Author: JGuy

Summary: Cade does some dreaming after "Mabus."

Disclaimer: I don't own the television show First Wave. Now that I've confessed my sin, would you mind not suing me? I'd really appreciate it, thanks…

Spoilers: Mostly Mabus, and a little from The Trial of Joshua Bridges. There's a reference to something first discovered in Joshua, but it's become such common knowledge now that I don't think it counts.

Author's Note: Please keep in mind that this is supposed to happen after "Mabus." A lot of things have changed since that episode, so the casual observer, reading some things now moot or wrong at the show's current state of affairs, might be tempted to believe that I am stupid. I'm not! I swear! I know what I'm doing (usually)!

Three Letters

                Foster stood up. He'd been sitting in the same chair for the last three hours, going over the events of the past couple days.  His clone—Mabus' would-be husk—had been shot on live television, watched by millions of viewers. Including all those policemen that had been chasing for the last two years of his life. He'd also managed to stop both the anti-Christ and the Second Wave in one swoop. Not bad for a Thursday.

                He shook his head. He was tired of thinking. So he collapsed into his one refuge, his bed, where everything was comfy and peaceful and—

                He was asleep the moment his head hit the pillow.

                "Hannah?" Foster asked. She was standing at the top of the stairs, beaming down at him. "Hannah, is that you?" She waved. The smile burst forth on his face. "I thought you were dead! I thought—" He stopped, and his smile faded. "You are dead," he breathed. "This is a dream."

                Hannah stared at him for a few more seconds, until her entire being shifted into a whole new and all too familiar shape. Foster instinctively reached for a gun at the sight. "Cain!" he yelled.

                "No," the Gua stated. Foster recognized the voice. Though the vocal chords had been the same (it was, after all, the same husk), the way in which its owner utilized them had given a unique voice to this being. "Joshua," he said, scarcely believing his ears. Could it be? Joshua had been missing for months now! He had no idea where he'd gone—all of the sudden, the husk had held Cain, not Joshua.

                "You have no idea what they did to me," Joshua started. "It's called realignment. They torture you into believing whatever they want." He inhaled heavily. "Can you imagine how much pain they put me through? No… of course you can't… no human could ever stand anywhere near that much pain and survive."

                "So… what happened?"

                "I believed them. I believed that I was a traitor, that helping Subject 117 was wrong. I was… glad that they were going to execute me."

                Foster began reaching for his gun again. "Then you're…"

                "No. You saved me."

                "Excuse me?"

               "You broke into the facility where my consciousness was being transferred out of my husk and you saved me. You reminded me of why I chose to fight our forces here. Of why I was a patriot, not a traitor." He bowed his head. "For that, I owe a favor that can never be fully repaid." Joshua vanished, and then the entire world became a swirling mass in front of him…

It finally reformed into a road, which forked straight ahead of Foster. Something—Foster didn't know what—told him that the fork was the Second Wave. It just… was. Down one path, there was Earth conquered. A frightening reality where half the Earth's population had been wiped out. It was the Aftertime, with humans working around the clock to strip-mine Earth of every resource it had.

                The other path led to an Earth it tatters, with civilization nearly destroyed. But it was free of Gua. It was a place where humanity had fought harder than in all previous wars combined, to drive out a force greater than anything it had ever encountered before. But to do so, humans had used so many resources—and attained so many casualties—that Earth wasn't that much better off than if it were in the Aftertime.

                "The choice is yours," a Voice said.

                "What?" Foster replied.

                "The path that Earth falls down. The choice is yours."


                "You are Twice-Blessed. There are two roads—the choice is yours."

                "How do I choose?"

                "Do you fight, or do you surrender?"

                "I fight! I will always fight! They took my wife from me!!"

                "Which path do you choose?"

                Foster instinctively started heading down the path of humanity's victory, but stopped mid-step. "No."


                "There has to be a better option."

                "There are two roads. Do you wish to take the other?"

                "What's the difference? Earth is the same in both cases!"

                "You do not wish to fight, then?"

                Foster was furious. These were his options, but… something inside of him, way down, was telling him that something was wrong. These futures could not be right… "There is no need in choosing your way, 117," another voice, this one from behind him, said.

                "Cain," Foster breathed. He turned around. Same husk, same face, different soul.

                "Mabus is already here, Foster. You've already seen what he can do. He can kill humans from inside the neurosphere. The moment he enters a husk powerful enough to contain him permanently, you lose." He pointed down the road to human domination. "The course is already set, no matter what you do."


                "It doesn't matter what you want to happen, 117. Humanity cannot—"

                "NO!!!" Foster whipped out his gun and fired until the clip was empty. Cain stood, unscathed.

                "Give it up, Foster."

                A memory, unbidden, flooded back into Foster's psyche. He slowly looked back up at Cain. "Three letters: G-U-A."

                "Gua," Cain said, confused. "The species that will rule this world soon."

                "That's not what I meant."

                "Then what—" Cain stopped for a moment. "Gua: the Power to Overcome."

                Foster nodded. "Your greatest warrior, Joshua—"

                "Joshua was a traitor!! A human-sympathizer!! He is a bane of our existence, one of the reasons we haven't already conquered you!!!"

