Earth Year, 2086.
Location, Cornish Republic.
Earth Time, 06:34.
A cool summer's morning. Soft breeze off the oceans, and a warm radiance emanating from the beautiful Cornish flora over the coast.
Tintagel Castle, once a landmark castle, fell victim to a disastrous storm that almost destroyed the site. As part of the British restoration project, to restore all remaining historic sites to full beauty, the castle was completely overhauled into an identical vision of what it once was. It once again stood proud, both as a symbol of history, and as a post for astrological research.
Dr Diego Buscar, half asleep at his monitoring station, begins to take one last peak at his readings before heading home. He, along with his assistant Dr Freya Michaels, are tasked with keeping an eye on the vision probes orbiting the higher thermosphere. Dr Buscar thought of the project as more of a gimmick than anything truly accredible, but he was happy to take on the two year duty in-between other projects, while he focused on his family. Seeing that all was well, or rather nothing had changed in months, he only paid his screens half the attention he was hired for. He placed his glasses down on the desk and slowly stood up away from his slumber. He caught a glimpse of himself in a mirror on the wall, tired eyes were returned. Buscar thought to himself "Bah, where would life be without the curse of coffee." and made his way over to a small worktop in the corner of the room, flicking on a white kettle.
Dr Michaels was standing out on the balcony, the crenelles of the castle wall, facing east watching the sunrise. Regardless of the tranquil setting she found herself in, she knew that she was lucky to be able to enjoy one of earths natural beauties without distress. For the human population was struggling to find it's balance between survival and nature, now more than ever.
Dr Buscar slid open the glass door and took a step outside. No quicker was Dr Michaels ripped from her euphoria to the sweet aroma of hot coffee. "One last cuppa' to end the night, before we head off" he said, "Ahh Diego, you read my mind once again. You have to tell me how you do that" she kindly replied, looking at him with a warm heart. They both stood out on the battlements of their office, like two soldiers guarding the night sky, staring up at Humanity's frontier. "Do you think we'll ever get back up there? Twenty-four years without space exploration, twenty-four years wasted." Buscar sighed. "Maybe we'd have an International Space Station at Mars by now, and the invention of (Pulsar Injection) communications." "Don't worry Diego, the universe is too beautiful to ignore. One day we'll be in a better position to push forwards. Either that, or destiny will reach out and give us a nudge somehow" Michaels reassuringly replied. Buscar tilted his head slightly with half a smile, the image gave him a little more hope. He looked back up at the stars, briefly held his cup high in cheer, and said "When you're ready universe."
Buscar returned to his desk. A huge ten meter wide alcove carved into the north wall, littered with display monitors on the wall and graph diagrams on the work surface. Their three-tiered office was part of a structure housing multiple sections, but because of the nature of the work they managed to acquire the one with the best view. Michaels had given the office a nickname on their second week on the project, subtly calling it 'Vigil'. She felt it portrayed their nights watch perfectly, but also because she believed someone somewhere could be watching back in return. Vigil contains three floors: Ground is for storage, First houses the technical equipment that keeps the project running, and the Second - the scientific instruments. All of which with a straight staircase against the south wall. Buscar sat down on his burgundy leather chair and pulled himself towards the desk. He picked up his glasses and began the final checks on the statistics for that day.
Michaels blinked a few times and realised she had been standing outside too long. Her mind began to fill once again with her work, and the beautiful morning sky giving her a flood of inspiration and happiness. As she walked back inside she noticed a slight glimpse of light at the corner of her eye. However it must have appeared as something immaterial because she hardly registered it's existence, and kept walking. She slid the doors closed and adjusted the venetian blinds, molding the light entering the room from a sharp stream into a soft glow, making it easier to see. Looking over at Buscar she saw he had completely collapsed at his desk once again. Glasses crooked and gracefully passed out with his face buried in a pile of paper. She chuckled to herself and made her way downstairs to take care of some last-minute maintenance tasks.
