Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about the beginning of the Third War, begins after the photo.
Genre: Science Fiction/Humor
They floated down from the skies, like soap bubbles on an enormous scale. Most were as big as houses, some were larger.
As they floated into the Russian cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Novosobirsk, they bounced off large buildings and St. Basil’s Cathedral, and into the busy streets below.
Panicked drivers swerved suddenly and braked hard to avoid the immense spheres. Bouncing off the tall buildings, which guided them into the streets as though an immense pinball machine, the balls caused huge pileups of cars in a cacophony of wailing horns and shrieking tires. In mere minutes across Russia, hundreds died and thousands more were injured.
In China, the situation was similar. Crowds of people ran through the streets in a panic in Guangzhou, Beijing, and Chengdu. A 100-car pileup in Beijing brought traffic to a standstill, crippling the efforts of emergency services.
Though none of the mysterious spheres penetrated American airspace, President Schumacher was very busy.
“I assure you, Mr. Lao, these things are not ours. No they aren’t weapons…well how am I supposed to know? I have no idea what they are!”
“Mr. President,” said an aide. “President Putin is on line 23.”
“Tell him to hang on a minute. Yes, Mr. Lao. I have no idea why no Western nation is being attacked…but…but…that is no reason to think we are attacking you. We aren’t. Honestly!”
Cameron Watts, NSA Director, shoved a tablet under the President’s nose. “Look at this video, sir. These bubbles in Moscow are bouncing off buildings, cars, even people, but causing no perceivable damage.”
“How did you get this footage?”
“Then what’s causing all the injuries?”
“Near as I can tell, it’s just people panicking.”
“Russian bombers are taking off from Kamchatka!” shouted General Hornsby. “I’m launching interceptors.”
“Tell them not to fire!” said Schumacher. The sweat running into his eyes began to burn. “No, Mr. Lao. No one is firing. There is no way…Mr. Lao? Hello?” He turned to an aide. “Get him back! And transfer me to Putin.”
“He hung up, sir.”
“Well get him back, dammit!”
“The line is dead.”
“Sir, we just lost our satellite over China. They probably destroyed it,” said General Hornsby. “Sir, we are at the brink of nuclear war. What are your orders?”
Young TRiti’Dal’Wouv was still quite small at only 22 tonnes. He raised a ring and blew another energy bubble out the rear hatch of the nearly invisible, alien spaceship flying over Hong Kong. The swarms of Super-Whammy Bubbles provided no end of fun for the toddler.
“Hey, stop that!” said his father. “We’re only allowed to watch the Humans if we don’t disrupt their development. Who knows how they’ll react?”
“Oh pooh!” said his wife, TRiti’Dal’Hayva. “He’s having fun. So cute! Anyway, the bubbles are harmless. Who in their right mind would be bothered by Super-Whammy Bubbles?”
Each week, Alastair Forbes sacrifices a first-born photo so that we may write flash fiction based upon it. Look here for many more stories based upon the photo above: http://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/sunday-photo-fiction-september-21st-2014/