Categories > Books > Wheel of Time > The Neverending War

A Wave of Change

by Minodrin 0 reviews

The first USSR chapter, displaying the characters and the initial effect of the one power

Category: Wheel of Time - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Sci-fi - Characters: Other - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2005-06-27 - Updated: 2005-06-27 - 3075 words

Chapter 2
A Wave of Change

The One Power spread itself as an invisible wave around the world, moving faster and faster. No one could see it coming, few could feel it, but there were machines. A new kind of meter read the wave as something. What the wave was it could not say, but it read, processed and registered.

A teleprompter in a small facility in central Russia started to print out the readings. No one heard it tick of course, because the moment the wave hit the meter, one of the scientists had destroyed a computer with the one power. It had just crashed, deleting four hours of work for a scientist named Vladimir Glenko, and he had been quite mad at it. When he started throwing disks and other stuff around the room, some of the people in it had withdrawn to the next room, and as the computer blew up, everyone else ran away.

After a while, once most of the other people had fled to their rooms or gotten blocked by guards wondering why they were running, one of Vladimir's friends, a scientist named Ivan Romanov said out "Vladi, what did you just do. You, you blew up that computer, didn't you. But how?" the man said with a voice of terror and intrigue in his voice.

Vladimir was wondering the same thing. For a moment it had felt as if he was more alive then he had ever been before. Twice alive, twenty fold even. It was like he was fighting to keep that power, but it was a magnificent fight. He was in euphoria. He had seen every little pixel on the static screen of the computer, and with his rage, he had somehow made it explode. But it was not an explosion as such, there had been no fire, the computer had just broken apart with pieces of it flying all around the room. He had felt air blowing up inside it, and them blow up more and more and more, all in the blink of an eye. Then the computer had exploded. Finally after looking around in the room for several minutes, at the disbelieving faces of his comrades, at the computer, he said simply "I don't know, but it was something that I did. I am sure of it."

At this time almost everyone had fled to the other side of the compound, some had even hidden themselves under beds and tables. Few of Vladimir's friends had stayed behind however, trying to find out what had happened. They asked him questions, but he could not tell them anything else than what he had felt, and by the looks on their faces, Vladimir supposed they were afraid the he might do the same to him. He was afraid of that himself too.

"Hey Vladimir, check this out" a voice called out from the other side of the room. It was another of his friends, Nikolai, who was holding a piece of paper in his hands. As Vladimir started walking towards him, the man continued talking. "You know that new, expensive meter that we got a few years ago, the one that isn't of any use because it's only supposed to register brain-waves or something as stupid as that. Never bothered to find out myself. Anyways, it shows some activity that would be right at the time as your... accident. It might give us a clue to what has happened."

Vladimir replied with a some irritation in his voice "First of all, it doesn't register brain waves. Those waves move at best twenty centimeters outside your skull, or so I have heard. That thing registers something even more stupid. Five years ago some idiot in the politburo was convinced that there were ghosts or something equally stupid, and had it made to register them. It's not like we have ever gotten any reading from it. And even if it could get information about ghosts, we are twenty kilometers from the next city." after looking at the surprised faces of his friends, they didn't know this, and neither would he unless he had met with an older scientist in this place who told him that over some vodka earlier. "Until now that is." Vladimir ended his words with.

After a quick glance at the paper, only to make his friends think he cared anything about it, he was a computer specialist after all, not an American ghost-searcher. Then he said to his friend. "Find out if there is any other base in Russia that holds an meter like ours. If they do, tell them to send the info to us, that way we might be able to determine the origin, speed and time of the original outburst. And make sure you get past the damn bureaucracy this time"

Vladimir was in a frenzy to find out what the readings meant. He sent one of his friends to try and find the old scientist, but the machine itself could just as well have registered nothing. It only showed a blank white sheet with a long black line with one spike. Luckily some smart scientist had come upon the idea to enable it to print the current time when activity could be found, but that was all.