Buscar was lightly asleep but wasn't dreaming. He could consciously feel his own heart beating away, but was completely oblivious to his current awkward position. As he was stirring he noticed his heart began to beat to a different rhythm, unable to differentiate if his body was twitching or if the sleep was playing tricks on him. Barely registering it, he refused to move. His body was too tired to care, his mind too unfocused. The beat grew stronger, and stronger, and stronger, until he slowly began to opened his eyes in confusion. His left eye was staring straight at a paragraph on a piece of paper. Covered with text but with the words 'walk with us' most prominent. With his right eye he could see a small line of soft light running down onto his hand. Moving his arm out of the light's path, he noticed the beating rhythm inside his body subside. He was barely conscious at this point, only slightly registering what he had felt. Out of curiosity he twinkled his fingers through the beam of light, like a child who has just touched sand for the first time. It was very faint, but he felt something. It was ever so subtle, and by leaving his body in contact with it the twitching returned. The idea of what just happened was spreading through his mind, but not yet enough to cause realisation.
Three, two, one, it hit him like lightning. He leaped up from the desk in absolute shock. "What had he just witnessed" ran trojan through his thoughts. Sitting perfectly upright, he correcting his crooked glasses and stared at the circle of light resting on the worktop. He began whispering to himself, stuttering madly "what is, how can, no that's not possible, what if, I think I'm going crazy". With his eyes he traced the beam up to the ceiling, nothing there, nothing projecting the light from above. Looking back down he caught a glimpse of brightness from between his legs. He arched his head down under the desk, only to see the line continue from the other side of the worktop down onto the floor. He sharply pulled his body back into the chair, robotically moving his head up and down looking at both points. "What!?" he shouted, "Freya!".
Freya was still down on the first floor, changing a few storage settings for the data collection. Working alongside one of the machines supplying power to the lab that was humming away. It was a comforting feeling even if she didn't realise it, and amidst her concentration Buscar's shouting went all but unnoticed. He practically leaped half way down the staircase and yelled in her direction. "Freya! Quick! You have to see this!". She began to walk towards him as she settled down her pad. Growing tired herself, she had lost the spring in her step. "What is it Dr? It's pretty much time to leave and It appears you still haven't submitted your final analysis for the night. You know you really need to take more care of your sleeping patterns or else you'll end up... Doctor!" "Yes yes, you can lecture me about that later." As soon as she was within arms reach he pulled her forward and then pushed her up the stairs like a bulldozer. "The data can wait, this can't."
Pushing Michaels gently onto the second floor, he lead her around some of machines and instruments in the room towards his desk. He stopped and turned to face her. She was mostly preoccupied with Buscar's haste and as they stood still she unamusingly said "Okay so what is so important that..." Her eyes widened "Doctor behind you, look!" "Exactly, I can't explain it" he replied. "But that's not all, there's some kind of charged current running through it". "Fascinating" she said as her eyes lit up with gleeful curiosity. After 5 months, this was without a doubt the most interesting occurrence of the entire project. Like a possessed treasure hunter she moved her hand forward towards it. One touch was all she desired, just one. "Stop!" he shouted, and her brief trance-like state was shattered. "You have to be careful. When It was touching me I felt my body begin to lose control of itself. Whether for good or bad I just cannot say. We must tread softly". Michaels looked up and down just like Buscar previous, trying to find the beam's origin. "It must be a projection, there's nothing on the ceiling or floor that could have created this." She paused for a second and looked at him with a loving smile. "You're not messing with me again, are you Buscar? That falling-down-the-stairs prank you pulled last month put me through hell!". He chuckled a little and responded with a big cheeky smile "Yes that was hilarious wasn't it... Ouch!" She slapped his arm "Most definitely not!". "Ha, alright alright. Well on this occasion I'm just as bewildered as you Freya. This is beyond me." They both kept still for a moment. Michaels losing interest in the what if's, but feeling a sudden rush of willpower to find answers. "Well there's no way it's coming from the roof, but perhaps under the floor" she pointed to the floor, nudging Buscar. "But how can it possibly... wait a minute!" She sharply turned around and ran half way down the stairs to scan the room below.