                "Cain," a new voice said, "let the human speak."

                "Nice of you to join us, Joshua," Foster stated. "It was getting boring talking with this Gua traitor."

                "I am not a traitor!" Cain cried. "I am the most loyal soldier of all!!"

                "After our race was attacked by the Invaders," Joshua said, "one of our species—the very first to earn the name Gua—became the first Assembly Head. He taught us to be governed not by our leaders, but by our consciences, our souls."

                "My point exactly," Foster said. "An injustice was done to your race: you were invaded by a superior force. But you overcame! And so shall we! We will not go down without a fight!" Foster marched right up to Cain, shoving his face directly in front of the Gua's. "And your almighty Second Wave will never make it here. Neither will the Third. The First Wave is here, now. And so am I."

                "You can't defeat us," Cain challenged.

                "On the contrary," Joshua intervened, "you've so underestimated him that you've practically given him the victory."

                "You know, it's kind of funny," Foster thought aloud.


                "You Gua must've killed hundreds, maybe even thousands of humans by now. But one Gua killed one human—a completely innocent creature by the name of Hannah Foster—and you lose the war before it even got underway."

                "NO!!!" It was Cain's turn to fire unendingly at Foster. And at the end of this barrage, Subject 117 remained.

                Foster turned around, looked at the options before him. "A Blessed Man would choose here, would decide how his people would fight, how they would survive." He shook his head. "But a Twice-Blessed Man would see before him the two possible outcomes of the Second Wave." He turned around again and walked past Joshua and Cain. "Which can only mean…"

                He found it. A tiny, barely visible off-branch from the main road. And at its end lay an Earth with a thriving civilization, which had justly narrowly avoided certain doom at the hands of a force they had just defeated. It was the world where the First Wave had failed. "Look at that road," Cain sneered. "Barely visible, filled with obstacles, twisting at every opportunity—no one, absolutely no one, could make it through there."

                "Except for someone with Gua," Joshua interrupted.

                "I'll leave you two alone here to bicker," the Twice-Blessed Man said. "I've got a long journey ahead.

                The two Gua watched as a certain human disappeared down a path, just as the world started swirling…

                After the world once again became normal, Cade found himself at the TV station he had been in mere hours before. He was looking at a camera. What the hell? he thought to himself. "You're on!" somebody yelled at him. Oh my God… He was where the GenTech dupe of his self was supposed to be. Oh, crap! I guess I have to give a speech or something… Damn… never was good at public speaking… I hope to God that Eddie isn't up there trying to snipe my ass…

                "Cade, you're on! For God's sake, go!!"

                "Uh… Hello, everyone. My name is Cade Foster—if you're watching this program, then you know who I am. You all probably think that I killed my wife. But it wasn't me. I loved Hannah; I would've died if that meant she would survive. The people who did kill her—they're all around you. In your offices, your schools, you're subways: everywhere. I'm going to tell you who they are, and I only ask one thing of you: that you hear out what I have to say, saving your disbelief or disgust or whatever until I'm done talking.

                "A couple of decades ago, an alien race who call themselves the Gua infiltrated our planet. They've been spreading here ever since. They are in every continent, nation, and city on this planet. They genetically duplicate humans and transfer their consciouses into them. They're going to come in three waves. The Third Wave is Armageddon. The Second is conquest. The First is already here. They're scientists, mostly—they're experimenting on us to find out our weaknesses, to try and develop weapons that will help the Second Wave.

                "I already told you they killed my wife. I was the one hundred-seventeenth of one hundred and seventeen test subjects in a test to judge our will power. They did everything possible to make my life a living hell—depleted my bank accounts, got me fired from my job, and killed Hannah. I've been hunting them ever since.

                "One of the other subjects gave me a book. It was a book of prophecies authored by Nostradamus. It's from this book that I know about the three Waves, and it's what I've been using to track and hunt them with. Without it, I don't think I could win this war.

                "Without it… or you. I need you. I need all you believers out there. I don't care how few of you there are—I need you. If the First Wave is stopped, then neither the Second nor the Third Wave will happen. But the Second Wave is almost at hand. I need you, all of you, to help me fight them, destroy them before they destroy us.

                "Gua means Power to Overcome. We overcame barbarism and became a civilization. We have overcome the worst of tyrants to be righteous. I need you to overcome this next obstacle. If we don't, it will be our last. We can overcome them."

                Foster saw the light at the top of the camera go off. The world swirled again…

                "They really are as weak as we thought," a woman said to Foster.


                "One hundred and sixteen subjects, and only one is still alive, and he's almost dead. This human 'will power' is highly overrated. Surely whatever will power they have is nothing compared to Gua."

                "The Power to Overcome?"

                "Precisely. Although with these humans, it won't be to difficult."

                Foster looked indignantly at her. "How can you say that?!! We—humans can be a force to be reckoned with! You—we can't just underestimate them!"

                The woman looked with disgust on him. "You… sympathize with them?"

                "No… no, of course not," Foster replied. She obviously thought that he was a Gua; when in Rome, do as the Romans do. "I'm just saying… maybe we should test one hundred and seventeen."

