Leland Heath, young C.E.O. of the environmental company, Green Babushka of Pittsburgh PA, is profoundly concerned. He has seen his company’s prospects and size shrink along with those of his beloved city. Leland has long felt it his life’s mission toMoreLeland Heath, young C.E.O. of the environmental company, Green Babushka of Pittsburgh PA, is profoundly concerned. He has seen his company’s prospects and size shrink along with those of his beloved city. Leland has long felt it his life’s mission to supply Pittsburgh with plentiful, good-paying jobs.
He is, after all, a great, great grandson of notorious robber-baron, Henry Clay Frick and Leland Heath believes it is imperative that he somehow atone for the sins of the elder-Frick’s slaughter of working men during the Homestead Riots of 1892.When Leland’s nineteen year old son, Jeremy, dies in a horrible motorcycle accident, Leland slips into a frightful manic-depression. He uses the endless intellectual pursuit of a physical basis of an afterlife as an escape from the grief that would otherwise destroy him.
Overworked and overwrought, Leland labors in vain and succeeds only in moving even closer to self-destruction.That’s when Leland Heath’s vice-president of technology, Daran King, suggests a startling remedy. Daran matter-of-factly explains that he has been routinely visited by space aliens and that perhaps the “big gray men” might be able to help by sharing their technology!
Leland Heath is too needy to waste time speculating on King’s sanity. And without delay, Leland Heath and Daran steal aboard the visitors’ ship where the aliens turn out to be more real and more hospitable hosts than anyone could have wished.Aldus, the leader of the aliens from planet Nefaria, is remarkably amenable to Leland Heath’s request for assistance. And before Leland Heath knows what specifically to request from the Nefarians, Aldus offers him a dramatic increase in brain power to invent the one thing that will save Green Babushka and Pittsburgh.Despite some second thoughts, Leland jumps at the offer.
It is a move fraught with dire consequence since the Nefarians have a hidden agenda. The Nefarians have not taken up residence on Earth by accident, nor to be passive participants in the planet’s history. They thrive on human mortality and have come to Earth to encourage it and control it.The Nefarians long ago moved their civilization to the portion of the universe that is composed of dark matter and dark energy - what they call the Lonktide - because of the more forgiving physics of the place.
In the Lonktide, Nefarians exist as ephemeral being, without need of food, water and conventional shelter. But the Lonktide is also the repository of human consciousness. It is to the Lonktide that human “souls” have traveled after the death of the body since the beginning of the species. Nefarians have turned this would-be Heaven for humans to their own purpose, enslaving newly-arrived humans and setting them to work to secure Nefarian domination.As Leland Heath slowly comes to realize that his “gift” of a larger brain is nothing more than an intellectual Trojan horse, and in fact, a potential death sentence for the human race, he bravely fights alongside his associates to save the physical and spiritual future of humanity.
In so doing, Leland Heath and company receive a few lessons ( including tutorials from Marilyn Monroe, Sal Mineo and Andrew Carnegie ) about the power of love, the limits of technology and the unanticipated shape of an afterlife that surprisingly does exist, quite naturally and quite apart from religious definitions of good and evil.