BUFORD GLACIER, ICELAND.
A young female glaciologist from the university of Iceland checks the camera on a drone. She is about to begin recording the glacier when an eerie hissing noise in the distance draws her attention. She climbs to the top of the ridge and an ominous glow reflects sporadically from her sunglasses while she peers over the top. She quickly turns the copter in the direction of the steam cloud and begins recording massive globules of molten rock floating up out of the glacier.
MONTANA STATE COLLEGE, BOZEMAN.
ALEX CAVE is a thirty-year-old ex-CIA operative. After his wife was murdered during a mission in Holland, he went on a killing spree against those responsible. Recently, his past has come back to haunt him. For revenge, the Russian Mafia killed his older brother and his wife, leaving the two children to move in with his father, Robert, who has disowned him and turned his nephew and niece against him.
He has been a geophysics instructor for the past three years, and board with being stuck in a classroom most of the time. He takes an odd job for MARTIN DONNER, the director of National Security, once in a while, but the class field trips are becoming monotonous.
He receives a letter inviting him to an urgent geological crisis in Iceland. He’s excited about a new adventure, but knows his girlfriend, a Native American woman named FALA, will not be happy about his leaving.
FALA BALDWIN is a twenty-six-year-old divorcee with an eight-year-old daughter, HALONA. She’s a veterinarian, and was introduced to Alex by her cousin, Okana. She wants a normal family life for her and her daughter, and thinks Alex is an adventure junkie. She is beginning to regret moving in with him.
OKANA is Fala’s cousin by marriage. He’s twenty-nine, with shaggy blond hair and dark green eyes. He’s Alex’s best friend from their time together in the CIA, and when Alex went on his killing spree, the CIA had a kill on site order on him. It was Okana who got him out of Russia alive. He also retired from the company to work on the research vessel as a submarine driver.
When Alex gets home and tells Fala he is going to Iceland, she gets mad at him for leaving just as their summer vacation is starting. He convinces her it’s only for one or two nights. After he promises to be back in time for Halona’s birthday, they part amicably, but Fala continues to wonder about her choice.
Alex enters the small auditorium and recognizes several prominent figures in the geophysics community. He realizes that whatever is going on must be of great significance, as sits down in the front row. A motion picture shows the drone approaching massive globules of glowing molten rock floating up out of the glacier. The globules suddenly slam down onto the ice, sending plumes of steam hissing into the air. An instant later, the camera lens shatters.
In the next recording, taken four days later at the same location as the floating magma, the drone approaches a twelve-foot diameter tunnel down into the dormant volcano. The camera focuses on the smooth walls as the drone drops down inside, showing that it is like a wide spiraling corkscrew down into the basaltic rock.
JEFFERY SLIVEN, the Director of the Nordic Volcanological Center, asks Alex to lead the investigation to find out what caused it.
One of the female geologists at the meeting realizes the significance of the discovery, and calls her lover, JANICE SLOAN, who deals in stolen technology. Sloan is pursuing a Norse legend about warriors floating up out of Edda’s Chimney, and thinks Alex might find a way to control gravity, and schemes to get it before he does.
MARTIN DONNER, the Director of National Security, is fifty-six-years-old, and has been Alex and Okana’s friend for a long time, starting when they first joined the CIA.
Alex walks into Martin’s office and tells him about the anomaly in Iceland, and that he wants to take Okana with him. Martin agrees to help him with the resources he needs to check it out.
JANICE SLOAN is forty-four-years-old and six-foot-one-inch tall. She has a deep-seated psychological need to be in charge of her situations. She steps out of a plane at the Essex Space Research and Development Corporation, and meets the owner.
JOHN ESSEX is forty-six-years-old and five-foot-five-inches tall. He’s a self-made millionaire, and passionate about conquering outer space. Sloan convinces him that Alex may find a way to control gravity and plans to follow Alex down the tunnel with Essex and they will try to steal it from him. Essex knows about Sloan’s illicit business, but needs her help if he wants a viable means for launching his space vehicles. He plans to mine the moon, and eventually, Mars.
Alex arrives home in time for Halona’s birthday party and tells Fala he has to leave again, only adding to her anger about him going off on adventures without any concern for her or Halona’s feelings. Alex tries to explain that he has no choice, but Fala doesn’t believe him.
