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 Post subject: Invasion! Night 0/ Day 1
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:54 pm 
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Lights burn the night sky, pulsating green and red and white, a disc of bright fire that grows steadily until the stars are blotted out and individual circular luminescence glows, each ten feet in diameter. The night silence is broken by a low and steady hum that reverberates across town, over fields, into sleeping houses. Twenty-four hundred eyes open, seeing nothing. Twenty-four hundred feet hit the floor, whether crippled or strong. Babies claw at crib rails until older family members grab them up and hold them tightly in their arms. Twelve hundred bodies walk jerkily out doors and into night air. Clouded eyes, joyful smiles. Children hold the hands of parents, little legs walking double time to keep in step.

For some the walk is short; a few blocks, a quick jaunt past the High School and to the center of the football field. For others it is miles barefoot over field and poorly paved roads, broken skin leaving ruddy prints behind the happy walkers. But the pace is steady, and soon the field fills with people. They huddle together, a tight knot that grows into a large circle of exact degree. Dawn is a promise on the horizon as the last people enter the field and join their brethren. Twelve hundred smiles look to the sky, twenty-four hundred hands reach up. There is a flash of light, an all-encompassing beam. A great cry rises from twelve hundred lips.

Silence.

The lights hang above the town for a moment, then slowly recede, returning the stars to the empty houses.

***

Agent Williams, long face grim, exits the Imperial, slamming the driver door. His stocky body stiffens as he gazes at the field beyond. The second Imperial parks next to his, and his team slowly assembles behind him. He does not turn to meet them. Clenching and unclenching his fists, he makes his way to the football field. His men follow, quiet, almost reverent as they approach the blackened corpses that form a ring stretching from one set of bleachers to the other. Further in the ring, only charred bones are seen. Beyond that, only dust.

Young Agent Cooper brushes past a tiny black form. It crumbles in front of him. His lanky body heaves, and he stumbles back, falls to his knees and empties his stomach. He wipes his dripping face with a damp sleeve, sweat stinging the nicks his shaky hands made when shaving this morning.

"Holy hell, is that...is that what they plan for all of us?" He chokes out.

Williams whips his head around.

"Not if we can help it! Stand up man and give the dead some respect!"

Cooper rises shakily to his feet. Jones and Agnes, faces dour, clap him on the back.

"Not the worst you'll ever see, kid," Jones mutters. "Every body's gotta lose it sometime."

"Alright, enough of this," Williams says, stalking back to the cars. "Go pick up the unfortunate bastards who were marked. You have an hour!"

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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:57 am 
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(Day 0) Jethro and John talk for some time about their experience. Jethro felt strongly compelled to go see out others, but his body was shaken and weak from his experience, especially after having been sick so recently. He gives the waitress a large tip, heads out to his car, and drives to the town's only hotel, small but pleasant and clean. He drops to sleep almost as soon as his head hits the pillow.

(Day 1) He opens his eyes to see that man... that man! He gives a violent start at the sight of him, but recovers quickly. He skips the question about how he got in the room and gets straight to the heart of the matter. "Tell me straight now, man: what's your game? Whadja do to me? And how many others are there?"

The G-man holds up a hand. "It will be explained. But now you must come with me."

"Oh yeah?" retorts Jethro. "An' just what makes ya think I'm gonna do that?"

"I don't think. I know."

Jethro is about to reach for the phone to call the front desk when he feels a tingling inside his skull, and his opposition suddenly melts away. He doesn't really understand exactly why, but he finds himself following the man docilely to the car. Once inside, the effect wears off, and Jethro finds himself being driven away against his will.

EDIT: Typo.


Last edited by AlternateTorg on Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:38 am 
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In a poky little flat, one of a large block of flats, Cecil's 'keeper' finds his ward already awake.

"There you are!" snaps Cecil. "What was that card business yesterday about? You tried to tell me something. What's going on? Why is it so quiet this morning?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:43 am 
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Cooper's face is pale. He stands at attention, looking past Cecil's right side.

