Have you read the reading guide? I strongly recommend you do that before starting here.
Welcome to Earth 2
Paul and Jude sat in Paul’s car, both munching on tacos. It was about 10 PM, when the Taco Town dining room closes, so they were finishing the last tacos in Paul’s car. The beastly vehicle wheezed in the night as it tried to keep the pair warm through it’s gnarled engine.
“Damn man, we should do this way more often.” Paul said between bites.
“Eh, I dunno, it kinda gets expensive when you do it too often.” Jude replied.
“Since when were you such a penny pincher?”
“You’re funny.” He took another bite of his taco. “College sucks.”
“Well I guess that’s fair, maybe just a little bit more often then.”
“Yeah, that sounds good.”
“Hey, man, weird question.” Paul said, putting down his taco and furrowing his brow.
“Shoot.” Jude replied, his interest peaked as to how this question could be so pertinent that Paul put his taco down.
“So do you ever have this feeling that something big is about to happen?” Paul looked slightly off of Jude, out the window of the car.
“Yeah man, every now and then, it’s usually-” Jude noticed Paul squinting and leaning forward. “Leaning in for a kiss?” Jude laughed “Jeez papito, at least lemme finish my food first.” Jude smirked. He could be a bit of a sass master sometimes. At least, that’s what he told himself.
“Nah man, look.” Paul pointed to a green wall of light off in the distance. Jude looked, and the pair got out of the car, and sat on top of it for a better view.
The green light steadily advanced towards them, and Paul spoke up. “I have a good feeling about this.”
“Hm, yeah I wonder what it is.” Jude muttered.
The pair sat in silence as the green light was now less than 100 feet away, now 50, now 20, now 10. The green light looked so magnificent as it approached them that the pair was speechless. It swirled and swished like it held all of the secrets to the universe and was trying to share them in a language that nobody spoke, but was beautiful nonetheless. The light cascaded over the pair and was so magnificently bright that it left the pair seeing white.
After a few moments had passed Jude finally spoke up, “That was intense.”
“Dude…” Paul muttered.
“Yeah?” Jude replied.
“I can’t see. Can you see?”
“Like, you’re just seeing white? I mean I had that for a bit but it’s gone now.”
“No… Its gone, but now everything’s just… A blur” Paul said, fear rising in his voice.
“I think we should get you to a hospital, dude.” Jude said, with a concerned expression on his face.
“Yeah I think you’re right. Help me down.”
Jude obliged and lifted Paul from the car, and helped him into the passenger seat of his own car. Jude zipped out of the lot and made his way towards the nearby hospital. He carefully guided Paul into the ER, which was conveniently not too busy. At least not until Paul got checked in, there was more than one accident caused by the green light, and as Paul was more or less fine, or at least appeared to be, they let him be while they tended to people who were in peril.
Paul waited and waited and suddenly he felt inexplicably like he knew exactly what was wrong with him. Paul had at least a little bit of medical knowledge, but this is beyond his scope.
Just as Paul had convinced himself he was just making it up, a doctor came over and began to examine his eyes.
“Well, buddy, it seems like we’re going to need to get a few scans, and then I’ll be back with you.”
Paul was dragged through several machines and Jude had gone home for the night. Paul sat in a bed, listening to his surroundings. He heard a creaking noise and the sound of sanitary foam being dispensed.
“Hi there, Paul.” Said the voice Paul remembered to be the doctor who talked to him earlier. “So we’ve run some tests and it looks like, for some reason you were much more heavily affected by the green light. You see, most people who looked at it as it passed experienced what we call flash blindness. That’s the phenomena when your vision is obscured by seeing a bright light, think like looking into the sun or a camera flash. It looks like you are experiencing the same thing, except, well, we believe for some reason your damage is permanent.”
Just then Paul saw, in his mind, a man walking out of a room. The man looked to be dressed in a white lab coat and blue scrubs. He was a bald white man who appeared to be in his 40s. What is this? I recognize this, it’s a hospital room at this hospital, but… is this my doctor?
“I’m sorry, but would you mind describing what you look like, and what you’re wearing?” Paul said.
“Oh… Uh…” The doctor stammered for a moment, as this is an atypical reaction to being informed that you’re permanently blind. “Well, I’m wearing a white lab coat and blue scrubs, I’m bald, and I’m caucasian.”
“Thank you, doctor.” Paul said, furrowing his brow.
The doctor said more words, but Paul paid little attention.
Maybe I know this guy from somewhere, and I’m recognizing his voice? Probably it… I can’t think of any other explanation