Serial Killers: The Seven Invasions of Earth in the 21st Century by David Berger
INTRODUCTION TO THE SEVENTEEN INVASIONS OF EARTH IN THE 21ST CENTURY
I – IV: INVASIONS OF THE USA
No one has ever been able to account for the confluence of the so-called Seventeen Invasions that Earth endured during the second half of the 21st Century. It is almost as if, after 43 thousand years of solitude, after we wiped out the Neanderthals, the Denisovans and others, the Universe, again, gave humanity neighbors.
An explanation is for this unprecedented sequence is still needed. Looking at the order of the invasions, there is no obvious pattern. Sociologists, mathematicians, psychologists, historians, have tried to discern one. There also seems to be no patterns within the invasions other than the invasions themselves.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVASIONS INVOLVING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Invasion I – The Selenites
Although we’ve been voyaging to the Moon since 1969, and a permanent colony has been there since 2051, the Selenites weren’t discovered until 2064. This is due to two factors: the Selenites were a rare species; and they lived in caves deep in the walls of several of the Moon’s largest craters on the “dark side.”
Initial contact between the Selenites and humans was fatal for one of the Selenites. They’re constituted of a white, crystalline substance and resemble large praying mantises, averaging two meters high. It turned out they were also extremely fragile. At the first contact, in a cavern in the wall of the Daedalus crater, one of the human explorers accidentally brushed against one of the Selenites. It immediately “exploded” into a cloud of dust. The explorers left the cave immediately. Any direct contact with the Selenites, and all subsequent study, was done by robots.
The Selenites were originally thought to be either statues made by a vanished species of Moon dwellers or the petrified bodies of those dwellers. Eventually, instruments detected electrical activity within the “statues,” and it was realized that they were somehow alive.
There were, however, effects from the first “destruction” of a Selenite. Some of the dust from the exploded Selenite adhered to the spacesuit of the astronaut that fell against the “statue.”
Upon returning to Earth, to the old Cape Canaveral spaceport, the spacesuit in question was cleaned, upgraded and prepared for subsequent use. At least one grain of Selenite dust, however, survived the cleaning, most likely in one of the deep joints of the suit. What was not known at the time, and how could it be known, was that at least some of the grains of dust, including the one in question, were actually Selenite spores: tiny self-replicating crystals. Evidently, during the transportation of the suit to a storage facility, one such spore fell off the suit onto the side of the service road.
Nothing happened for six months. Then, one evening, a breathless young couple knocked on the door of one of the spaceport labs and blurted out a tale of seeing a Selenite in a park on the outskirts of the spaceport. (The discovery of the Selenites had been extensively covered by the media, so everyone knew what they looked like.) When a few people agreed to humor the young people, they discovered a full-grown Selenite, nearly two meters tall.
Meanwhile, on the Moon, scientists who had been studying the Selenites in situ, had made extraordinary discoveries. Besides establishing that the Selenites were, in fact, living beings, they discovered that the Selenites moved, but, as fitting their mineral structure, at about half a millimeter per year! The first group discovered, in the Daedalus cave, five figures standing in a circle, had been preparing for their conclave, emerging from their fellows about a kilometer deeper in the cave, for approximately two million years.
Back on Earth, a cordon was immediately thrown around the Selenite. The effort was driven by the knowledge that a single touch could explode this being (even though it was not yet known that the subsequent dust included the spores of future Selenites). However, a random bird, a high wind, and Central Florida was covered with Selenite dust. Scientists soon realized that the oxygen-rich atmosphere of Earth accelerated the growth of the Selenites super-exponentially. It was estimated that the Selenites on the Moon were almost 100 million years old and took about six million years to reach full size. On the other hand, the first Earth Selenite, before it sporulated (exploded) was the size of a Lunar Selenite at six months and could move at about a meter per century!
The eventual solution, called the Selenite Bell Project (SBP), consisted of placing heavy transparent “bells,” three meters high, over each Selenite. Each bell is surrounded by an electrified chain link fence, covered by an electrified chain link dome and illuminated 24 hours a day. (An entire branch of the US government is now concerned with the protection and maintenance of the SBP.) The slowness of the Earth-bound Selenites means that none of them can touch the inner side of its bell and present the danger of it exploding. When it could conceivably happen, in about a hundred years, the bells will be shifted slightly.
There are currently almost half a million Selenites encased in bells in Central Florida, and they’re a popular tourist attraction. A few new Selenites are found every year. Several have been found in other places: on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, in the Florida Panhandle and, most bizarrely, near a small town in Oklahoma.
You can visit the Selenites in their bells any time, day or night. Several fascinating religious cults have arisen around them.
David Berger is an old guy from Brooklyn, now living in Manhattan with his wife of 25 years: the best jazz singer in NYC. He is a father and grandfather. He has been, among other things, a case worker, construction worker, letter carrier, high school and ESL teacher, a legal proofreader and a union organizer. Loves life, his wife and the world. Hopes to help the latter escape destruction.
David has been published by Verso with his graphic history of American bohemia: ‘Bohemians’, co-written by Paul Buhle and by DRABBLE for his works ‘Invisible Dude’and ‘Statuary’. His story, Ghoul Days, features in The Sirens Call ezine, Issue 45.