"I told you to leave town," he said. "But it's too late now. And I don't have the authorization to tell you why. Please come with me, sir, if you want to know more."

He leads Cecil outside the apartment complex, and opens the door of the Imperial waiting in the parking lot. The complex is eerily quiet, no human sound emanating from the thin-walled structure.

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 Post Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:21 pm 
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John wakes up feeling disoriented. He reaches for the smokes on his nightstand and lights up. After the initial morning coughing spell he looks around and sees the man in the dark suit and fedora standing in the bedroom doorway. "Figures" he says. "I guess I'm gonna find out about that business with the card yesterday huh?" He then gets up and gets dressed prepared to follow his guide to find out what is going on.

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:53 am 
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"Authorisation?" asks Cecil. He frowns at Cooper. "Yes, I do want to know more, so I hope you're taking me to someone who does have the 'authorisation' to explain what's going on."

Making an effort to look dignified in his pyjamas, Cecil follows Cooper into the car. The silence is very unsettling, and Cecil is suitably unsettled.

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:37 am 
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Unable to sleep, Dottie gets up to prepare a glass of warm milk. Hearing a noise from the kitchen, she quietly stops by Georgie's bedroom and grabs his baseball bat.

She sees that the kitchen light is on, and chokes up on the bat. George always said she should have gone out for the the All-American Girls' League, but Georgie had just been born, and then, well... At least the boy had a mother who could teach him to pitch a fastball better than most boys' fathers could.

Sitting at her kitchen table is the man who called himself "Cox."

"What are you doing here?" she demands in a shaky voice. "If you're a policeman, you can't be in here without a warrant."

Cox nods slowly, keeping his movements deliberate and calming. "I am not what you would consider a traditional policeman, that is true. But my concern for your family is genuine. The boy's father is dead?"

"Never you mind them! I want you out of my house before I call the traditional police!"

"I'll be happy to leave immediately. But you must come with me. I can wait until you dress and arrange for someone to watch the boy."

Dottie nods. She doesn't like it, but her intuition says that she'd better cooperate, and George always told her to trust her gut. After dressing and calling a neighbor to check on Georgie ("family emergency" is her excuse), she opens her jewelry box and finds her old whistle from her days as a camp counselor. She slips it into the pocket of her dress, just in case of an emergency. She then follows Cox.

Dottie doesn't notice that Georgie isn't breathing in his bed, or that no one answers at the neighbor's house. Perhaps it's delusion. Perhaps Cox is trying to keep her from panicking. Perhaps it really doesn't matter either way. She clutches the whistle in her pocket like a talisman.

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:02 pm 
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Agent Agnes is in trouble. The first thing he saw upon entering Jason Dubois' apartment was the barrel of a very large .357 revolver. Things got worse from there as he noticed Mr. Dubois holding the revolver, and dressed in his old army uniform, carrying his old army gear and weapons. There is a moment of silence as the two men stare into each others eyes, daring the other to be the first to blink. And then Jason speaks.

"They're all gone you know. Everyone. I checked the whole building and everyone's gone. No fresh bread being baked by Mrs. Wilson, No loud radio from Mr. Critchley, Nothing. And I think you had something to do with it Mr. "Agnes", you and your card."

Silence hangs in the air once more, for a moment. For an eternity. Finally Agent Agnes speaks.

"The whole town's this way. They're all dead Jason, dead and lying out in the middle of the school football field, and you're going to be the one who has to do something about it, you and the other five who were chosen."

"Take Me."

Agnes nods and leads the way out of the apartment, out of the building and to the car. Jason takes the back seat behind Agnes, his M1C rifle sitting comfortably across his lap.

"You look like him, you know? Corporal Agnes I mean."

"He was my brother."

"Ah."

The drive continues in silence, but a silence less tense, as if a relief valve had been opened for a short time.

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:51 pm 
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Richard brushes his teeth while, in the doorway, Rod Serling catches everyone up to speed.

