“What did you do to all those people?” Gale asked.
Selivanov cocked his head. “Do you really desire to know?” he asked. “And could you understand, I wonder?” He adjusted the lever control on his wheelchair, rolling closer to Gale. “It would be nice to discuss the mechanics of it with a mind educated enough to grasp the concepts involved. Charlie, the dear boy, is fascinated by it all, though I’m afraid the science is a bit over his head.”
“Science?” Gale snapped.
“Oh, indeed. I am, first and foremost, a man of Science. It is for that reason that I was chosen. My theories were so advanced, so cutting edge, I managed to catch the attention of…Oh, I shouldn’t brag.”
“So you created the biological agent that caused it?!” Gale stopped, disgusted, seething. “And I bet there are several Third World dictators willing to pay very well for that technology, too!”
“You misunderstand, my dear,” Selivanov said. “I serve no power of this world, nor do I seek a physical reward. And there is no biological agent. My area of expertise transcends the biological.”
Gale watched him, her eyes narrowed.
“I explained some of it to your friend, Ms. Ashemoore,” Selivanov said. “The field of natural energies, etheric energies, that permeates this world; those energies can be interrupted, you see, by negative etheric energies, blocking the flow.” Selivanov grew more excited. “Imagine the world,” he said, “like a human body. The life force, the Ch’i, can be redirected or blocked by the practice of acupuncture. That is what my machines will do, when operational. Interrupt the flow of those energies which serve to restrict the influence of the Darkness in this world. I’m opening a hole in the spiritual ozone layer, you see. No, no, more than that! When all my machines are active, they will nullify the positive Earth force altogether! There will be no spiritual buffer at all! The Darkness will have full access to this world. Just like what you witnessed, my dear, at your camp, but tens of thousands of times greater!”
Selivanov coughed. “It took me a quarter century to figure out the specifics, how to gather negative psychic energy, how to utilize it. I fired my primary Engine—I have
several, yes, at key locations across the globe—I tested it before it was ready. But I’ll have it repaired soon enough. The end is almost upon us, my dear!”
“You’re crazier than your freak friend!” Gale said.
Selivanov darkened. “You haven’t heard a word I’ve been saying, have you?” he demanded. “Don’t you see, I can make what little time you have left a great deal more pleasant, if you are willing to work with me, assist me!”
“Go to Hell!” Gale said.
Selivanov sighed. “I should have known. How unfortunate. I could have used you. Oh, well.” Selivanov snapped his fingers at the guard. “Take the good doctor here to Charlie,” he ordered. “Tell him he may do with her as he pleases. I suspect he can find some use for her.”