Prologue cont.

There was a water hyacinth on the windshield. The thought flicked through his mind that he might see a manatee up close. The car was filling. He was running out of time. He tried to break the windows with his arms, then with his feet, but could not find a position to support him for a decent kick.

The water was around his neck now. He took a deep breath and resumed flailing at the windows in the murk that surrounded him. He ran out of breath and pulled himself into the pocket of air that had formed at the rear window, which he pummeled with both fists to no avail. Then, as his breathing converted the air bubble to carbon dioxide, he stopped struggling. Just breathing was difficult enough.

Despite his efforts to concentrate, he started thinking that he should have kept his old Volkswagen Beetle, which supposedly floated. "The windows would have worked, too," was his final thought. Had he time reflect upon it, he would not have thought it was an unusual thought for a space scientist. After all, men had reached the Moon on sturdy, reliable vehicles.


Dr. Jonas MacPherson was buried in his family plot at a small cemetery in rural Maryland. There was a marble headstone that contained the words he had written down for the occasion. His widow didn't understand them all, but she followed his wishes.

Two strange men in dark suits stood nearby, as if waiting for another burial --- but none was in evidence.      
Continue to Chapter 1

1  2,000 Light Years from Home written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards performed by the Rolling Stones on their album Their Satanic Majesties Request (Abkco Music & Records).