Okana joins them at the party and warns Alex about upsetting Fala. Alex knows he’s right, but he has no choice and they will meet in Iceland in five days. Fala warns Alex that this had better be the end of it or she and Halona are leaving him.
Alex is staring out through the window of the air terminal in Reykjavík as a private jet rolls to a stop. When the side door opens, he sees Okana walking down the steps with an attractive woman clinging to his arm. He also sees Sloan and Essex exiting the airplane, but doesn’t know them yet.
Okana says goodbye to the woman, and Alex sees Sloan give him a strange look before he and Okana head out to load the gear into the helicopter.
BUFORD GLACIER. THE TUNNEL.
The helicopter approaches from the Arctic Ocean, and Alex stares down at the cracked white face of the massive glacier below. They arrive at the tunnel and RON CROWDER, the helicopter pilot, sets down a short distance away.
Okana opens the door on the cargo compartment, then looks at the four small tires mounted to a metal frame with the back end of a torpedo mounted on top. The newer torpedoes already have a trailing cable with optical fibers, so who ever launches it can maintain control. He’s using the cables to send data and digital video from the equipment on the nose. When it shows the atmosphere is good, they turn on their headlamps and begin the journey into the planet.
Partway down, they realize someone is following them and stop to find out who it is. That’s when Alex and Okana meet Sloan and Essex for the first time. Sloan claims they are archeologists, searching for the source of the Norse legend.
Everyone suddenly begins floating up the tunnel, desperately trying to find something to grab. The only illumination is the light from their headlamps, sweeping around the interior in all directions as they rotate in the air. Just as quickly as it starts, everyone slams down onto the floor and are being dragged deeper into the tunnel by an invisible force.
They suddenly stop and Alex decides to head back to the surface before it happens again, but Sloan is determined to get whatever is causing the change in gravity, so she and Essex continue down.
UP THE TUNNEL.
The sudden change in gravity catches Alex off guard and he begins sliding feet first down the tunnel. He groans when his rope snaps taut. The end of Okana’s rope shoots past his head and is torn from his grasp. He looks up the tunnel and sees Okana sliding down, feet first.
Alex claws at the slick surface to reach the center of the tunnel, barely managing to grasp Okana’s wrist and Okana is jerked to a stop. Alex’s harness digs in even more painfully by the extra weight, and he grits his teeth as he struggles to hang on. Okana’s wrist starts slipping through his grasp, but he is not going to lose his best friend. Okana manages to grab the carabineer attached to Alex’s belt, and Alex grabs Okana’s coat collar and helps drag him up to where his belt clip can slip over the taut line.
DOWN THE TUNNEL.
Essex’s safety line stops him with the rope partially around his neck. Sloan is hanging on to Essex’s belt for dear life and begs for him to pull her up. Sloan’s thrashing causes the rope to tighten around Essex’s neck and he kicks her away.
Sloan hits the bottom and Essex slams down beside her, unconscious and still wearing his backpack. She studies the large chamber and sees a ten-inch-square by six-inch-high box with translucent silver material on the sides. The top of it is radiating neon blue light and she realizes it’s the gravity device.
Nothing seems to be affected around it, only directly above it, so she moves closer. Just beneath the silver surface, glowing amber, turquoise, and ruby-colored touch pads form the tips of a three-inch triangle. They suddenly go dark as the blue light vanishes. The device only weighs about ten pounds, so she hides it in her backpack.
UP THE TUNNEL.
When the device shuts down, Alex and Okana know they need to hurry. They leave their backpacks in the tunnel to save time and energy, and jog back to the surface, where Alex calls for the helicopter to pick them up.
DOWN THE TUNNEL.
Sloan is suddenly weightless, and she and Essex start floating up out of the chamber. She manages to grab her backpack before it drifts away.
UP ON THE GLACIER.
Alex sees their own backpacks floating up out of the tunnel and they appear to hang in the air. A moment later, Essex floats out, then Sloan, clutching her backpack. When Alex realizes they are moving in his direction, he and Okana run over to catch Sloan and Essex before they slam onto the ice. Sloan is grateful, but she isn’t going to tell Alex about the device. She lies and says she never reached the bottom and the device must be much deeper.
Donner listens to Alex’s account of what happened, and he will make arrangements for Alex and Okana to go back down the tunnel with the right equipment.
