The sky seemed haunted. Flash fiction by Tony Mc Carthy

Welcome back after that forced interruption that lasted almost four hours. Informed scientific sources are linking it to the eerie darkness that fell over New York for that period. There was no trace of the mid-day sun or indeed of any daylight. People on the streets were using the light on their g-pads to thread their way. Reports are coming in that other parts of the world have been similarly affected including Paris, Moscow and Berlin. In Melbourne the moon and the stars were completely obscured from view. It was as if the sky was haunted.

A brief statement has just been released by the government stating that “Today 20th April 2121 at 1pm. an enemy launched an attack with a pall of darkness. Special forces have attacked and destroyed the source. All personnel safely returned and all citizens can be re-assured as to their personal safety”.

Our correspondent at the Pentagon, Geoffrey Smalltalk, is scribbling that the enemy was China and the attack consisted of clouding much of the world with tenebrae rays. These rays were apparently emitted from a globe-like structure approximately one hundred yards in diameter that was erected on seven massive pylons and suspended a distance above ground level. The rays could be easily directed and specifically targeted from a control unit immediately beneath the globe.

Intelligence sources have confirmed that the structure had been source of some communication with China. Assurances were received that it was to enable better weather forecasting and tracking of spacecraft. The scepticism about these assurances was added to by a defector from North Korea who provided valuable information before meeting an untimely death in a hit and run incident in Downtown New York. Scientists had also been concerned about a brief but widespread loss of daylight in August 2118.

Jennifer Tittle, who is at the Bethsany Space Base, has said that, consequently, this attack was not unexpected. Two shuttle craft were on permanent alert and were launched when confirmation was received as to the source of the attack. They arrived in Wuhan eight minutes later. The two groups of special forces on arrival fired the propulsion buttons on their robocoptors and headed for the structure. Team 1 consisting of four specialists first paralysed the operators in the control unit with nerve gas and having removed cyphers and pod-sticks withdrew. The second team consisting of seven pairs then destroyed the support pylons using a top-secret heat gun before reducing the globe to rubble. No opposition was encountered.

Pressed as to why it took four hours to resolve, an official explained that it was necessary to confirm the source of the attack which was complicated by the loss of satellite communication. Then, use had to be made of the old fibre -optic cable running to Valentia in Ireland to communicate with numerous intelligence posts using the obsolete email system. The official stressed that there was no undue delay.

Our scientific correspondent , David Tattle, believes that the Chinese strategy was to envelop most of the world with darkness for a prolonged period of time during which crops would fail, insects and birds would remain dormant and cease to act as pollinators; people would suffer serious health problems due to lack of vitamin C and suffer mental health problems before succumbing to hunger and illness. China could then re-locate millions of its citizens easing the overcrowding from which it currently suffers.

In an ironic historic twist, the shuttles landed in Wuhan where in 2020 an animal meat market was alleged to be the source of a coronavirus which resulted in the deaths of almost a million people and forced a shut-down of economies for many months resulting in a five year depression. Experts now believe that the virus resulted from an accidental leak into the atmosphere from a laboratory. In view of David Tattle’s theory maybe it wasn’t an accident!

Our President Donald Trump V, in an address to the nation has declared it a “great victory” for the American people and re-iterated the might of the American nation and the supremacy of the armed forces.


Member of Dun laoghaire Active Retirement Writing Group tutor Frances Browner

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