In the Beginning, there was nothing, only song. And the Lord said, Ssshh! Let there be light, and the song stopped. (Warner De Santis, Cosmologist) WARNER DE SANTIS, a cosmologist obsessed with hearing God back in time at the Origin of the Universe, disrupts a press conference and gets himself fired from NASA. The same day his wife leaves him saying, Youve never listened to anyone but yourself for years. He drives east from Los Angeles, toward the desert, in search of a clear night sky. On the edge of Searles Dry Lake, he tries to drive his car to the moon. He does get airborne for about three seconds; then he drops into the dry lakebed, about two metres below. Warner awakens with minor injuries in a mining town named after a mineral, TRONA. While waiting for his car to be fixed, he encounters RICHARD, a Native American, who tells that his people, the Kawaiisu, consider the edge of the dry lake to be a kind of spiritual highway along which Spirit Messengers pass looking for the one to ask to do a special acts. Old talk says, Richard adds, that the Origin of the Universe lies somewhere around the dry lake. Warner encounters a series of individuals that he believes might be Messengers. He takes what they say as instructions, and heads out into the desert on assignment. There, one very starry night, Warner finds the place of Origin, slides into the Present, and begins to hear in all the ordinary things around him close at hand the presence of the divine that had eluded him in the distance of space and time.