I wouldn't call the origin of Last Resort all that special. I'd wanted to explore the classic imaginative trait of people "hearing the ocean" when they put seashells against their ears. What if they really were hearing some other ocean in some other dimension, and could even communicate using the shell? Initially, I drafted a story where a husband and wife were separated, and the husband could only listen to the wife (without communicating) until the end, during a storm. I felt some crucial tension was missing from that, so I flipped the concept around and made the man and woman enemies. The rest of the story and back story (a corporate engineer paying the price for a catastrophe he participated in, reflecting on lost innocence, etc.) just came out of the blue.