It follows similar lines in the First World. Racial prejudices explode into riots in several American cities, kindred to the uproars in Spain and Northern Ireland.
“All them goddamn bastards ought’a be wiped out!” a man in a bar in Australia comments in reference to the Aborigines. His friends agree, and they all rush home to get their rifles. In Algeria, a plan is rehearsed by which a crowded airplane will be brought down over the Pacific. In Russia, a member of a dissident faction plots the limitless possibilities of seizing a missile silo.
Nor is it man alone who is susceptible to the Darkness. In the animal world, one species makes war against another, though they are by nature timid. Herds of elephants turn upon each other; chimpanzees practice genocide. Whales beach themselves in a mass sacrifice. Flocks of birds find the windshields of automobiles and airplanes to be irresistible targets.
Martial law is declared. War is declared. All around them, the world is dying. Yet most people, by and large, do not see it. The world is ending, and no one seems to notice.