As Alex approaches his ranch, the thought of having to explain another trip to Iceland to Fala makes his stomach turn. When he arrives and tries to explain that it’s important, Fala grabs her purse and keys, then storms out of the house with Halona, telling him he’s sleeping on the couch tonight.
Alex has built a three wheeled, triangular, aluminum-frame open go-cart and he and Okana take it down the tunnel. Almost too late, they realize Sloan lied to them and the tunnel drops straight down into a chamber and a solid wall. They manage to stop in time and see where Sloan has removed the gravity device, so head back to the surface to track her down.
Sloan and Essex drive out across the desert to an old military test site. She turns on the gravity device and birds start crashing to the ground around them. She tries to shut it off, but can’t. She takes the crystal key from the device, but it stays on. Essex realizes the device could pull airplanes down and wants to call Alex for help, but Sloan threatens to castrate him if he calls him.
SENTINEL ASTEROID MONITORING STATION, NORTHERN ALASKA.
Keven Sterling discovers a ten-mile wide, emerald and gold colored asteroid headed for our solar system, and contacts his astrophysicist friend from JPL, JADIN AVERY, to tell her about it. She promises the try and determine the asteroid’s composition for him when she gets back.
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA. NASA’S JET PROPULSION LABORATORY.
PATRICK SHERMAN, a young member of Jadin’s team, cannot believe it is even possible, but the moon has just moved closer to the planet. He enters a number for a secure call to Airforce Lieutenant, SHERI LARSON, the Government liaison officer stationed at his facility. When her face appears on the screen, he tells her what he found.
Martin talks to Sheri and learns about the moon. When she leaves, he learns that one of our satellites has mysteriously dropped out of orbit.
Alex parks in front of his home, climbs out, and goes into the house. His phone rings and Martin tells him about the satellite. Alex calls Okana who will join him, and then Fala, who tells him she has had enough and is leaving him. He begs her to wait until her returns, but she’s says it’s too late.
Alex and Okana drive to the Essex Space Research and Development Corporation. They are allowed into the complex and start snooping around before they meet with Essex. JIM COBURN, a big, ex-army ranger and head of security, catches them, and takes an instant dislike to Okana’s attitude. He escorts them to Essex’s office and waits in the parking lot.
Essex tells them what happened with the device out in the desert. He blames Sloan and tries to convince Alex he wanted to call him and ask for help, but Sloan threatened to end his manhood.
Alex and Okana arrive at the desert weapons test area and see the bird carcasses and a charred crater where the satellite hit. They leave and Alex calls Martin to let him know they found it, and that it’s still on. He wants to fly down to Area 51 and talk to his friends about how to turn it off, but Martin tells him DAVID and HENRY are in Alaska, and to join them there.
JPL. PASADENA, CALIFORNIA.
Jadin enters the building and Patrick waves her over to the large wall monitor. She sees the computer generated model of the area where the moon was when it was dragged closer to Earth. It’s east of Reno, Nevada, but she doesn’t know that’s where the gravity device is located.
From book 2, Cold Energy, Alex has recently found an alien spaceship partially buried in the crater of an ancient volcano in the Aleutian chain. It’s forty-feet-wide and twenty-feet-high, and is shaped like a giant hockey puck with a mirrored surface. His friends from Area 51 are inside trying to figure out how it works.
DAVID CONWAY, Alex’s twenty-two-year-old physicist friend from his college, is trying to decipher some writing on a control console to figure out the spaceship’s operating system. He’s with his friend and mentor, Doctor HENRY HEINZ, a fifty-eight-year-old German immigrant with an accent, affectionately called DOC by his friends, who is sitting in front of another control console. David decides he can’t figure it out without help.
Transmissions of any kind in or out of the spaceship seem to be blocked because of the mirror surface. Not even electrical cables work once they enter the ship, so David goes outside to a workstation with a secure satellite uplink to Martin, and asks for assistance.
Martin is in his office with Lieutenant Larson to get an update about the moon. The increased tidal affect from the moon’s closer orbit is beginning to destroy shorelines, including the Great Lakes.
Martin asks her if she knows someone who can help David decipher a strange language. They contact Jadin and ask her to help, and arrange to have her picked up in four hours. He doesn’t tell her or Sheri about the spaceship. Only that she might be able to help with the moon situation at the same time.
