Summary: Cade does some dreaming after
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)!
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.
shook his head. He was tired of thinking. So he collapsed into his one refuge,
his bed, where everything was comfy and peaceful and—
was asleep the moment his head hit the pillow.
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
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.
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.
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
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."
began reaching for his gun again. "Then you're…"
You saved me."
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.
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.
choice is yours," a Voice said.
path that Earth falls down. The choice is yours."
are Twice-Blessed. There are two roads—the choice is yours."
do I choose?"
you fight, or do you surrender?"
fight! I will always fight! They took my wife from me!!"
path do you choose?"
instinctively started heading down the path of humanity's victory, but stopped
has to be a better option."
are two roads. Do you wish to take the other?"
the difference? Earth is the same in both cases!"
do not wish to fight, then?"
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.
Foster breathed. He turned around. Same husk, same face, different soul.
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."
doesn't matter what you want to happen, 117. Humanity cannot—"
Foster whipped out his gun and fired until the clip was empty. Cain stood,
it up, Foster."
memory, unbidden, flooded back into Foster's psyche. He slowly looked back up
at Cain. "Three letters: G-U-A."
Cain said, confused. "The species that will rule this world soon."
not what I meant."
what—" Cain stopped for a moment. "Gua: the Power to Overcome."
nodded. "Your greatest warrior, Joshua—"
was a traitor!! A human-sympathizer!! He is a bane of our existence, one of the
reasons we haven't already conquered you!!!"
a new voice said, "let the human speak."
of you to join us, Joshua," Foster stated. "It was getting boring
talking with this Gua traitor."
am not a traitor!" Cain cried. "I am the most loyal soldier of
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
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
can't defeat us," Cain challenged.
the contrary," Joshua intervened, "you've so underestimated him that
you've practically given him the victory."
know, it's kind of funny," Foster thought aloud.
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."
It was Cain's turn to fire unendingly at Foster. And at the end of this
barrage, Subject 117 remained.
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…"
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."
for someone with Gua," Joshua interrupted.
leave you two alone here to bicker," the Twice-Blessed Man said.
"I've got a long journey ahead.
two Gua watched as a certain human disappeared down a path, just as the world
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…
you're on! For God's sake, go!!"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
saw the light at the top of the camera go off. The world swirled again…
really are as weak as we thought," a woman said to Foster.
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."
Power to Overcome?"
Although with these humans, it won't be to difficult."
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!"
woman looked with disgust on him. "You… sympathize with them?"
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."
hundred and seventeen? We were supposed to stop at a hundred."
all right… our budget's certainly high enough… So, who shall we break next?
We've tried scientists, soldiers, doctors…"
about… a thief?"
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
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."
did you expect?"
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."
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…
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.
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.
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.
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?
he read aloud what he was seeing:
the Seventh Dawn of the Seventh Day,
Twice-Blessed Man Shall Roam the Fields,
to Shadows with his Brethren,
Savior to All Who Walk the Ground."
Come on, world, Foster thought to himself, start
swirling… The world complied.
sorry, I really am," said the Voice that had spoken to Cade earlier, after
the world had reformed.
just went through one of my prophecies. You may be Twice-Blessed, but you are
Feeling… was a prophecy?"
But again, you're no prophet. I'm amazed you survived it."
prefer the name Nostradamus."
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
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
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
want to dissect my brain."
I know THAT feeling. Kind of makes you feel good, doesn't it?"
smirked. "Yeah… It does, kinda. Except, of course, when they're in a
position to implement that goal."
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."
going to crush the First Wave. Don't worry about that."
like to think of it more as… Gua."
asked, confused, "Gua? Whatever is that?"
don't know? It's the Power to Overcome."
that is what Gua is… then I would not doubt that you have it, in quantities
greater than any normal man."
bowed his head. "I will win
this. I don't care what it takes—I will win."
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."
world swirled one last time…
woke up with a start. "Hey, man," Eddie called from the front seat.
"Whatcha been dreamin' about?"
makes you think I was dreaming?" Foster replied groggily as he rubbed his
eyes and plopped into the passenger's seat.
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?"
was silent for a moment. "We're headed for this Raven Nation, right?"
at least, we're looking for it… why?"
he said, "with their help, and with the help of all our believers—"
He nodded. "With all of us, combined—" He smiled. "Gua."
only stared in utter confusion as the Twice-Blessed Man turned to look out the