Enter Mr. Richard Roberts. Just under thirty. Soft spoken. Mild-mannered. For him, life was spent in this small Kansas town. Life was his childhood, working on his families farm, going to school. Life was pining over that beautiful girl from highschool, was going to work at the newspaper everyday, was going home to eat dinner and listen to the radio. Life was simple for Mr. Roberts. But this morning, he woke up in a strange place that only seemed familiar. A changed place to a changed life. He woke up... in The Twilight Zone.

Rod walks off-screen as we cut to Richard enjoying his breakfast. There's a knocking on the door. Richard gets up and answers the door to find the ginger from yesterday.

"Hello, Mr. Richards."

"Hey! You're the guy from yesterday! Y-you handed me a card and-and it started crawling and-and nobody saw it happen! What the heck was that all about!" The ginger sighs.

"I'll be brief. Everyone in town is dead. You've been marked to live. I'm going to drive you to the football fi-"

"W-w-w-w-wait. Could you back track a little? It's early and-"

"A majority of this town was burnt to a crisp last night in the middle of the football field. Only you and five others survived." Richard stares at O'Brien for a few seconds, waiting for him to crack up at the incredibly deadpan joke. Waiting. Hoping. It doesn't happen.

"E-e-everybody?"

"'cept you and five others marked, yeah."

"W-w-w-were any of th-"

"No. None of them are the broad you were gonna chat up at your office." Richard's world seems froze for a second. Bonnie was dead. Everybody in town was dead. He was marked to live. This O'Brien marked him to live while Bonnie died. Roger, regaining logical sense, punches the ginger square in his ugly, miserable face. He then helps the ugly, miserable man up, apologizing, before punching him in his ugly, miserable gut. He once more helps O'Brien up, in all his ugly misery and his miserable ugliness, and walks him to the car.

"Sorry," apologizes Richard as he gets in the passenger seat, though it seems to be more than just to O'Brien as he repeats it through so many sobs. "S-s-sorry..."

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:36 am 
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One by one the marked are picked up and gathered in front of the high school. Williams and Lee greet the survivors as they arrive with their agents. Williams with a firm handshake, Lee with a quick nod. Soon all have arrived, six Hill City residents and six agents (O'Brien looking a bit worse for wear, but ignoring Cox's inquiring looks).

The Kansans are a bedraggled group, some half dressed, others unshaven. For a brief moment, Williams cannot hide his concern for this group of unhappy souls. His eyes soften and he looks down. Then he steels his gaze, and the hard-ass returns.

"You all have questions," he says. "You are not going to like the answers. Some of you may have noticed the silence in the town. No one walking around, no one preparing for the day."

He points to the high school.

"Every single man, woman and child that make up this city's population now lays in a mass grave in the center of the football field behind this school. And there's not much left of them. Some burnt bones, a few bodies and dust."

Jones coughs.

"Sir, the lady."

"The lady has a right to know, Jones!" Williams snaps. "Everyone is gone!"

"Why? That's the next question. And the anger. And the shock. Why did you do this to us?" Williams paces in front of the marked. "And I say to you, your government has done wrong. This is true. This country is fallible, as it is run by fallible men. But THIS--" he waves a hand around his head. "THIS is not the work of your government. This is beyond us."

He stands stock still, his face grim.

"What I say next will sound unbelievable. Insane. If you are practical men, you will argue. You will scoff. But you must believe it, as the entire fate of humanity rests on your shoulders.

The six of you are now a part of an experiment that will prove our worth to exist as a species. It is a game, gentlemen and lady. A game to test your wits, your intellect, and your emotional vulnerability. Succeed, and your win will be chalked up towards the freedom of our planet. Fail, and your loss will tip the scale in favor of humanity's annihilation.

Those that run the game are what we've codenamed nonterrestrials and what you may know from popular lore as aliens, martians, little green men, and so on.

Oh, yes, you may laugh. But do you see me laughing? Do you see a smile on my face? Do you see my men sniggering into their sleeves? This is no joke, sirs and madam. This is life or death. The beings who have perpetrated this act see us as little more than lab rats and lap dogs, available to use at their pleasure. And there is no way to fight them. They are far more advanced than us, and have the capability to bring our world to its knees. Which is exactly where it is, people. Yours is not the only city that suffered destruction last night. We are at their mercy. And we must play their game or face our end. And if you want proof of their power, you are welcome to gaze upon what is left of this town."