Buscar followed Michaels asking "There's nothing down there, I vaguely remember when I called you up here." They both slowly walked around the machines with Buscar behind, curious to know her train of thought. "Well..." she paused, tracing her memory of the light's position with one hand. Her fingers moving further along the ceiling. "If the beam was to penetrate through the floor... it would be visible right about...". Her hand stopped and was facing towards a set of wall cupboards. Gently clenching her fist so only one definite finger remained pointing "...Here." Michaels and Buscar slowly turned to look at each other, each nodding ever so slightly to acknowledge the next step. She took a small breath and moved her hand towards the handle. With it in reach, she pulled it open and there it was, an exact duplicate of what they had witnessed on the floor above. They both looked up at the ceiling inside the cupboard and simultaneously whispered "What the...?". Buscar's wonder turned to anxiety. "How is this even possible? It's coming straight through the solid metal struts in the ceiling!". Vigil's ceilings were only about eight feet from the floor, so it wasn't hard for them to see. He stretched upwards to touch the surface around the beam, "No light can penetrate this! This is beyond my comprehension!" "It's okay Diego" she said, as she brought a chair forward and urged him to take a seat. Diego had always struggled with anxiety. It was deeply imprinted in his mind ever since an accident 5 years ago, which resulted in the loss of his youngest daughter Annabell. "Sit down here for a bit. I know we're both shattered but let's just think about this logically. Even if we can't explain it let's study and document the hell out of this!". She smiled at him to try and ease his mind "We are scientists after all, it's what we do." He sighed a little but took comfort in her calm nature, "Alright, well you keep looking. I'm going to rest here a little." Looking back up at to see her disbelieving face, "Yes yes I won't fall asleep this time, go ahead." "I didn't say a thing word!" she laughed.
Michaels scurried around the room looking for her notepad. Her body was running on reserves by this point. Feeling a pulling sensation that could only be caused by lack of sleep, but pressed onwards regardless. She wasn't the athletic type but this has definitely put a spring in her step. Buscar pointing to the pad with his other hand covering his eyes, "Over there Freya, try the storage room for the same thing." "Yes doctor" as she ran past grabbing the pad, making her way down to the ground floor. She took a quick glance same as before, walking down into the room. The storage room was completely packed full of tools and mostly useless peripherals. From floor to ceiling there were boxes amung boxes everywhere. Tatty and worn-out, and piled up leaving only a tight labyrinth in which to navigate the room. "Nothing is visible so far..." muttering to herself, and then chuckled "but then again nothing would be in this room, isn't that right DOCTOR BUSCAR". She knew he couldn't hear her, but rolled her eyes anyway. Moving to a similar spot, she saw the light coming down through four slightly larger boxes against the wall, mostly containing mirrors. Buscar's warning was still at the forefront of her mind but she felt the curious need to look at it once more. Bending down she could see it passed through all four boxes downwards same as before. Nothing was below this room except for solid concrete, so she knew if she was going to study or make notes, this is as good a spot as any. It was a very cramped section of the room, but she had plenty of instruments around her that she could prod the light with, to look for a reaction. As she stood back up she accidentally knocked a box behind her holding several sections of a small telescope. Immediately turning around to catch it, she spun and tore open one of the four boxes with her elbow. The beam of light suddenly went crazy, bouncing around the box's mirrors and reflecting a wide cone directly at her. She gasped, dropped the box and spun back around as she felt a surge on current throughout her body. She stood paralysed like an actor in a spotlight, ready to perform.
By this point it was too late for Michaels. The feeling was so new and so incredible. Her heart was racing but not to the beat it should be. She could feel what she swore to be a musical rhythm driving her body, like a deep progressive but minimal house track. It began to ripple through her nervous system, causing her shoulders and arms to ever-so-slightly bob up and down to the beat. Thinking to herself "What the hell is happening! Am I... dancing?!". Before she could analyse any further, she began to feel her consciousness being slowly extracted. Fear was building in her mind extremely fast. She tried to scream but it sounded twisted, electronically distorted into an synthesized haze. Almost passing out, her scream silenced - conceding that Buscar couldn't hear her cry. It was too strong to fight and she willingly submitted herself to the rapture.