Book 2, Maelstrom, serves as a bridge between
books 1 and 3 of the trilogy. It is short, barely a novella, and may be read as
a stand-alone. This book provides filler information so that you, the reader,
may understand what occurred to bring about the cultural and technological
changes you will find in the third instalment, Book
3: Tapper Tom, Mooch, and the Traveler.
The first book is solid science fiction based in fact and real possibility. The
third book is an adventure, still science fiction, but based more in
conjecture, fun and action.
Book 1 of The Rain Trilogy, Storm Cloud Rising, the unthinkable came
to light. There was no refuting that the comets and rocks were there. Many of
them could be seen and tracked-but more could not, hiding behind sheaths of
carbon black in a huge sky and, unless caught in the frantic radar and infrared
sweeps after the first discovery, remaining invisible in the immense darkness
of space. It is, after all, a huge sky and it takes some time to map all of it
with the thoroughness required to "know" what is coming, where it is
coming from and where it is going. Especially in a world where the
infrastructure has crumbled, leaving no organized force to do the work of
unveiling those clumps of ice, stone and metal
hurtling toward the sun from all directions and at incredible speeds. Not
everyone knew what that meant, but there were some, nesting in high,
untouchable places and they were determined to keep it secret from an
unsuspecting public; people whom they knew with some certainty and
justification would panic and demand answers. Answers the pundits could not and
would not answer. Their people would want protection. Protection that could not
be offered. It could not even be lied into existence. But that's what all those
governments were there for, right? To defend and protect their citizens from
cosmic velocities of the incoming rain in many cases exceeded the norm; some of
it charging in at close to seventy-one thousand meters per second. They
originated somewhere out in the vast Oort Cloud and the outer Kuiper Belt that
surround our solar system, though some may have come from elsewhere to start
the chain of events.
Oort Cloud-a cosmic bubble of primordial junk adrift in tenuous, lazy orbits,
ominously awaiting an opportunity to move into the system. All it took was a
gentle nudge sometime in the dim past and they came falling in. They had to be
found, catalogued, their trajectories computed.
Impossible. At the least, a few of the big ones were bound to hit Earth. Simply
the odds at work. Others would collide with some of the belt mines, Martian colonies and fragile out-stations. That was close to a
given-you could bank on it. They raced past the dim outer limits of the solar
system as if the Grim Reaper and all his kin were charging toward the sun in
reckless abandon, swinging their scythes wildly this way and that as they
straddled the backs of swift, all but invisible, black stallions. Mindless,
merciless, blind destruction would be left in the wake of the approaching
Book Two of The Rain Trilogy: MAELSTROM we are confronted with what
happens when Earth is attacked, beaten and torn apart
by an inept, sadistic surgeon wielding a dull scalpel and a heavy hammer-her
thin skin callously ripped apart and her viscera spilling out onto the surface
in thick, superheated tendrils, glowing orange and white, then hardening into
black rock as they cool. Clouds of dust and ash shrouding Earth, denying the
little blue planet most of the life-giving light of the sun and its warmth. The
Martian and lunar colonies will fare better if not directly struck-not enough
atmosphere to disrupt over a long period.
all the people on Earth have had the good fortune of finding a hole to hide in.
Actually, most didn't think of that possibility, they
just ran helter-skelter toward the south where their sworn protectors had fled.
Even though the Pope, his astronomers and their fellow scientists from Vatican
City and other places around the globe, stepped boldly to the front and
broadcast to the world what was going to happen in great, frightening detail.
They suggested ways the people might find protection for themselves; how they
could conceivably live through the coming heavenly holocaust to build a new
world at the end of the onslaught. They told the people how the great powers,
the governments of the world, made self-righteous decisions about who would
survive and who would not in a sweeping global triage and how their elected or
self-appointed officials had no intention and no means of protecting or defending
their people, anyway. They revealed how these "protectors" plundered
Earth's seed banks, the so-called Doomsday Vaults, and took all that was
available into hiding with them somewhere in the south.
those who didn't listen or paid no heed must bear the full fury of the
storm-exposed. Will there be any survivors? Time will tell, but it does not
look good for anyone-not even those who found or carved and blasted out holes
deep underground in which they could hide from the rain and ride out the long winter
to come. There were many who fled southward, blindly following their protectors in a vain hope that they would
be given shelter. They all faced an uncertain future and an even less secure
present. Around them there was a random, cosmic tossing of the dice going on
and no one could say how long the bombardment would endure or the tenebrous,
frigid, killing winter would last.
what will be left of the monuments to human achievement? Will any of them be
useful, or will they all be nothing but wasted ruins, the twisted, shattered
remains of cities near impact zones or those unscathed by direct attack but situated
in the paths of advancing ice fields sliding relentlessly, scouring the ground
beneath-or perched dangerously close to new volcanoes and shifting fault lines?
Will any of our technology and social structure be in place after the influx
subsides, or will we be reduced to total anarchy and plunged into the abyss of paleolithic savagery?