Chapter 8 - The Shockwave Effect.
When air is not a
fluid, but a barrier,
we enter the boundary zone of supersonic flight.
When civilization is stopped by a wall,
we enter the Dark-Age boundary zone of death.
Can we break out?
"I still can't believe what is happening," said Sylvia, looking down from the twenty-fourth floor of the new Hilton on Kurfuersten Dam in Berlin. "I feel like I'm in a 007 spy movie. Yesterday morning we were camping and building a trail to the beach, in the evening we witnessed a Russian fishing boat launch a nuclear cruise missile right over our house towards Washington, minutes later we were scrambling like mad to avoid a nuclear war, and now, just over a day is gone by and we're living like royalty in one of the most fashionable centers of Europe on a mission to save the whole of mankind. Tomorrow, whether we like it or not, we will be ambassadors of the USA with a challenge to all nations that puts us onto the top of the world. It's unbelievable what is happening, isn't it? If someone had predicted this two days ago, I would have laughed."
"Gosh! I think we left our shovels and the chain saw on the beach," said Tony. "We didn't even get a chance to take our tools back to camp."
"Who cares about chain saws now?" said Sylvia. "Think of the excitement ahead! Think of the danger of sneaking behind the Iron Curtain, past mounted rifles, smuggling one of their top scientists into Italy for a week! Think of the adventures of floating in gondolas through the canals of Venice, and not least, saving the world from destruction! Who cares about chain saws in times like these?" She laughed as she said it.
"Yes, it's like living on top of the world all right," said Ross and took a deep breath.
"Indeed it is, let's drink to that!" I added. I had a tray of champagne glasses in my hand that I had just filled.
"From Uncle Sam?" Heather asked.
"Let's drink to Uncle Sam's generosity," said Heather and took a sip. We all did.
"But you have to be careful," added Ross. "It is a narrow, fast moving place, the top of the world. You need precise footwork, far more than a downhill skier in a race. One slip, and it's game over!" Ross raised his glass.
"Oh go on," I said.
"No, no! Jokes aside," said Ross. "You can't evade the fact that there are basic principles involved. If you ignore even one of them, you slip. But if you understand them you can move with total freedom. That's where the excitement begins! Once you understand the science of what you are dealing with, you can dance circles around anyone. You can face the guns and think nothing of them. You might even feel compassion for those who feel compelled to carry those guns."
"Let's drink to the principles," said Tony, raising his glass. "Let's drink to dancing on top of the world!"
"I think, what we are doing here is just as crazy as our Wreck Beach project," I said to Tony. "But I love it! I have a feeling that this one is going to work."
"Do you guys realize that this adventure could be a turning point in history?" said Heather.
"Right!" I said, and topped off her glass of champagne.
We were all assembled on the balcony again that evening after a few hours of sleeping. We were guests in the brand new Hilton in Berlin. We had three rooms on the twenty-first floor. The sidewalks below us were crowded with people going out to dinner, or to the movies or theaters. The glittering lights and the atmosphere of the city didn't reflect that we were in the midst of a Cold War that was fast heating up towards colossal chaos and nuclear destruction.
"Whoever has the SDI first, controls the world!" I overheard Ross telling Sylvia.
Sylvia replied, "this is why we are giving it away, gift wrapped with hugs and kisses, and a ribbon tied around it with love."
"Diplomacy, as we call it, has all been done wrong in the past," announced Ross with his glass held high. "It hasn't bought us anything, has it? Diplomacy shouldn't impose itself. Just look at us now! We try our best not to be noticed. No puffed up superior strength this time! We offer them a gift they've been screaming for, and with no strings attached. Diplomacy has never been like that. We're giving the world away to save it!"
"Seriously," I said, "what we are doing is something much deeper than has ever been done before. We count our gain in what we give away, and we are sure of our success. We are sure by reasons of a principle that has never been recognized before, except by Steve. Steve always says, we bring to each other our love to enrich one-another's existence. This is enough to build unity. Since diplomacy has always failed us in the past, this indicates to me that our diplomacy has not been built on this principle. So tell me, why shouldn't we be able to turn the diplomatic ship around and proceed from a different basis? We are now pursuing diplomacy on the basis of Steve's scientifically discovered universal principle that has already been proven, that has brought us all together. Except when we apply this principle to diplomacy, our diplomacy isn't diplomacy anymore in the standard sense, but becomes a communication that involves something real!"
We all drank to that, too. We drank to many other acknowledgments as well, and to our bold and glorious venture.
"I'm really excited," said Heather at one point. Looking down onto the city.
The smile this brought to her face reminded me of the days we have had together that seemed so far away now, as if they belonged to another world and another time. I recalled our second evening together. We had come to a small town. We were all worn out from the long drive, Tony, Heather and I, on our way to Key West. It had been a hod day. The evening remained warm as one expects in mid-summer. The dinner from the night before in Elizabeth City was still on my mind. It had been a grand dinner. The wonderful feeling that I had felt during that dinner at the Steak Loft had resurfaced many times through the long drive. Indeed, there were few moments during the many hours of driving in the heat when I hadn't thought of Heather and us being together. Then another evening was about to unfold that began almost like a replay of the evening before. By some miracle, though, it got better still.
My adventure with Heather soon went beyond my wildest dream. This night became brighter. It developed into something even more beautiful. I was amazed at what was happening. I hadn't dared to expect anything as beautiful, or to imagine that a simple smile could be as bright and feel as warm deep inside.
As Heather and I were facing each other on the balcony of the Hilton Hotel in Berlin, those precious days came to mind again, triggered by the same kind of smile, though attached with a new, yet 'impossible' hope.
The precious days we had shared appeared distant now only in time, but not in my memories. I remembered that second evening together as if it had happened just a few days ago.
We had been alone at the swimming pool that evening. Tony had remained in his room watching his favorite ball game again. His team had been on a winning streak. He had plenty of beer and potato chips on hand. For him to leave under those circumstances, to go out for supper or do anything else, was unthinkable. Consequently we simply lived on snacks that evening, supplemented with egg-sandwiches from a 'Deli' corner store, something to munch on at the pool. All three of us had chosen the motel for its pool. The pool had looked like heaven after a long day on the road in the heat of the summer, and so did the thought of relaxing in the Jacuzzi afterwards.
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