by Richard Fowler
Continuing Richard Fowler's 6-part science fiction story based on the truth. Please read Richard's personal story first. Enjoy...
About Richard Fowler
Born and raised in Virginia but no stranger to South Carolina with roots in the upstate going back to the 18th century, Richard has been homeless practically since he hit the streets of Charleston. He is now hard at work getting some kind of an act together and hopes to take it on the road in the very near future.
People screamed and scurried across the street --all except for one liquored-up tramp planted before the front entrance, arms spread wide, who began laughing and shouting, “Yeah! Down with the Great Whore of Babylon! I command you! Haahahahahaa!” He looked around, more or less surreptitiously, to see who he’d impressed, but only a couple of people could’ve heard him over the din, had they been paying attention.
In Washington DC, the President and a handful of advisors, alerted moments before, had only just tuned in to a televised news report of the event in New York.
“What building is that?” asked the chief executive, squinting at the screen, “Anyone know?
“It’s Wall Street,” ventured one cabinet member.
“My God,” gasped the Secretary of the Treasury, “That’s Golden Sacks!”
No one thought to question the word of a former executive of that corporate entity.
The President’s initial instinct was to call in the Air Force and try to shut off those death rays or whatever they were ---but now he hesitated. As a private citizen, he would’ve liked nothing more than to just relax, enjoy the show and gloat over an attack on the arrogant uber-financiers so dear to certain shadowy special interests that had been tearing the country apart for so long with inviolable supremacy.
“Sir?” interrupted an advisor, nervously clearing his throat, “um, shouldn’t we do something?”
Yeah, let’s have some beers sent up. But there was no way that response would play well to the electorate.
“Right,” sighed the President, “send in the Air Force.”
A keening sound, not unlike a dentist’s drill, could be heard as crevices became apparent on all four sides of the skyscraper. The ground was being burrowed into by some unknown means that did not allow cracks and fissures to spread more than a few inches from the base of the structure.
Within fifteen minutes of this startling new development, news crews with cameras were crowding the sidewalks, getting as close as they dared. Though it was early yet, one well-known anchorman was weighing in with his own take on the situation: “One reliable source is of the opinion that a moat is being dug as some kind of symbolic gesture, rather than for any security reasons. Skyscrapers are the castles of the modern world and perhaps an alien race is offering this ---an artistic expression of sorts--- as their comment on the dukes and barons of commerce that dwell within.” A note of uncertainty in his voice did not, in any way, obscure his obvious self-contentment with his summation, which was nowhere near accurate.
Police cars and fire engines and an ambulance arrived on the scene in all their raucous authority. While there weren’t many cops initially ---perhaps a dozen or so--- they more than made up for it with considerable aggressive urgency. “Clear the area!” they repeatedly shouted as they rushed intimidatingly at knots of humanity along the sidewalks on the Golden Sacks side of Murray Street. Some of the citizenry was as reluctant to cooperate as the press, but they gradually gave way.
Suddenly, there was an abrupt shift in the tone of the ambient excavation at the base of the Golden Sacks HQ. The high-pitched keening slowed and turned heavy. Then it stopped altogether. It was a marvel to behold ---an 88 story building standing in a narrow crater while bathed in eerie iridescence. Cameras flashed and news crews edged in closer.
“They ---whoever they are--- I guess they’ve finished doing ---whatever it is they were doing,” one flustered local reporter babbled into a microphone.
Stunningly, a roaring crack bit resoundingly into the earth beneath the skyscraper. The noise of it was epic and the follow-up was every bit as grand: the entire structure shuddered slightly and slowly began to rise up. Wires, ducts, pipes and other unidentifiable appendages hung at crazy angles from the underside of the levitating behemoth. The sight was all the more awesome for the absolute silence that now reigned. Even the police had stopped shouting and were as goggle-eyed and uncomprehending as everyone else.
“Not too big to sail,” giggled a drunk in the crowd.