Ray jumps up. He feels an awful premonition. He rushes inside, only to find the room unoccupied. Then he races to the front desk, but at this late hour, no one is there. Without thinking, he rushes back to his room and grabs the key to his scooter. In his haste, he forgets his helmet. As if he is possessed, he runs through the building and looks for Bronson, but there is not a soul to be found. His heart is racing and he is filled with fear. He scrambles out the front door, jumps on the scooter, and speeds off into the night. In what seems to have taken only a few minutes, Ray has driven to the Coral Reefs Hotel, on the south shore, a twenty minute ride. He hustles to the oceanfront and climbs aboard a small dive boat which is moored there. To his surprise the keys have been left in the ignition. He starts the motor, unties the lines, and heads out into the black ocean. When past the reefline, he opens up the throttle and speeds directly away from the island. Within a few minutes he is almost three-quarters of a mile offshore. He turns around and all he can see are tiny house lights from the island. Within moments there is an enormous blinding flash. The entire sky is illuminated with a blinding white light. Ray shuts his eyes tightly. A second later, he opens them slightly. Within another second, there is the deafening sound of an atomic blast. Immediately, the white light turns red as an incredible mushroom cloud arises. Ray stares in terror as the hideous cloud begins to rise thousands of feet into the atmosphere. Then, immediately, there is a shock wave that almost blows the boat out of the water. Ray is sent hurling into the side of the boat and is knocked unconscious. After an undetermined amount of time, Ray comes about. He is lying in a foot of cold ocean water that has flooded the boat. Dripping wet and holding his bleeding forehead, he carefully straightens up to get his senses. He notices that dawn has broken into a dim light and the sea is calm again. When he finally finds his bearings, he remembers the atomic blast. He freezes for a moment. He stands erect and scans the ocean. The boat is floating in a sea of debris. He spots cars, buses, boats, trees, beds, and just about anything that can float. He grimaces as he sees the floating body of a young woman, still in her nightgown. He sees other bodies drifting among the flotsam. There doesn’t seem to be anyone left alive. He starts to panic when he sees the dorsal fins of two sharks roaming through the debris. He starts to hyperventilate when he realizes that he doesn’t see the island itself. Then he figures that the nuclear blast undermined the land mass from the top of its underwater platform and sent it crumbling into the black abyss, twelve thousand feet below.
As the morning sky begins to brighten, Ray notices that there must be some of the island left intact, because he can see the top half of the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, just over the horizon. As the boat slowly drifts toward the lighthouse, Ray notices that it is not beyond the horizon, but has been partly submerged by the ocean. The soft land below it must have crumbled and Gibbs Hill was flattened. Ray comes to the horrible realization that the entire island paradise and its entire population are gone forever, like the fabled story of Atlantis. And everything that took five hundred years to establish is now nothing but rubble at the bottom of the Abyssal Plain. All the people and all of their accomplishments are now just a small page in a history book.