The hollow cuboid

An image of the Enclosure sculpture
Enclosure – Paul de Monchaux. The inspiration for this piece

The structure appeared one day.
You might expect that no one paid much attention to it, that they believed it to just be another art installation in a city park.
But people noticed. It wasn’t an art installation. At least, not one sanctioned by the local administration. Not the national one for that matter. And the international bodies didn’t concern themselves with art. Usually….
The first person to see it in the early hours of the morning on their bike to work noticed The Quieting.
Approaching the frame, they realised they could no longer hear the sound of their bike on the path. The sound of the wind in the leaves. But they were running late to take over their shift and so onwards they peddled, putting it out of their mind. Or trying to.
As news spread of The Quieting the military was mobilised. You could hear them coming with their loud rattling Jeeps… so long as you weren’t in The Zone.
They came with their devices and their guns – not being sure what to make of it. Enquiries were being made to determine where it came from.
The first thing their devices told them was that The Quieting was absolute and, apparently, passive. It wasn’t like noise cancelling headphones – emitting a sound that just cancels out other sounds. There was no sound. None. It was as if the air was perfectly still, held in place. Except, of course, it wasn’t. You could still feel the wind.
Enquiries came back with no information. No one knew where it came from or why it was there.
And then the military scientists had another result come back that resulted in the cordon being widened.
They simply walked through it. They didn’t do this immediately naturally. They’d tested with microphones, speakers, cameras, sensors of all kinds and nothing had happened. But when the junior scientist walked into it they simply vanished.
Everybody was shocked. You would have heard a yell from the soldiers. Screams from the observers. Except for The Quieting.
It took a minute or two in all the panic for the soldiers and people at the cordon to notice… but where the cordon was previously outside of The Quiet Zone, it was now silent. The Quieting had reacted.
Military rushed to widen the cordon again, but really there was little need – the public had fled after seeing the soldier disappear.
Day after day, week upon week, this continued. Experiments that, while consistent and repeatable, refused to make sense. And slowly The Quiet Zone expanded as more experiments triggered its apparent defences.
Eventually the size of The Quiet Zone, and the refusal of The Quieting to yield to science lead to weapons being used. It was attacked with jackhammers, drills and power tools of all kinds. Each caused a reaction from The Quieting.
The public was scared. The Government was powerless despite the assistance of international bodies.
One by one countries, governments, fell. With The Quieting becoming ever more aggressive the political ramifications were felt the world over.
And when The Quieting was complete, when The Quiet Zone was global, what happened? Something spoke. Not out loud, for no longer was there sound anywhere. But something spoke into the minds of everyone.
‘You are ready’