You don't have to read the following (behind the cut). It's a bit of my novel. In it the hero experiences the data field, a record of the long decayed Federation. I use bits of other novels to represent the data field, and in this extract I use bits of Gravity's Rainbow (in italics).
The dream of lights shifted like a grip and forced me face down into another long-dead life.
A screaming comes across the sky.
Five icons. Sky to screaming.
Sky : (function) sound: (modifier) moving: (modifier) closer: screaming
With despair which was swamped by the blare of fake life, I lost my self again.
It has happened before but there is nothing to compare it to, now.
I am a captain engineer. Clutching at scaffolding, looking up at the dark skies. My life’s work as fragile as a bubble. I am afraid of the thing I can see falling, hear screaming, across the sky. I know that I will die in the great destruction that will follow.
It is too late. The Evacuation proceeds, but it is all theatre.
We constructed a shield, to warm the northern oceans, and avert the Ice Age. It was made of the self healing glass of the Federation, the information glass, stretched over a grid of steel. It was called NASCZ: the North Atlantic Shield Construction Zone. It was a sheltering greenhouse for the cold Earth.
Above him lift girders old as an iron queen, and glass somewhere far above that would let the light of day through.
NASCZ was a vast engineering project testing the ice-beleaguered Federation to its limits. Resources were withdrawn from the colonies, the Moon was abandoned, and the human race withdrew from the asteroid belt. NASCZ absorbed all the capacity of the species. It was the greatest work of the Federation.
It was protected by an orbital array, so that no chip of rock, no scrap of debris, could fall into it.
But something fell. I saw it falling, screaming, through the atmosphere.
I knew there should be nothing moving in the sky above the North Atlantic. All of this knowledge, everything I have just explained, was contained in one electric jolt of mortal fear. Something was happening that should not happen. An impossible missile was falling towards the Earth. And it would destroy the shield.
He’s afraid of the way the glass will fall – soon – it will be a spectacle: the fall of a crystal palace.
From a great height.
But coming down in total blackout, without one glint of light, only great invisible crashing.
From a great height.
A new star, nothing less noticeable. He leans on the parapet to watch. It must be somewhere out over the North Sea... at least that far... ice fields below and a cold smear of sun...
A rock from Space – lost in the data field I jerk in surprised recognition – my own thoughts impinging on the experience of the long-dead engineer (Prentiss?) looking up through an intact glass covering as wide as the ocean, that he knows is about to shatter under a bombardment that it can not withstand, from beyond the atmosphere, above the tropopause, the ozone layer, and the thin pink streaks of the Aurora Borealis.
Always remember those men and women along the thousands of miles of land and sea. The true moment of shadow is the moment in which you see the point of light in the sky, the single point and the shadow that has just gathered you in its sweep.
The glass shield collapsing, the world falling, the death of civilisation. All of this foretold in a light, a streak of light, high above the curve of the earth. Prentiss, the engineer, looks up and despairs. It’s not an ordinary meteorite, because the Project had foreseen and coped with that eventuality. A new kind of weapon, accelerating in anticipation, exaggeration, of gravity.