AIRPORT. PASADENA, CALIFORNIA.
Alex and Okana land in Martin’s private jet and pick up Jadin. Okana, being himself, starts using his charm on Jadin as they fly to Adak, Alaska for a helicopter ride to the island. On the way, they tell her about the gravity device and the spaceship.
Alex has called ahead to have one of his friends save him some time by stopping by his house and packing some clothes to bring to the airport without telling Fala. He doesn’t want to bother her at work. When Alex enters the terminal to meet him, Fala is waiting with his suitcase and she’s mad.
Alex says he can’t go into details and promises he is trying to save people’s lives, but she doesn’t believe him. When she starts to leave the airport, he suddenly asks her to marry him. Fala says she loves him, but no. He returns to the plane and they continue to Alaska.
ALASKA – THE ISLAND.
A helicopter with ALEX, OKANA, and JADIN, lands inside the crater. The side door opens and David is waiting. Jadin is excited as she gets out and starts asking David questions.
Alex gets out and sees the Doc carrying his suitcase. He is not feeling too good and is headed back to Area 51 in the helicopter while the others stay.
Okana continues to flirt with Jadin, and she tries to ignore him. She brings up her translation software and hooks it up to the spaceship. When she presses open, some computer language starts scrolling up across the ship’s holographic monitor, much to David’s surprise, since it’s the first time he’s seen it.
The two computers connect and the language is translated into English. They get the ship working, and learn that the gravity device is an experiment that was lost when the ship crashed 180-million years ago.
David doesn’t know what all the buttons do and turns the gravity device on and off while trying to figure out how the ship worked, which caused the device in the tunnel to turn on and off at the same time. He thinks it’s off now, but they can’t be sure.
Alex calls Martin to send a drone to launch an object into the gravity beam to see if it’s on or off.
Alex and his friends are outside the ship, watching the night vision video feed from the drone. The drone slows down and approaches the test area. The outline of the concrete slab appears directly ahead, and a small winged aircraft leaves the drone and moves toward the gravity beam. In an instant, the little test craft smacks into the ground next to the device, and the drone veers away from the test area.
David thinks he can shut down the gravity device with this spaceship, and they decide to see if it can still fly. It breaks free and they leave the island at night to take it to Area 51.
AREA 51. GROOM LAKE NEVADA.
All the structures have the lights turned off. To any observer, the approaching spaceship is invisible. Henry and a select groups of scientists are waiting outside Hangar 5.
Two parallel rows of red lights on the concrete tarmac slowly increase in intensity, marking the approach to the entrance of the hangar. The reflection of the red dots slowly moves along the mirrored bottom of the spaceship as it silently enters through the opening of the massive doors.
Once inside the hangar, the red lights blink off and the doors start to close. Henry and the scientists move quickly through the narrowing gap into the hangar, just before the doors seal them inside. The lights come on, illuminating the massive mirrored hockey puck on the concrete floor.
Alex goes outside to call Martin, who tells him the gravity machine could cause problems with the International Space Station when it’s in alignment over the device. Alex and Okana will drive out to the test site and wait for David to fly the spaceship to the device without being seen, to try and shut it down. If it works, Alex and Okana will bring it back to the base.
Fala and Halona pull into Alex’s driveway, there to unlock the door so the movers can come and pick up their belongings later that day. Fala gets out and realizes Barney is not there and calls for him, then checks inside the house. When she comes out, Sloan is aiming a pistol at her, while Essex is sitting in the back seat of her car, aiming a gun at Halona. Sloan forces Fala to go with her as a trade for the gravity device.
NAS FALLON, NEVADA.
A sailor meets Alex and Okana inside the air terminal. They go outside and he shows them a large, camouflage-painted Humvee. Once Alex is inside, Okana drives off the base and heads out to the test site. When they arrive, Alex climbs out and slowly walks over to the donut-shaped mound of feathered carcasses around the device, then calls Henry and tells him to send the ship.
Jadin and David head out across the desert in the ship at five-hundred-feet above the ground. the bottom and sides of the ship reflect the desert, creating a strange illusion racing across the desert.
Okana is leaning back against the front of the truck next to Alex. He straightens up to study a mirage moving fast in his direction, two hundred-feet above the ground.