In the base word traveled fast. It was quite a few who had done something that could be only described as magical. And once the staff told the guards this, sooner or later word went to some guard whom though of this as something worth telling the KGB officers on the base. And once enough reports of this came in to the KGB officers they started believing it. And the rumor that one of the scientists had registered it somehow also came to the ears of the secret police. And the local leading KGB officer was forced to send a report to Moscow. And in all the reports that were sent into Moscow, only one mentioned that a scientist would have registered the event. And if only one scientist had registered it, it was quite obvious to the head of the KGB who was to be called to brief the politburo. The bureaucracy in the Soviet Union could be remarkable fast when it included the secret police and a massive event. In only a few hours the soldiers were already marching towards Vladimir Glenko's laboratory.

And very soon the guards bashed the door in.

The scientist's in the room didn't even have the time to say a word before the political officer of the group spoke out "Vladimir Glenko, you have been ordered to go to Moscow and explain the situation to the Politburo. The plane from Moscow is flying here now, and will be here in roughly one hour. Including the time it takes to refuel the plane, the guards here will start escorting you to the plane in roughly one hour and ten minutes. Then you have about two and a half hour time in the plane to prepare whatever papers you bring with you from this room. So be ready," he said, after which he simply left while the soldiers stood around the door, holding their assault-rifles.

It took a minute before Vladimir fully realized the situation, and got in a hurry to analyze whatever small pieces of data he had managed to acquire. And in short time the guards started moving him towards the plane.

The plane moved fast. Very fast, and the distance from the scientific compound to Moscow was not too long. Vladimir didn't have much time to plan a speech, and the news from the TV took up even more of his time. It wasn't a Soviet channel of course; they were too slow in providing the important news. It was CNN, all of the high-leaders in the Soviet Union who could understand English looked at the channel, and it could be received at most governmental planes and important compounds. He was not an important enough party member to be able to see it regularly, but this plane had the equipment to see it, and no one was here to stop him.

The channel showed what was happening in the world, and it didn't take long for him to understand the magnitude of what was happening. There was no news from Africa, South America or the Soviet Union, but that was because they were either not interesting enough or that there was no free press. It was happening all over the world.

The people were doing magic, what was the correct verb he wondered, all over the world. Most did some damage, like he had, but, just like him, it was mostly minor damage. It should be, the TV didn't show. Some had done major damage. One person had broken the Golden-Gate Bridge in San Francisco in two, and another one in West Germany had begun killing people like a maniac. The report said that the man had screamed something about how he hated the world, and the world hated him. The man was gone now, but the bloody bodies in the street remained. And the cameraman did seem to like the zoom option. But considering how much they were switching between those two, they were the only major happenings. It was not all bad however. The reporters showed some miraculous savings, healings, and some things had been repaired even, all using magic. Somehow Vladimir didn't think magic was the correct word for this. He felt like there should be some other word. It was not that it wasn't magic, that it was, just that there should be another name to it.

After watching CNN dumbfounded for an hour or two, before he could start planning what he would say to the honorable members of the politburo, the plane started moving in for landing. The captain said in the speakers that he should fasten his seatbelt now. When they were going to take off he had searched like a madman to find the belt, as it was hidden under the leather seat somehow.

The landing only took minutes. Vladimir though that the politburo was in panic over what was happening, and wanted anyone with any information come to them within minutes. And while sitting in the back seat of the black Volga, happy he had found his seatbelt faster this time, his belief did only strengthen itself even more.

The car-ride had been fast, very fast, and the streets were dark and empty. The few who walked the streets were either criminals or policemen, and the criminals were too few to be able to seen. Of course everyone who walked out at night was breaking the curfew and was as such a criminal, except any possible highly ranked party member. But that would not happen of course, as those persons used cars. Vladimir smiled at the though that he might be one of those persons too soon. Very soon actually.

The Peoples Palace was fully lighted, and at nighttime it looked even greater than at few times during daytime that he had seen them. "I wonder if they light it because it looks good, or because they don't want anyone being able to sneak in", he though out load. The two guards on his sides didn't seem to care, after all they had done this many times before Vladimir considered. Was he a fool to be so struck by awe, and even a more fool to think that he could explain it? Maybe, but then again, maybe not, after all, who could explain it more than anyone who had done it himself.

The walk trough the half-lit corridors was fast, there were no people here to block his path, and soon they arrived a great oak door. Four standard Russian infantrymen stood outside, however Vladimir was surprised, as they didn't demand any papers of him. They didn't even seem to notice him, just looking down the hall with absent looking eyes. Vladimir was surprised at which levels his brain worked, registering all this. Was it like this in a real battle too? He chuckled at the though, this was a real battle after all, though not one though with weapons of destruction.

