Ethan had been waiting for something to happen. He'd seen people talking about it on the forums, and had done enough research into and about the town even before he moved, that he knew things like this happened. His team had looked into it years ago and judged that it was caused by nothing the government could control (or harness), and so they were told to leave the town as it was. And he'd been well aware that he'd be caught up in things once he moved into his home, but thought that perhaps the protections he'd had put in place would help ease some of the town's influence. He wasn't particularly surprised to be wrong, but that didn't mean he was happy about it either.
The memory that finally overtakes him is a strange sort of familiar. He knew the stench of death from his work, but those were the times it came quickly and sudden. In the memory, it's slow - an endurance predator against a prey that can't outrun it forever. But he knows that type as well, sitting at his mother's bedside as cancer ate away at her final moments.
They hadn't been a particularly close-knit family, even after his father had been struck by the heart attack that claimed his life - his parents had had a child because it was expected of them, and always seemed rather relieved when he was finally able to be self-sufficient. He never felt unloved, just a bit distant, but even that wasn't enough to keep him from her bedside as death had closed in on her.
When the soul in the memory slips away and the tendrils of it wisp from his mind, he sighs. It hadn't struck at a particularly bad moment - he'd been sitting near one of his windows to read, his cup of coffee sitting on the table next to him and not in danger of spilling into his lap from numbed fingers. Overall, it's a gentle sort of pain, an ache rather than a sharp strike. It leaves him a bit melancholy, but like his own memories, he knows that it will eventually fade and pass.