Williams pauses and messages the bridge of his nose before continuing.

"So what is this game? Right now among you, there is a plant. Someone being Controlled by the nonterrestrials. And every night that plant will choose one of you to bring to his side. During the day, your task is to smoke out the plant and see to his end. Every day at noon there will be a death until either the Controlled succeed in taking over all or the free have succeeded in destroying the threat."

Williams glances at his watch.

"The game starts today, people. You have a chance, right now, to end this. Amongst yourselves discuss who will be brought forward for execution. At noon, the person you've chosen will die. For the love of God, all of you, find the damned Controlled!"

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:50 am 
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Only one bit of this sinks in for the moment.

"My baby..."

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:05 pm 
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Jethro whistles. "Aliens, huh? Well, after that bizzness with the card, I guess I ain't as incredulous as I mighta been." He scratches his chin. "Whadda we know about these 'nonterrestrials'?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:40 pm 
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"Aliens, yeah right. So where's the big blue police box, then? You must think we're idiots. What's really going on, and where did you get those cards from anyway?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:28 pm 
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John turns to Williams. "Before I start participating in this game or contest. Whatever you call it. I think we need some more information. First off" he gestures to his fellow survivors "Why us? Who decided who was to be chosen and who was to be massacred?" His voice gets steely "Who decided my miserable life was worth more than her baby? or his friend? his boss?" he says pointing to his fellows in turn. "Just who was it? You?" He takes a moment to light a smoke and then continues "and if this is happening other places as you say...How many Americans have just been slaughtered? Are other countries involved? Is the fate of humanity depending on the stinking Communists too?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Williams sighs a deep long sigh. He pulls a pack of cigarettes out of his breast pocket, steps back and lights one up. He breathes deep, then lets the smoke trickle between his lips.

"Lee?"

Lee steps forward.

"We do not think you idiots or fools," he says, face bland. His quiet voice resonates over the empty parking lot. "The cards were not ours to give. We were simply the messengers. We were asked what form we wished to deliver the markers. Business cards seemed the most practical means of delivery. What are the cards? Good question. Any who touched them without the proper precautions were literally dissolved over the course of a couple of days. It was determined that every marker was made especially for its mark.

This, of course, has grave implications. the beings may have been tracking each of you, individually, for years. Since birth, perhaps. And what happened to each of you once you were marked is unknown. The hypothesis is that the semi-microscopic particles that made up the marker altered each of you in some way. Perhaps made you more or less receptive to the nonterrestrials' technology. Then again, perhaps they are as mundane as a means to track your vitals. As to why they chose you, that is unknown.The most popular hypothesis is that you were all test subjects before this event occurred, and it was easier to simply speed up the process with known subjects.

There are few things we know about the nonterrestrials, and what little information we do have came directly from them and may be suspect. We know they've been studying us, both passively and actively, for up to five centuries. We know they have experimented on us, and may have had a hand in shaping our collective history. We know that our progress as a species is seen as inconvenient to these experiments. We know that they are considering eradicating the entire species of homo sapiens, and are using this "test" as a means to determine if we are still viable experimental subjects. That is, we won't destroy ourselves before they glean as much as they can from us.

We know that they contacted the president, the vice president, the house speaker, the members of the supreme court and the leaders of the CIA, the FBI and the Pentagon. We know that they have contacted other world leaders, but who was contacted is strictly classified. We know that this is a worldwide phenomenon, and that we are but one test in possibly thousands. And yes, there were other American towns and cities involved. I cannot tell you which cities, as that is classified information.

Finally, if you still do not believe me, I recommend touching another marked person, bare hand to bare skin. We were told that the results would be interesting."

Lee stepped back behind Williams. Williams stomped out his cigarette.

"Any more questions?" He growled.

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