Flash: Reelier than Life

Picture of City

From the Library of Congress, Prints and Photograph Collection.
I found it at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pingnews/481790691/
(Please refer to link above for full copyright – Copyright is a Creative Commons variation)

The low reverberation outside my apartment draws me away from my I-Box for the first time since the ships were spotted coming towards Earth yesterday. On my balcony, I can see five ships positioning themselves in a grid above San Antonio. The hum echoes in my chest deeper than my woofer and surround sound ever could recreate.

The big black squares, each about a quarter mile square, have silver lines on one corner, similar to letters. I stare at them puzzling their meaning. My human mind tries to find something to place the logos in perspective. The ships are mostly flat with just a few tubes and depressions adding texture.

I feel sorry for the kids tonight; Halloween just got canceled.

Suddenly lights dance out of the ships like spotlights. I see what looks like spacesuits slide down the beams into the residential neighborhoods. Each ship appears to be concentrating on only one block. I look over my shoulder at my entertainment unit to see if the Internet station I was watching has a close-up.

No news people are nearby, the reporters have captured a video stream from somewhere and are trying to create a close-up effect despite the low resolution. Sparkles and digital squares do not mask the invaders weapon barrels.

Maybe they are sampling tools? I try to delude myself.

I glance back outside in time to see the lights start from the neighborhoods and return to the ships, this time with humans, or at least human bodies, inside the beams. The I-Box behind me focuses on the faces. The people are still alive.

No one is close enough to capture the sound.

They do not need to.

I watched the ships rotate 180 degrees and start lifting away from the surface. The one hundred cities the ships visited report similar behavior. Strangely the snatchers only focus on North American metropolitan areas.

At 7:15 central time, the ships well on their way back to the asteroid belt, the AOC cinema production company announces the remaking of “War of the Worlds”. Today being the 100th anniversary of Orson Wells radio reading of the H.G. Wells classic. They claim credit for the invasion as a publicity stunt.

Exhausted through I was, I could not pull myself away from the Internet. Seems the director wanted to take science fiction to the next level and spent three years developing the tools to do so. Interviews with actors and crew follow. The story how the special effect team cobbled together a limited gravity field to keep dinner down makes me laugh.

The producer makes himself sound like a modern-day George Lucas, the movie genus who invented the steady-cam and graduated science fiction from the straight-to-video genre to 24-hour-pay-viewing. The guy traded the aging 3-D technology for new laser holograms. Overall cost of the movie, with its new technological advancements, and its related advertising stunt still was under the average blockbuster budget. No big name stars were included.

I think with the publicity, the company will see a profit. The damn crazies have hooked me!

(words 511 – first published 4/17/2013; republished new blog format 12/4/2016)