Inside the room where the vote-holding members of the politburo, almost all of them old and stuck in the old ways. The only exception, and a strange one that is, was the leader of them, Vladimir Putin, he was only fifty-seven. The correct words used by the press were "Old and wizened glorious leaders of the proletariat", but the words used on the streets were "old and cranky", though only a fool would use those words in this room. Strange however that the minister of space was present. He was not young by other terms, he was 51, but his golden hair, pure skin and height, almost two meters, gave him an even younger appearance, yet he had an aura of power and importance around him, even more so than several older members of the politburo. He didn't have a vote in the politburo, and therefore struck Vladimir's eye. Had the man been recently promoted? No matter he concluded.

Feeling sweat drip on his face, he begun to speak "I came here today to give you some information on what is happening. Considering how fast you brought me here, I suppose no one else has offered you any explanation. And alas, I can offer you little, but I think that I might be able to analyze, recreate and ultimately control this. I am one of them who had one of those, shall we say incidents. What I did is not so important, but something that is important is how I did it, and that I can do it again. You may think that this event happened at the same time all over the world, but that is not so however. Nothing simply happens instantly, it is a physical impossibility. In our scientific base we had this meter that recorded it. I think... no, think is not the right word. I am sure that I can analyze this data, and that I can do it again. And then I can teach it on. Consider it as a weapon, and it's possibilities. Even better, that if there was another meter like the one at our base somewhere in the Soviet Union, I can find out the origin of that power, and hopefully control it completely. Of course you would need to give me free hands in this, but I can guarantee that it will work." and as then ended, wondering whether he had talked too fast, and more importantly, had he said the right words, the ones the ministers would respect. He had better be able to do as he said, at least to a high enough degree to make these men happy. And if he could not, he had better be able to control his powers enough to be able to escape from Russia.

One of the men at the table said simply to him "Leave. We will talk to you soon." and two guards behind him took him by the arms and pulled him out to the corridor. Afraid that there were going to shoot him, he couldn't explain his relief when they put him down on one of the benches in the corridor. He better learn to control it soon.

After what seemed like hours, maybe it was, he though, the door finally opened. As the corridor was quite dark, and the room very well lighted, Vladimir couldn't see the mans face. He just saw a dark figure that was probably a human. Maybe this was standard procedure to intimidate the people. He could think little less before the man started walking towards him.

As the man reached him, before Vladimir could say a word, the man started talking in a low, old and absent voice. "You might have noticed me inside there when you entered. You surely looked at me long enough. I would be Isaia Baramir, honorable minister of space in the Peoples Republic of Russia." and stopped talking, notable waiting for him to reply Vladimir though. He simply said "I am Vladimir Glenko."

After a sigh from the man followed by picking up a case of tobacco from his inner coat-pocket, the man continued talking "Now hear me my little black haired friend. You promise these men a great deal. Whatever you may think, they are not stupid, and they have learned that men tend to give promises only god, should he exist that is, could keep. They believe you just did that, but if you can do half of what you said in there, they will accept you. You will work with them trough me. I am one of us too you should know." and after finishing lighted his cigarillo with a match.

Black hair? Didn't they believe me? Can I do all that I said? I must be able to, I MUST! Vladimir shouted inside his head. No matter, he would live, and he would have a chance to show them. He had reasoned out something else while outside of that room. All the events that the TV had shoved had either something to do with fire, earth or water. Fires had been extinguished with water, there had been some small earthquakes, very small in fact, and fire had been usual. And thinking of what he had felt and did, and the four historical elements, he assumed that there was air as a power too. With those he might be able to rule it all, he though with a smile on his face. The man before him might be a trouble, but leaders were more often stupid than not, maybe this one was too. But something the man had said puzzled him. "One of us. What do you mean by us? You mean a member of the politburo?" he said.

"The man took out the cigarillo from his mouth, and said "No, one of the ones who did the magic."

Pity, very pity indeed, but he would be able to take control still. After all he was a genius, wasn't he, Vladimir though. More than this man who could not even find the right verb for casting magic. The word was cast, to cast, casting, he wanted to scream at the man, but decided it was not worth the trouble.
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