In the end it was nothing at all like in the movies.
The space ship from another planet didn’t choose New York or London or Moscow. Bolts of energy didn’t vaporize landmarks or disintegrate tanks. There were no little green men or big silver robots or musical exchanges of ideas. It didn’t even look “right”. It was squat, ugly and not quite a cube. The exterior was dull gray that seemed to shift color depending on the angle of the sun or the point of view.
It descended straight down the experts later decided. There was universal agreement that such an approach was illogical and inexplicable but they couldn’t deny what the records showed. It came straight down from space to its resting place with no deviation or correction. All the pilots consulted were equally in agreement that it had been a fairly impressive piece of flying.
That final destination turned out to be the top of the municipal building in a small city in southwestern New York. Jamestown had seen its glory days many years before as a center for furniture manufacture. Now at the beginning of the 21st Century it was trying to decide if there was a second act in its history or not. The space ship landing at Tracy Plaza pretty much settled that issue once and for all.
Curiously the ship fit the top of the building almost as if it were the final completing piece of a model. Initial reaction was as might be expected. The building was evacuated as were all the businesses facing the plaza including the Federal building and Post Office. Police barricaded the streets while the Mayor, from a new, safe and undisclosed location, desperately called for help. As also might be expected his initial calls met skepticism. He was finally believed when his technologically inclined assistant posted video of the ship perched on top of City Hall. That quickly led to the city’s finest being supplemented with any military, intelligence or bureaucratic personnel who wanted a piece of the action. The jurisdictional dispute raged for hours.
In the meantime nothing was happening . The ship simply sat there making no sign. It sat motionless and silent for 48 hours with every boring moment recorded and broadcast around the world. Then just as suddenly as it arrived, it departed.
The ship rose into the air. Straight up it went and disappeared quickly into the blue sky and the black of space beyond. Examination of the roof of the building afterward showed no evidence other than the crushed antennae arrays. They left no message and no token.
For some the apparent lack of interest was demoralizing, for others infuriating. One question had been answered that day in the hills of southwestern New York. We were not alone. Another question had taken its place that struck to heart and pride of proud mankind.
Were we of so little interest?
This was the result of a writing prompt in the Jamestown Writes writers group. It had to have some connection to Jamestown and it had to be 500 words or less. Those were the only guidelines (we like our prompts with room to breathe). At least one person didn’t like the downer end but it’s exactly the effect I wanted. Feel free to leave your comments and criticisms. I think this blog may see a bit more action. I invite everyone to help me hone my skills. JP