The Void

Mr. Parks slid the large, heavy door along its metal track until it clanked tightly against the far wall of the barn, sealing the cows in their comfortable pens for the night. The milking was done, fresh water rippled in the long troughs lining the large feeding area, and the sound of soft munching told the weary farmer his four-legged charges were happily chewing their cuds.

The man let out a satisfied sigh. Soon his cows could roam the pastures beyond the barnyard, grazing contentedly on the new spring grasses growing higher and greener with each passing day.

His stockpile of feed was getting low, but it would last. He had harvested just enough corn and oats the previous year to see his herd through the long winter months.

Walking toward the house, he noticed that the light in Tony’s workshop was still on. It was unusual for the children to be out so late in the evening, especially on a school night. Changing course, he headed back toward the barn. Inside he would find no children, and most puzzling of all, no Voyager.

As the farmer’s hand reached out to open the door of the workshop he heard his name.

“Bob? Bob. Telephone!” Mrs. Parks stood on the back porch of the big yellow house calling into the evening shadows. “It’s your mother.”

The man hesitated, his hand resting on the doorknob. He heard nothing inside. The children must be concentrating on something important. Turning, he resumed his journey toward the house. “I’m coming,” he called. “Tell her I’ll be right there.” He’d check on the children later.


Kim squared his shoulders, trying to look brave. “You ready?” he asked.

Tie Li swallowed hard. “I ready.”

The door to Voyager opened slowly. Eager eyes appeared as the hinges creaked their own uncertainty. Tie Li held her breath. She had heard stories and seen pictures of what the world was supposed to have looked like millions of years ago. Now she’d see for herself.

An eerie blackness surrounded the machine. Kim and Tie Li stood in the doorway, holding each other, waiting for the inevitable scream of some prehistoric beast to cut through the silence.

“It must be night here,” Kim whispered. “I can’t see anything.”

“Nope,” Tony said, his eyes searching the screens. “Voyager reports it’s two o’clock in the afternoon.”

“What?” Kim turned to face his brother. “Two o’clock . . . in the afternoon? Where’s the sun?”

Tie Li started to step down from Voyager but jerked her foot back, her face suddenly pale. “Wh–wh–where the ground? There no ground!” Kim gazed into the blackness. “Hey,” he said, his voice startled, confused, “there’s nothing out there! I mean nothing. No light, no ground, no animals, nothing!”

Kim and Tie Li both turned to face Tony. The boy continued his work. “Tony?” Kim’s voice sounded a little irritated. “Tony! What’s going on? Where is everything?”

“Everything’s out there. It’s just not put together yet.”

“Put together? What do you mean ‘put together’? And if you’re so smart, tell me this. If there’s no ground out there, what is this box of yours sitting on, thin air?”

Tony smiled. “Sort of.”

“Come on Tony,” Kim urged, his voice rising a little. “What’s going on?”

“OK, OK,” the younger boy sighed, a twinkle in his eye. “If you must know.”

Tie Li nodded. “Oh, we must, we must.”

“I’ll answer your last question first. Voyager is sitting on about 4,000 volts of electricity. We’re suspended between three waypoints in time–the time it is back home on the farm, the time it was in Galilee, and the amount of time that passed during our little rebound experience. Each time exists, although not at the same instant. You see, Voyager locks onto three moments in history, generates a new time-flow structure from that information, and then creates a three- dimensional overlay of whatever date and hour I choose. Then it’s a simple matter of slipping into the new generated time-flow, and going there. See?”

Kim’s mouth hung open as he nodded slowly. “Sorry I asked.”

“But why there nothing outside?” Tie Li urged.

“Well, Creation hasn’t happened yet,” Tony said, turning a knob above his head.

“Creation?” Kim interrupted. “You mean the creation of the world? I remember you telling me about that back in the cabin.”

The boy glanced out the door, then back at his brother. “But the dinosaurs, the flying reptiles, the monkeys, where are they? They did exist didn’t they?”

“Oh yes,” Tony nodded, “they certainly did, but not before Creation. They were . . . like . . . mutants that came from the beautiful creatures God formed. Of course, when He made the animals at Creation, they didn’t go around eating each other. All that stuff came later as a result of sin.”

“Does the Book in your workshop talk about this?” Kim asked, pointing out into the blackness.

“Right at the very beginning. It says the world was without form, and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. I believe that describes what you see out there pretty good.”

“It’s a void, all right,” Kim agreed. “There’s just . . . nothing out there. But the scientists say–”

“I know what the scientists say,” Tony interrupted. “But they’re wrong. Far be it from me to argue with long standing rules of physics and biology, but when science parts company with God, that’s where I get off. After all, there’s not a scientist in the world who can make something out of nothing. Yet that’s what God did. He made an entire world out of what you see out there. Now, who are you going to believe?”

Tony turned back to his keyboard. “Sorry for the scare. But, I figured that since we’re here, I’d show you the world before God came along. Neat, huh?”

Tie Li thought for a moment. “I’d rather come from God than science.”

“You did,” Tony agreed. “We all did.”

Kim moved to the doorway and stood looking out into the void. He closed his eyes and imagined a world filled with trees and flowers, a land populated with people and animals, all living their lives together in harmony, in love. There were no sounds of battle, of life and death struggles–no screams of victims facing the end. In his mind he saw gentle creatures walking along beside children, lions romping with laughing boys and girls. All was peace. All was life.

“It must have been beautiful,” he said, a weariness creeping into his voice. “It must have been so very beautiful.”

Tony looked up, a smile creasing his face. Kim now realized something Tony and Tie Li had already learned. The world was not the way it was supposed to be. It was not God’s plan for man to live in fear. But there was a plan, a wonderful promise, introduced in Eden. Enmity. That’s part of what the Creator had called it. Enmity. When would it come? What would it do? Tony busied himself with the task at hand. They weren’t home yet. Time was running out. Voyager had to be told what to do.

As Tony worked, Tie Li sat in the doorway of the machine, her feet dangling into the void. Somehow the blackness didn’t seem so frightening anymore. After all, this is what God had used to create a world. No, she couldn’t understand it. Even Tony’s active brain stopped short of comprehending that kind of power. But why should she be afraid of things she didn’t understand? God knew what was going on. He would know what to do in any situation. The thought was warm and reassuring. It would make the world with its trees and flowers and people more important to her. It would make God more important to her too.

“Will you look at this!” Tony’s voice called out in the stillness. The children glanced over at their brother. Several wires dangled from his outstretched hand. “Here’s our problem. Someone pulled these out of their attach points. This is why we had the rebound. Not even SYSCHK caught it. These wires are located in a part of the navigation system that doesn’t usually need checking. You see, Voyager processes information from this microprocessor on return trips and–” Tony looked over at his companions. “Oh, never mind. I’ll just reconnect these and we can get out of here. I’ll spare you the explanation.”

“Thank you,” Kim said with a sigh of relief.

The three prepared to leave the void. Before he closed the door, Kim looked again into the darkness. “I’m not going to miss this place,” he said. “I prefer some kind of world, even if it’s not perfect, to this kind of nothing.”

“Me too,” Tie Li agreed. “I will be glad to see my own room again.”

Tony smiled as Voyager swayed back and forth responding to the commands flowing freely again through the computer systems. They were going home. But a question kept nagging at him from deep inside. Who had pulled the wires? What evil hand had propelled them deep into the void?

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The Void

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