The spaceship gets above the gravity device and stops moving. A small section of the atmosphere between them appears to be shimmering when the two gravity systems are counteracting each other. The shimmering stops and the mirage on the bottom of the spaceship races away.
Alex throws a rock over the gravity machine and it sails through without dropping. He walks over, gets the device, and carefully sets it in the wooden crate strapped to the floor in the back.
Okana and Alex are heading back toward Fallon when they get a signal and Alex’s phone rings. He sees Sloan’s image and turns on the speaker so Okana can listen. Sloan shows them a live image of Fala and threatens to shoot her if he doesn’t give her the device.
It tears Alex and Okana’s hearts apart, but they have no choice and refuse, and Sloan kills Fala. Sloan does the same with Halona when they refuse. In numb silence, they continue across the desert.
JIM COBURN notices the cloud of dust moving in his direction from the test site and studies his location. The single lane road has a steep incline on one side, and a steep drop off on the other. He has orders to stop Alex at any cost and get a box-shaped mirror.
Okana sees the drivers of two SUVs have stopped at the area he would have used for an ambush, and stares over the embankment on his side of the road. When Jim and his men open fire, Okana looks over at Alex, then throws the steering wheel hard over to the left. The rear tires throw dirt and gravel into the air, peppering the two vehicles to keep the shooters under cover.
Okana drives straight down the bank. The front bumper slams into the dirt at the bottom, bouncing them into the air. He makes a circle around the attackers before roaring up the embankment behind them and back onto the road.
The rear window of the Humvee suddenly explodes, sending shards of glass flying throughout the vehicle. Alex feels a heavy thud in his headrest. He turns to aim through the missing rear window and fires three quick rounds. The men duck behind their doors when their own rear windows shatter, and the two vehicles quickly shrink in size behind them. They get to Fallon and fly the device to Area 51.
GROOM LAKE, NEVADA.
When the jet enters the hangar, David and Jadin are waiting while the engines shut down and the side door opens. Jadin gives Alex a hug, then Okana, sorry about their family. Henry gives everyone some time off and he’ll have it taken to a vault.
ALASKA. OFFICE OF THE SENTINEL ASTEROID TRACKING STATION.
Keven Sterling looks up when Sheri Larson walks in. She tells him his video of the asteroid is creating quite a stir on social media. Keven’s phone rings and he recognizes Jadin. She tells him that the composition of the asteroid is raw emerald on the outside, with a solid gold core, so it has tremendous mass. Keven enters the information and the computer crunches the numbers. The asteroid will clip the side of the Earth.
Alex pulls into his driveway and climbs out of the car. He feels a deep ache as he looks at his empty home. Before he enters, his phone rings and he sees Martin’s image. Martin tells him that the asteroid will hit in six days. He says David has an idea on how to change its trajectory, but he needs him and his team back at Groom Lake to make it work.
When Alex, Okana, and Jadin walk into the spaceship, David is waiting to discuss the new mission. The original crew were planning to conduct an experiment using the gravity device to artificially change the mass of an asteroid so they could move it with the ship. That’s their plan, but Alex and Okana need to get the key from Sloan so they can turn it on. They think she is at Essex’s facility, so Alex and Okana will break in to get it from her.
NAS FALLON, NEVADA.
COMMANDER RAMEY looks up when Alex and Okana walk into his office. They introduce one another, and Ramey tells Alex and Okana the layout of Essex’s compound. There are ground sensors around the perimeter, so it’s decided Alex and Okana will parachute in that night, and Ramey sets it up.
That night, Alex and Okana jump out of a C-140 Hercules aircraft. Okana grabs the drag chute from his pocket and tosses it over his shoulder, but nothing happens. Alex sees the tangled drag chute spiraling above Okana’s parachute pack and dives down to his target. A sudden side draft pushes him slightly off course, but he manages to reach out and grab the fluttering piece of cloth and rip it the rest of the way out of the pack.
Alex shoots past Okana, then his own chute opens and he drops onto the roof of the last hangar with a nice soft landing. As he is balling up his parachute, Okana drops down beside him. They creep over to the edge of the roof to look down at a security patrol car parked in front, but can’t tell if anyone is inside. They continue around to the roof access ladder. When they don’t see anyone, they climb down and stay close to the building as they hurry to the front corner and see Sam the guard walking around inside.