                "A hundred and seventeen? We were supposed to stop at a hundred."

                "Just one more."

                "Oh, all right… our budget's certainly high enough… So, who shall we break next? We've tried scientists, soldiers, doctors…"

                "How about… a thief?"

                "A thief?"

                "Sure. They always have to stay one foot ahead of the police, and be so subtle that people won't know when they're robbing their house—they probably have a high will power."

                "So, who shall we choose?" She went over to a computer and initiated a search. "I'm going to look for the criminal with the best track record: high number of successful robberies, minimum number of jailings—done."


                "What did you expect?"

                "Right… of course."

                "We've got two possibilities. There's a Derrick Hunt, and a Cade Foster."

                You're about to make your own worst enemy, Foster thought with an inward grin. "Let's go with Foster."

                "Why? Oh, good catch—he's married. We can see what effect killing his wife will have an him." Foster took a step back, horrified at what he had just done. Had he just sealed his own wife's death warrant? We're all those cops right—was he his wife's murderer?

                "NO!!! THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING!!" He began breaking down. "It… can't… be…" He began sobbing. As if on cue, the world began swirling…


                He didn't know where he was this time. He was in some wooden house, and outside it was green and hilly. And the air… smelled different. He couldn't quite put his finger on what was so strange about it. It just smelled… pure.

                And all of the sudden, his entire consciousness was bombarded by this incredible feeling. He was on his knees in an instant, and gasping out dry heaves. And for some reason, he had to get to a book. And a quill. He just had to. He found both items on a table, and then the thing in his head became even worse. Foster slumped onto the table, and gave in to the impression in his mind.

                Foster finally woke up. He had once considered himself lucky, in that he had only had two hangovers in his entire life. Now life seemed to want to make up for lost opportunities. Damn… I need a Tylenol… About four tons of them… Then he saw what he had written.

                It was his handwriting, there was no mistaking that. But… how had it happened? He didn't remember writing it down. He knew it by heart, of course. But… he hadn't wrote it down!… had he? It was impossible to remember much about the Feeling; it had dwarfed his entire consciousness. So had he written it… then?

                Absentmindedly, he read aloud what he was seeing:

"On the Seventh Dawn of the Seventh Day,

A Twice-Blessed Man Shall Roam the Fields,

Doomed to Shadows with his Brethren,

Or Savior to All Who Walk the Ground."

                Come on, world, Foster thought to himself, start swirling… The world complied.

                "I'm sorry, I really am," said the Voice that had spoken to Cade earlier, after the world had reformed.

                "Whu… what…"

                "You just went through one of my prophecies. You may be Twice-Blessed, but you are no prophet."

                "That… Feeling… was a prophecy?"

                "Yes. But again, you're no prophet. I'm amazed you survived it."

                "Who are you?"

                "I prefer the name Nostradamus."

                "Nostradamus! It's you?!!"

                "Indeed. I must say, I am impressed. You found the path you wanted to find. You were presented with two options, and you took the third. Very few are capable of doing that."

                It took Foster a moment to remember which segment of the dream he was talking about. "Oh… right. God, it seems like an eternity ago that I did that!"

                "Always remember—the Human soul cannot be crushed without your own consent. They can tear your body into a thousand different pieces, but your mind cannot be stopped."

                "They want to dissect my brain."

                "Ah, I know THAT feeling. Kind of makes you feel good, doesn't it?"

                Foster smirked. "Yeah… It does, kinda. Except, of course, when they're in a position to implement that goal."

                "Wise words. I was worried at first, but I can tell for certain now that, now matter what the outcome of these Waves, they will not have an easy time."

                "I'm going to crush the First Wave. Don't worry about that."

                "Confidence? Or arrogance?"

                "I like to think of it more as… Gua."

                Nostradamus asked, confused, "Gua? Whatever is that?"

                "You don't know? It's the Power to Overcome."

                "If that is what Gua is… then I would not doubt that you have it, in quantities greater than any normal man."

                Foster bowed his head. "I will win this. I don't care what it takes—I will win."

                And though Foster couldn't see him, he simply knew that the ancient prophet smiled. "I can see that I have nothing left to teach you here."

                The world swirled one last time…


                Foster woke up with a start. "Hey, man," Eddie called from the front seat. "Whatcha been dreamin' about?"

                "What makes you think I was dreaming?" Foster replied groggily as he rubbed his eyes and plopped into the passenger's seat.

                "You're eyes. They were twitching like—" Eddie thought for a moment—"something that twitches a lot. The point is, you were in REM—Rapid-Eye Movement—sleep. That's the phase of sleep one is most likely to have dreams. Those dreams also tend to have the most content, like some deep manifestation of your subconscious. You also go over what you learned that day… But I ramble. Did you have sweet dreams?"

                Foster was silent for a moment. "We're headed for this Raven Nation, right?"

                "Uh… at least, we're looking for it… why?"

                "Because," he said, "with their help, and with the help of all our believers—" He nodded. "With all of us, combined—" He smiled. "Gua."

                Eddie only stared in utter confusion as the Twice-Blessed Man turned to look out the window.