It’s been two years since the Great Incursion, an event that saw the entry of many alien species to our world. Some were friendly, some weren’t. With those that weren’t, wars resulted, leading to millions of deaths.
Darby ‘Dar’ Havens, eighteen, moves with his parents, both scientists who work for the government, to Sinley, Idaho, a tiny town. Once there, Dar finds out that his neighbors aren’t from that state—or this galaxy.
He meets shape shifters, a mole lady, and Pimevar, a young woman with bat wings and a vampiric appearance. Dar befriends the new arrivals, and he realizes that they’re friendly. He also meets the Uncontrollables who live down the block and don’t mix with anyone.
Dar’s relationship with Pimevar develops, but trouble comes in the form of government organizations who think the only good alien is a dead alien. It’s time for Dar to make a choice. If he sides with the government, he’ll live. If he sides with the aliens, chances are he won’t see another sunrise.
Sinley Town, Beartooth Valley, Idaho. July seventh, 2029. Sunday. Noon.
“You’re going to love it here.”
Six words, six innocent words that promised fun and acceptance, along with the thrill of meeting new people and making new friends. My mother, sitting in the passenger seat of our four-door sedan, said them in her usual monotonal voice.
She never got excited over anything. However, to a stranger, hearing those words might have elicited anticipation, the discovery of something new.
Good for the stranger. I’d heard those words too many times to count during the past five-plus years, and every single time, they’d turned out to be empty promises. Would today be any different?
From the age of thirteen until now—my eighteenth birthday would be in two days—my parents had been on the move, trying to find the perfect environment for raising their only child—me. Our last home had been Chicago, and that had lasted about eight months.
People said that when a person was young, the days moved slowly, and as they got older, those days magically sped up, so by the time they were in their sixties and beyond, time moved so fast that it was like a blur.
In my case, call me old before my time, as those days flew by all too quickly, and just as quickly, it was time to move—again. Lots of people in the US had been on the move over the past two years through no fault of their own. They’d had to move…and not by choice.
Blame the Great Incursion for that. A little over two years ago, a rift opened in the dimensional wall between our world and other worlds. Witnesses described the ripples as being like water on a pond when someone tossed a stone into it. Some of those ripple-rifts were just large enough for human-sized beings to step or fly or flop through. Other rifts were much larger, the size of a football field.
No one knew how or why those rifts in the universe had occurred. They simply did. One theory said that the quantum physics boys in the army had messed up. Just another experiment gone wrong, something many sci-fi-slash-fantasy-horror movies had used as their main theme.
Another theory said that the incursion had been started by evil aliens on the other side of reality. Lots of movies in the above category had used the same theme time and again.
And then the usual collection of crackpots, yahoos, and racists emerged from the woodwork, saying that certain religious groups or ethnic groups or racial groups—or all three—had been behind it.
Most people who were logical dismissed those claims immediately, but no one could accuse humanity of being logical. There were always those who listened to the nuts. There were always those who listened to racists because they preached the message that they wanted to hear.
And those disaffected people listened, which led to riots in the larger cities, attacks on minority religious-racial-ethnic groups, and a high number of injuries and deaths, all of which set inter-religious and interracial group relations back a century, if not more.
Eventually, the scientists found out that a few hundred beings—the lab boys and experts called those visitors beings as not all of them could properly be called people—had somehow traversed the barriers between our world and theirs.
Yes, barriers, as in multiple worlds, multiple incursions. Naturally, the world freaked when the first visitors came through and landed on the shores of San Diego, seven octopus-like creatures that sported over twenty limbs each, giant eyes in each of those limbs, and the ability to communicate through telepathy.
After the initial standoff, both sides came to a rapprochement. Our first new visitors, proof of extra-terrestrial life, were friendly enough, although initially, the government—meaning the armed forces—stepped in, ready to eliminate said perceived threat.
After a period of containment, during which our visitors were examined to see if they were carrying deadly pathogens—they weren’t—things settled down, and the government had allowed the creatures to settle in the Pacific Ocean.
They were called Takanites, and they’d agreed to be tagged. While they looked frightening, they were quite amiable in nature, interacting not only with the denizens of the deep, but also with the fishermen, pointing out where the best catches of the sea could be found. They rescued drowning swimmers, and they saved sailors from capsized vessels. In short, they proved themselves selfless and kind.
Our new citizens also performed a public service in eating the seaborne pollution while cleaning the ocean with their excrement. Call that whacked out, but it worked, and everyone got along.
Poaching them and their offspring was also verboten. The US government protected them at all costs, and according to the people who lived in that area, it was worth the massive expense.
However, not all the newcomers were friendly. Landings occurred not only in the continental United States but also in Europe, mainly Germany, Italy, Spain, and across Asia.
And unfortunately, a lot of the newcomers simply didn’t understand the concept of coexistence. While none of them carried any deadly viruses—none that we knew of—they were deadly in another fashion.
Some lived to destroy, and the armies of the world took on the invaders—for what other term could be used—and employed what weapons they had aside from nuclear bombs to halt the enemy’s advance.
In America, the army, the Marines, the air force, and the National Guard fought them tooth and nail, battling winged serpents that breathed acid, crab monsters that lived on flesh of any sort, six-mouthed tentacled marauders, intangible horrors, and more.
Losses mounted in the hundreds of thousands, and by the time the hostile elements were stamped out, over five million American citizens were dead.