Set in a future time when global earthquake activity threatens to destroy society’s infrastructure, Blind Traveler Down a Dark River is the story of a blind man’s battle to find the truth behind an incident he has witnessed as a result of a malfunction in the very technology that frees him to find his way around the world. The story opens as John Haggarty, President and CEO of Unimat, enters his office. Seeing the nameplate on his door Haggarty’s mind is filled with thoughts of how he arrived at his current predicament. He is the middle-aged son of an industrialist who created Unimat and made it into the world’s largest developer and distributor of building materials. Now, the company is about to unveil their newest building material, Plasteel, a material that promises to be more resilient than steel to the stresses of worldwide earthquake activity. But the release of this new product is being protested by both the steel workers union, represented by Martin Johansen, and a radical environmental group called Gaia’s Children. Johansen argues that implementing the use of the new product will cost his union’s members their jobs. He’s hired an assassin, Laura Daily, to end the threat that Haggarty represents. She is the rebellious and immoral daughter of a renowned and respected prosecutor who used her to ply information from witnesses and criminals alike. She is a woman of means whose passions include trysts with older women, old weapons and fast cars. Gaia’s Children see the earthquakes as a punishment from the living force of the Earth, a sign that mankind has desecrated and abused that which they were supposed to cherish and protect. They consider Haggarty’s development of Plasteel as a means to avert that much deserved punishment. Through sabotage and whatever other means necessary they too strive to stop Haggarty’s efforts.
Douglas Abledan is the victim of a drive-by shooting that left him blinded. Now he uses a GPS/virtual reality unit that tracks his position and assigns textured sounds to objects around him in order to help him “see” and navigate through his world. One day, as he is walking to work, his navigation device malfunctions. Suddenly he finds himself in a part of the city that he does not recognize, surrounded by images and sounds that confuse him. Through a series of missteps he stumbles onto what appears to him to be a car accident, the car running into a man then speeding away from the scene. He calls out for help, finally attracting the attention of the police to whom he explains what he thinks he’s witnessed. There is no evidence of an accident. No tire tracks. No injured body on the ground. Sergeant Cochrane, a crusty and soon-to-retire officer, dismisses Abledan’s report. But Abledan is not so easily put off. He has nightmares, reliving the incident. A few days later he hears a radio report about a man, John Haggarty, who was accidentally shot by a stray bullet a few blocks away. As he thinks about the radio report the scene he “witnessed” starts to take shape in his mind. Unable to convince the authorities to look into the matter he decides to launch his own investigation. Visit www.enablingwords.com/traveler.htm for more