There I was just relaxing. It was three-and-a-half years ago, or at least it will be in another fifteen minutes.
I was sitting in front of my television just watching static and enjoying it. I heard someone call my name from behind me.
As I looked around, I came face to face with several humanoid creatures.
At first, I was scared out of my wits and tried to run.
My legs wouldn't move.
With the first words they spoke, I felt a calm come over me.
It was the strangest peace I had ever felt.
I somehow knew they weren't there to harm me.
With sincerity, they convinced me that they were a race that, in the future, were allies of mankind.
At least most of them were or will be. Anyway.
They told me that there had been a "Past Time Venture" violation. Meaning that someone from their time period had traveled back to my time without proper authorization.
A group of beings of their own species.
A faction of their race that despised mankind had journeyed through time intent on wiping us from existence.
"Okay, so even if this is true, what am I supposed to do about it?", I asked.
They explained that, in order to keep the organization that polices time travel and disruption of the time line from taking action against them, this rebel faction would only be able to contact one person and relay information.
Temporal directives would not allow them to cause problems directly.
To this single person, they could give the instructions that would enable them to build a weapon capable of completely wiping out all of mankind.
"Look. Nobody is that deranged.", I told them.
My visitors explained how the rebels would mislead the individual to believe that the weapon would bring them power and wealth not giving any indication of it's true nature.
Greed is the only attribute they needed to look for to find the one to build humanity's ultimate destruction.
"Dude, that really sucks.", I said as the stark reality of the horror of what could be sunk into my soul.
"But, what's this got to do with me?" Then they uttered the words that still haunt me.
"You my friend. You are mankind's only hope".
"Me?!", I asked incredulously. "Are you nuts? You can't be serious!"
"Yes. You.", they replied.
"You have to convince people of the danger that is coming, and teach them how to survive the weapon's fury so that the human race may continue.
"How?", I asked.
"We will show you how to build a special type of short range frequency generator. A small device, but when placed upon the doorpost of a dwelling, it will shield all who are inside the home from the weapon", they told me.
"You must tell all that will listen that three-and-a-half years from this day that they must be inside their shielded dwellings and to stay there for at least seven hours beginning at midnight. You must prepare them or all of humanity will be lost!", my visitors stated with vigor.
"Why seven hours?", I inquired.
"At midnight three-and-a-half years from tonight, the weapon will begin broadcasting frequencies that will bounce off of every satellite, every communications tower, anything that can carry a signal all over the world.
The signal will almost instantly saturate the Earth's atmosphere.
Over the next seven hours the signal will permeate every living thing and kill every unshielded human being on this planet.
After seven hours, the weapon will burn itself out and stop broadcasting.", they explained.
"What about bunkers? Underground facilities? Wouldn't they be able to block out this signal?", I asked.
"No. No human being that is not shielded will be left alive regardless of where they are.", they replied solemnly.
"Well, how do these generators work?", I asked.
"The shields will activate at the first sign of the signal, and will stay active until the signal is gone.", they answered. "Are there any warning signs?", I curiously asked.
"Yes, when the atmosphere is saturated, you'll begin to smell sulfur.", they informed me.
"Sulfur? You mean everything's going to smell like rotten eggs?", I asked.
"Yes, and moments later you'll begin to hear the screams of those who are unshielded, but you must remain inside your home.
Everyone must remain inside their homes until the signal is gone.
There will be nothing you can do for the victims once the signal has touched them.", they stated with sorrow.
"How?", I stammered not sure if i really wanted to know the answer to my next question. "How does the signal kill? And, how does it target only humans?".
This question, I could see, was clearly a difficult one for them to answer or to even think about.
"The signal has been designed to target human synaptic impulses in the brain, but it does not fully interrupt them at first.
Some will experience hallucinations ranging from their most wonderful dreams to their most dreaded fears.
Others will experience horrendous pain in every part of their bodies.
For some, death will be immediate.
For unfortunate others, it could take hours.
The final outcome for all however is death as the signal burns away every electrical impulse in their brains."
I stopped everything.
For just a second, I stopped breathing even.
Coming back to myself, I cleared my dry throat and managed to say, "Okay, I'll do whatever needs to be done."
I awoke laying on my couch. "Was it all a dream?", I asked myself.
As I raised my hand to clear my eyes, I saw the schematics for the shield generator.
"No. It wasn't just a dream. If the schematics are real, then the aliens were real. And, if they were real, then", I paused, "the whole of humanity is in danger."
I immediately began building the shield generators, freely distributing the plans for them and telling my story to anyone who would listen.
Of course there were many who thought I was absolutely nuts and dismissed me without a second thought.
But, there were a few who listened, and they told others and those told still others until thousands possibly hundreds of thousands had installed these seemingly useless generators on their homes.
All over the world, in every nation and every language there were people who had taken the message to heart, while my own family wrote me off as a nutcase and forbade me to install shield generators on their homes.
Two months ago all that I had been doing finally caught up with me, and I had a nervous breakdown.
I began to doubt whether or not the "Visit" had actually taken place.
Therapists and counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists showed me how fears, I had about how my own life was going, caused me to rationalize those fears by recreating myself as a hero to an imaginary threat.
Slowly, I began to think they might be right and finally realized that there was no threat to mankind, At least not one that I would be able to stop.
I feel better now without all the weight of this imagined doom riding on my shoulders.
I'm free to live my life without believing that the world as we know it is going to suffer such a tragic disaster.
The doctors even encouraged me to keep the shield generator on my house. It's sort of a rehabilitative tool. Silly really for a grown man to need such a security blanket.
It's also a reminder of the harm I've done.
All over the world, countless families are huddled inside their homes tonight falsely depending on a useless, tiny box of metal mounted on their doorposts to save them from the imagined destruction of all those who didn't believe the message I was preaching for almost three-and-a-half years.
Tomorrow I've scheduled a press conference to offer a formal apology to everyone.
It's part of my recovery, but how can I apologize for scaring so many people?
How can I say I'm sorry enough for turning so many lives upside down?
I can never give them back what they've lost.
Some gave up their careers and even uprooted their families in order to spread the message and distribute the shield generators to households.
"How can I ever make up for that?"
It's 11:59am and 55 seconds. Here we go. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, midnight. Hmm, nothing.
Well, I guess the shrinks were " Wait! What?
What's that awful smell?
It smells just like-- Oh my God!
It smells just like rotten eggs!