Headlights suddenly approach and they hide behind the building. Okana continues around to the other side, and they wait until a second patrol car stops in front of the hangar. Alex rushes around the corner and recognizes Jim Coburn climbing out of his vehicle. Before Jim has a chance to react, Alex aims the gun at his head.
Jim slowly raises his arms and turns around. Alex tells him the moon problem is Sloan’s fault, and she has a key they need to stop it. Jim tells them she’s in Essex’s living quarters with a woman and a little girl. He swears he had nothing to do with the kidnapping and agrees to help them.
Essex hears his phone ring and Jim tells him they had a break in at the electric launch hangar. He slams the phone down and walks down the hall to one of his spare bedrooms. When the door opens, Sloan rolls over and shades her eyes against the light, and Essex tells her about the call.
Sloan thinks it’s Alex and will stay with the girls while he checks it out. He leaves and she walks down the hallway and enters the other spare bedroom. She holds a gun at her side and stares at Fala and Halona, and tells them Alex is at the facility, so don’t try anything or she’ll kill the girl.
Alex and Okana hurry around the corner of the building to the door into Essex’s living quarters. Okana waits outside while Alex enters the code and steps into the living room. He hears Halona’s giggle, sighs with relief, and hollers for them to come out.
Sloan grabs Fala by the hair, yanking her off the bed and shoving the pistol against her head. Sloan glances toward the girl, who is hiding behind the bed. She yanks on Fala’s hair until she screams before guiding her into the hallway. She presses the gun into Fala’s ear for more pain when she sees Alex.
A heavy thumping on the front door causes Sloan to look away, and Alex carefully re-focuses his gun on Sloan’s head. When Halona enters the living room and screams, Fala growls against the pain and tries to pull away from Sloan’s grasp.
Sloan pulls the trigger and a deafening explosion fills the room before she swings the gun around at Alex. The bullet from Alex’s gun meets Sloan’s forehead, pitching her head backwards as brain matter splatters across the wall behind her. Sloan falls to the floor, slumped over in an unnatural position. Alex rushes to Fala’s side, kneeling to cradle her in his arms. She’s alive, and the only injury is the ringing in her ear from the gun blast.
Okana bursts into the room. He sees Sloan on the ground and Alex cradling Fala. He sees Halona standing in the living room in a state of shock, staring at the grisly scene. He rushes over and sweeps Halona up into his arms, covering her face while he carries her outside.
When Jim pulls up in front, he sees Okana outside, holding a young girl. He leaps out of the car and runs inside, passing Fala on the way, and sees the carnage.
Alex kneels down to search Sloan’s pockets for the key to the gravity device. As she lay on the ground, blood pooling below her head, Alex notices an unusual outline underneath her shirt and rips open her blouse. When he sees a square outline under her bra, he reaches in and his fingers clasp around the crystal. He pulls it from the bra and stands to put it in his pocket.
After Jim sneaks them all out of the compound, Alex calls Ramey for a ride back to the base, giving him the GPS location from his phone. Fifteen minutes later, dust swirls up from the ground when a dull-gray helicopter drops to pick them up and take them to the base.
They land and Alex promises Fala that after this mission he’ll quit and be just a teacher. Fala tells him she knows he’ll be absolutely miserable and the world needs him to save it from itself. As tears rolled down her cheeks, Fala steps closer to Alex and kisses him goodbye for the last time. Alex and Okana head to Groom Lake.
Alex and Okana arrive at the base and walk into the spaceship, where David and Jadin are waiting anxiously for them. Alex shows them the key. Jadin says he and Okana need to go to Houston and be fitted for spacesuits. Once they get back, the foursome takes off for the asteroid.
David is having difficulty matching the spin of the asteroid, and after several attempts, he manages to get within one-hundred-feet. The airlock is aimed at the asteroid, but the green and gold surface is still sweeping past his ship and he can’t land. One person will need to jump out of the ship onto the giant rock.
Alex’s solution for attaching the device to the asteroid is a short metal rod welded to an eleven-inch-square metal cage, designed to hold the gravity device. There is VHB tape on the bottom of the device to hold it to the asteroid once it’s jabbed against the surface. A tether will keep Alex attached to the cage so he won’t bounce off the asteroid and can turn it on.
