Jeff escaped alive, in spite of appearances, but did not get his horrible death-ray machine with him. Nora and her good guy hero – Bob – starts a relationship, or a romance at least. The machine ends up in some secret place where dangerous things are kept by the police and actually soon forgotten by most as no one really believes in it, or the deadly events it supposedly was the cause of. Not that they doubt the events, but the machine. Forgotten by all except, of course, by Nora, who remembers it and thinks about it a lot. Being an astrologer she has no cause to deny the principles behind it. Being a good girl she is quite happy it is hidden away and forgotten, but she cannot stop thinking about whether the technology could be used for good. Perhaps that was the very thought in the mind of Pandora as she looked upon the box mythology tells us released upon the world all that is bad in the world? There is a paradox in there, the myths telling us curiosity is dangerous while still we are told ”know thyself”.
Jeff understands he must avoid Nora, in particular, as she was the one who saw him that last night. She would recognize him. Her male hero probably not as it was after all quite dark when they fought. Jeff is too stubbornly male and does not have the fantasy to think he could change how he looks. To dye his hair might also be to communicate to the world an orientation he did not have, nor would want others to think he had. Jeff goes abroad until we meet him again.
After this terrible story, the police starts to consult Nora on other cases. They may not believe in astrology, but as is well known, the police does not care about such minor details. Her results are so-so, no more spectacular solutions to mysteries beyond imagination, but she nevertheless becomes an institution with them, more or less. She starts to study for a degree as an engineer, thinking she may perhaps be able to understand the technology behind the machine if she can understand both astrology and machines. She also moves up the social ladder through her new friends.
Being a devout Christian, he is a bit troubled by Nora’s profession and struggles with that. When Nora tells him she is a Christian too, though not the church-going kind, troubled becomes confused. Bob is a simple-minded guy, and contradictions make no sense to him. Not only that, she is a different kind of Christian than he is. Not necessarily a major problem to Bob, it is to his mother.
The death-ray thing is, as mentioned, stored in some secret police warehouse. Unbeknownst to all, even its inventor, it does not need electricity to work. Its very structure is enough to boost the impact of the current astrological figures, though without electricity this happens at a much lower intensity than if charged with electricity. The machine is in fact neutral in its functioning, favoring no effect over another. The villain never considered a constructive use of it, being a villain, and actually did not understand it that well. Standing where it stands, accidentally a geographical location which sort of works like an echo chamber, it affects the surrounding world. Dumb in itself, completely inactive in every way, it speeds up the fates and histories of all within reach. They in turn affect whatever is within their reach similarly, at an even weaker intensity, but it adds up. Slowly but surely history itself speeds up – as if it was not moving fast enough.
I guess it goes without saying that both Nora and Bob will be affected by this most, Jeff the least, as he is in another country, probably even on another continent.