Thursday, August 8, 2013

Part III: The Craft

The Craft

The ship that crash landed into the New Jersey coastline created an unprecedented level of fear and confusion in the United States as well as around the world. It had become the most significant event in human history, and every news outlet was covering little else. It had become the most widespread topic of destruction, and analysts, writers, and scientists all speculated on its origin, and purpose.

Even the greatest minds had no answers, their guesses were as good as the speculation of a child, and no hypothesis was thrown out, and they all scrambled to discover facts that would back up their hypothesis.

What they did know was little, and raised far more questions than it answered. They knew that the ship was roughly 1200m wide with a smooth, polished, metallic surface that did not match any known materials native to planet earth. It had no obvious openings or windows, though it had signs of external damage upon impact, these seemed to repair themselves, as if the metal had properties more consistent in a living life form.

The most notable feature perhaps, is it that is surrounded by an energy field, a force field protecting it from intrusion, and seemingly invulnerable to any weapon made by man. Numerous attempts have been made over the years to penetrate the barrier, and all have resulted in failure.

The Slums

The area around the craft is mostly barren, the impact of the ship having destroyed most of the buildings, and landscape of the area. The crater extended out into the Atlantic and much of the crash site is now submerged.

The people that survived the impact were negligible, but even the surrounding areas had significant amounts of their infrastructure destroyed, leaving many homeless, or without power. Those that had nowhere to go or no money were stuck. They became statistics, nameless faces in an ever growing numbers of people that had not yet learned they were casualties. 

As the numbers of homeless grew the area around the crash site became the location of temporary shelters, but as the numbers swelled they could not sustain the people, and the area devolved into a slum, the last refuge for the truly desperate. The army tried to keep the peace and to turn people away but with prewar tensions on the rise they could do little to keep order.

The Wall

Therefore the government decided to construct a wall around the crash site, as much to keep people out as to contain the alien ship. Many were given temporary jobs, building the 600m wall. It was difficult work, and many died during its construction. Worse still, as the war broke out many sections had to be repaired, and other rebuilt entirely. 

A military base was placed at the base of the wall not far from the slums. Its job was to man the watch towers, so that nobody got into the crash site, as well as to conduct studies of the ship and the surrounding area.

The military presence also served to regulate the slums, by handing out what little food supplies, and doing its best to give the people medical treatment. Despite offers from foreign powers, the United States accepted to aid, believing that any offers were thinly veiled attempts to gain access to the craft. 

The overpopulation of the slums would eventually solve itself, as famine, and disease, spread across the encampment, claiming countless more lives. The soldiers did what they could but eventually another, smaller, wall was built to quarantine the area, and access to the slums was restricted. In the slums people continued to kill, starve, and die, while the rest of the nation tried its best to ignore their suffering.

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