Alex gets injured, so Okana pushes off from the ship and realizes something is wrong. The mass of the asteroid is pulling him way too fast. He jabs the device against the surface before crumpling into a ball and rolling away from the device.
The white tether line uncoils from Okana’s suit and snaps taut for an instant, but the cage rips away from the device and Okana continues tumbling across the surface. A few moments later, Okana lay sprawled on the dark green background, three-hundred-feet from the device.
Alex’s hands clench into fists in frustration, then he notices one of Okana’s legs move and hears a moan through the ship’s intercom. He’s glad he friend is alive.
Okana rolls over onto his hands and knees and stands up. He goes back to the device and turns it on. When David activates it from the ship, there is a brilliant explosion on the asteroid All that is left is a three-hundred-yard crater of gray on the emerald surface.
Everyone is disappointed in the failure of the mission, and in deep sorrow over the loss of Okana and everyone they love. David touches the pads to reduce their speed and feels the ship lurch, as if caught in a trap by the gravity of the asteroid. He gives the engine full reverse power, putting drag on the giant rock. It continues sliding past their view, only much slower than before.
A few moments later, the backside of the giant emerald slides past the ship. Their speed drops dramatically to zero-miles-per-hour without the load, and the rock races away toward the planet. David increases speed to try to catch up, even though he knows all they can do is watch the Earth be destroyed. The asteroid quickly shrinks to the size of a basketball, with Earth right in its crosshairs.
Jadin is standing beside Alex when she realizes the moon’s new orbit is moving in the direction of the asteroid. The moon creeps slowly across the blue background. Inch by slow inch, the moon begins to align on an intercept course with the approaching green rock. The asteroid slams into the moon at a shallow angle, and a massive silver cloud of debris erupts from the surface, blocking their view of the green rock for several seconds. Everyone holds their breath, expecting to see a similar cloud of debris erupt from the Earth. Instead, they see the asteroid heading away from the solar system.
Jadin wraps her arms around Alex’s neck, laughing and crying at once. Alex’s smile quickly slips away when he thinks about Okana. There is no reason to stay in space now, so he tells David to head back to the base.
When Okana opens his eyes, he realizes he is alone in a vast expanse of emptiness. For a moment, he thinks it’s just his imagination. The Earth is growing larger by the minute, and he is still hurtling through space at a fantastic speed.
Inside the spaceship, Alex hears static through the intercom, then the static clears and he smiles while listening to Okana whistling off-key. David enters the coordinates, and the ship immediately changes direction and heads away from the planet. Alex catches a fleeting glimpse of white as Okana shoots past the side of the ship just a few yards away. They turn around and approach him.
Alex is standing in the open doorway of the airlock, waiting for Okana to come into view. His plan is to jump out and grab him, but if he and Okana are moving at different speeds, the odds will drop considerably.
Alex jumps out, misses, and slams into the ship, damaging his life support system. He feels light-headed, his brain desperate for oxygen. He fumbles with the carabineer on his harness, then he passes out. Alex’s friends manage to get him into the ship and rescue breathe for him, and he comes around.
David eases the spaceship into the hangar. Once the ship settles on the floor, the foursome walk down the stairs. When they step outside, the small crowd of scientists begins applauding their accomplishment. Alex looks around at the grateful smiles and feels a sense of relief for the success of the mission.
Jadin brings out her phone to see who is calling, and sees a familiar image. Patrick tells her the moon was pushed so close to Earth so fast that our planet’s gravity had a sling shot effect. This will cause the moon’s orbit to be more elliptical for several weeks, but it will settles back into its original pattern.
Okana sees the despondent look in Alex’s eyes and moves closer to ask what he plans to do now. Alex tells him his life without Fala and Halona will never go back to the way it was, and he hates the thought of teaching again. He’ll never be happy unless he is doing what he loves the most, so he’s moving to Groom Lake to work full time with his friends.
I have removed sixteen pages of script from the original story, where Jadin goes home to Oregon twice to help her family when the tides start getting bad and threaten to rip her uncles marina apart. It gives visual evidence of the destruction caused by the change in the moon’s orbit if you need more.
There is also four pages of script showing the destruction along the California coastline killing a homeless girl named Penny, and a street vendor.