David Werden wants nothing more than to lead a quiet, ordinary life. But his world is turned upside down when an unknown event changes the face of the planet. Realizing he cannot live alone in the ruins of the old world, and compelled by a strange internal force to reach the sea, he sets out on foot, carrying what he can, struggling against the harsh post-apocalyptic environment.
Barnes & Noble.com
Mike Frost Books
What would you do if an ordinary day turned out to be the end of the world?
How far would you go to protect the ones you love?
Who would you be willing to die for?
Who would you kill for?
Those are just a few of the questions asked by Homo Luminous.
David Werden wants nothing more than to lead a quiet, ordinary life. But his world is turned upside down when an unknown event changes the face of the planet. Realizing he cannot live alone in the ruins of the old world, and compelled by a strange internal force to reach the sea, he sets out on foot, carrying what he can, struggling against the harsh post-apocalyptic environment to search out others who may still be alive.
Thrust into the leadership of a band of survivors, David struggles to scratch out the necessities of life while dealing with the staggering destruction and overwhelming sense of loss - and begins to understand the tragic and marvelous events that have occurred to the planet and to humanity itself. Finding love and betrayal, he must fight those who cling to the old world with all their strength and those who wish to stamp out the growing number of people coming to terms with their new levels of perception and insight into the Universal Mind.
297 pages (print edition)
Homo Luminous is the story of two friends struggling to survive the end of their world, while coping with changes to themselves and the world that they don't understand.
Walk beside David and Chris as they struggle to survive.
By 9:30 David was in the basement computer room of Heart’s of Song Publishers, making the last repairs to the damage inflicted by the night crew. At least they meant well, he hoped. Someday they would get it, or else he’d have to find someone who did.
Rack after rack of servers hummed in their quiet work, a giant forest of electronic trees reaching for the sky, and the air as cold as ice to keep them happy. David moved between the rows, pulling on the coat he kept down here for just such occasions.
Finding the troubled system, he pulled out a hidden drawer containing the system’s monitor and keyboard. He typed a few commands at the terminal, and the system promptly chirped in compliance to his commands. Having successfully corrected the last of the overnight emails, he closed up the hidden drawer and left the quiet beasts to their labor.
A sudden chill overtook David. He wasn’t sure if it was from the cold air or the remnants of his hangover, but he decided not to return to his third floor office. Instead, he turned right, waved his electronic badge at the door sensor and exited the building via the loading dock.
It was still warm in Alabama for September, fall not taking root until well into October. David removed his jacket, leaving him in his short-sleeved shirt and khaki slacks – the standard uniform of his chosen profession. Walking out to the small lake that stood on the campus grounds, he admired the great bright blue morning sky.
The lake had been a marketing ploy to gather authors and audiences together here for readings in the shadow of the publishing house. No such reading was scheduled for today, or in his recollection, ever. David didn’t mind, because the grounds were well kept, blooming flowers in manicured beds, with a collection of rough iron benches arrayed near the water.
David often ate lunch on these benches, a short ways down from the enclosed shelter for smokers, often envying those who still smoked, for at least they got to see the sun on a regular basis. He gave up the habit after the death of his mother.
He sat on the bench, eyes closed, face upturned to the sun, a gentle breeze flowing over the water, enjoying the day. Hearing the sound of footsteps, he opened his eyes to look for who might intrude upon his peace. He saw Ann, one of the electronic typesetters, making her way down the hill on short chubby legs. She always had an eye for great drama, and would talk endlessly about the next great work of literature that was being passed across her screen. Thirty years at it had left her not the least bit bitter that she had yet to see the next Hemingway or Elliot. David turned his head and smiled as she stopped. “I thought you were busy putting out fires this morning?”
“Fires extinguished, I came out here to warm up,” he said, closing his eyes again. “What breaks you away from the latest Shakespeare?”
“The Doc told me I need to get more exercise. Why you out here all by your lonesome?”
“Who did you expect me to bring along?”
“How about that nice girl from accounting, I hear she’s single.”
“Don’t start with me again,” he said, leaning over and retrieving a pebble from the ground. Turning it over in his hands, feeling the weatherworn sides, and tossed it into the lake. “I just haven’t found the right girl.”
“I worry about you, honey. Why are you always alone?”
“It’s just easier that way. How many husbands have you had?”
“My fair share, but this is you. You’re young, good looking, you should get out more.”
“Well, why don’t you and I go out some time?”
“I guess my old knees can take a lap around the dance floor with you.”
“Well, you have to take care of your…” David broke off his thought in mid-word as a bizarre silence descended over the lake – an oppressive force solid as concrete pressed down on the world. The wind died, birds no longer chirped, and sounds themselves seemed not to travel through the air.
Ann noticed too, for her loquacious nature did not often leave her without words, she stood silent as a statue.
Although still, the air took on an electric charge, and the distinct smell of ozone filled his nose. Their hair stood on end. A crack of static in the trees broke the silence. David turned to look back at the building, seeing lightning race across the windows and marble of the office. Spinning on his heels, he turned back to the lake. The water glowed like plasma light, with blue and purple streams of electricity passing just beneath the surface.
He was transfixed by the once still lake now alive with electrical energy. Scanning further from shore, he recognized fish rising to the top, at first one here, there, and soon by the scores.
“We need to get out from under the trees before we’re electrocuted,” David said, grabbing Ann by the arm before he finished the sentence. Rushing away from the building to the open lawn, he hoped that they would not become the grounding point for any stray arc of static electricity.
Over their rushing breath, David heard a sharp pop and smelt the distinct odor of burning electronics. He reached for his Blackberry and felt a warm chemical reaction melting the batteries. Transfixed by the novelty of the moment, he tossed it away just as a distant transformer blew out with a resounding crash.
Ann, whose silence to this point had been short of miraculous, cried out clutching her chest. It took him a moment to recognize the horror. The cause of her pain struck him almost as hard as a bolt of the lightening striking all around. Her electronic pacemaker was failing, just as the Blackberry and transformer surrendered to the strange physics.
David, still holding her arm, eased her to the ground as she collapsed. Kneeling next to her, he checked her pulse. Her eyes were wide with terror, but vacant of life. He compressed her chest with both hands trying to force her heart to beat, but knew that life, kept animated by the wonders of modern technology, was gone from her as surely as the hum from the computers he had left not fifteen minutes ago.
Sitting on the ground next to her, he tried to understand what was happening. He heard not a sound, no one evacuating the building, no one coming up the long drive, not the sound of a bird, no wind. He felt the oppressive force that brought on the electrical storm pass. Straining to hear, he searched for the sounds of the police, fire trucks, and ambulances. They were sure to be on route to any number of emergencies that were taking place, but he heard nothing – not even the sound of an engine on the busy road just beyond the trees.
His mind began to race, thinking through all the disasters and attacks, real and proposed, that the morning news had so indoctrinated to his mind. Had some foreign terrorist set off a nuclear weapon somewhere nearby? Had some government experiment gone off the rails? A distant memory came to him, from some undergraduate physics class or some low budget Sci-Fi move, he couldn’t recall, but the term electromagnetic pulse raced to the tip of his tongue. An electromagnetic pulse would cause anything with a chip or a battery to stop working. It fit with what he was seeing.
Although loath to leave Ann here alone, he struggled to his feet and headed toward the building. He needed to tell others, see if anyone was injured, and do something to ease the minds of his coworkers. Only three steps away, a massive earthquake rocked him off his feet and flung him back to the ground. Struggling to stand, he only managed to raise himself enough for the ground to roll him over again.