Where am I? Who are you?

Welcome to Eighth Angel Studios. We're going to write a novel.

This is a collaborative project- contributors (like you) provide characters who are woven into the story as it progresses. But your involvement doesn't end there- as the story progresses you can give feedback on your character, developing them further, influencing their decisions and guiding their actions. The more feedback you provide, the more development your character can receive.

If you want to join in, please follow this blog and comment on this post with a thirty-second description of your character- a name and enough to describe a first meeting. That'll get the ball rolling.

Anyway, enough rambling- on to the plot!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

[STO] Touchdown

[Camera feed opens- jerky images, mostly of sky and the tops of buildings. Indistinct voices, overlapping, are muffled behind heavy breathing and pounding footsteps from a running camera crew.]

V1 (V.O.): Are we live? John? Are-?

V2 (V.O.): We're live!

V1 (V.O.): Ladies and gentlemen, we're reporting live from [brief pause, barely audiable gasp for breath] the United Nations Plaza, where the question of whether intelligent [another gasp] life exists outside this planet may right now be answered.

[Camera pans around, swinging across the front of the UN Secretariat building and capturing crowds standing outside, eyes skyward. Camera turns to follow the eye-line, where a contrail of white smoke/steam traces across the clear blue sky, curving round to angle towards the viewer's position. The object at its head, still distant and indistinct even at zoom, is clearly large and clearly in a controlled descent.]

V1 (V.O.): The object you can see has just minutes ago entered our atmosphere from the vessel detected earlier this morning. We understand it detached from the vessel and has performed a perfect orbital re-entry. There is no word from the United Nations or from the United States Government as to whether there has been any communication with this craft or indeed with its mother-ship.

[Camera zoom adjusts, trying to clear up the image. A brief glimpse of the object at the head of the vapour trail is seen- a long, slender, wedge-shaped craft with a glistening white hull. The vapour is seen to be rolling off the underbelly and particularly the leading edges as it descends in a sweeping curve, as if fluid were being actively vapourised along the hottest parts.]

V2 (V.O., indistinct): Thermal's off the scale. If that was the shuttle it'd be toast!

V1 (V.O.): The craft appears to be decelerating to approach the United Nations building where we are currently standing, indicating an intelligence controlling it that understands humanity's political structure. It appears to be made of unconventional materials or using advanced technologies to allow it to withstand temperatures much higher than those experienced by NASA's Space Shuttle-

[The craft in the camera view suddenly jinks and S-turns, speed bleeding off and the vapour trail blowing out to allow a clear view of the suddenly subsonc craft. The camera swings wildly for a few seconds as its operator compensates for the change in speed. There are indistinct cries, screams and shouts from bystanders.]

V1 (V.O.): Fu- Ladies and gentlemen, the craft approaching us has just cut its speed dramatically and appears to be- [aside: "Where's it headed?"]

V2 (V.O.): Gimme a sec... the river!

v1 (v.o.): The craft is approaching along the line of the East River. Could it be using the water as a landing strip?

[The craft's engines become audiable, first a dull growl building to an ear-shattering roar that drowns out the other background noise. It grows in the image until it fills it, even as the camera zooms out. A hundred feet long and unmarked, it swings low over the water towards the camera, ploughing a furrow in the river below it with its thrust and air displacement.]

V1 (V.O.): [shouting] This is incredible! The aliens have arrived! We are not alone in the universe! It's magnificient! It's so clean, so elegant!

[The craft pulls alongside the camera's position, suddenly nosing up and shucking off the last of its forward momentum. The presenter's voice is lost in the wailing roar of engines. The craft spins a hundred eighty degrees around the point of its nose, giving the camera a brief front-on close-up. A pair of silhouetted figures working controls can be seen behind its tinted canopy. The craft slips sideways from the hover, pulling over land and dropping to a mere thirty feet from the ground. A hatch opens midway down the fuselage, panels swinging up and down. A figure significantly taller than a human and powerfully built, clad in a sealed suit seemingly made from metal but oddly organic in construction, jumps from the hatch, lands into a crouch, then raises itself to full height, moving a few paces forward and left to allow another similar figure to exit. The camera zooms in on the smooth gold plate across the front of the second figure's helmet. It looks back. The noise suddenly cuts for a moment and the presenter's voice can be heard again.]

V1 (V.O.): Please, God, don't let them kill us all.

[The camera feed suddenly cuts off.]