Something huge is happening. As I write this, there's crazy lightning and thunder and heavy dark clouds overhead. There are bright lights streaking across the sky. When they get closer, they look like tall silver ships. They look big enough to hold aliens that I really don’t want to see.
A few minutes ago, a loud screeching noise incapacitated me, and everyone around me. I was sure some new weapon had been deployed and we were all goners. Everything was shaking like an earthquake — and we don't get earthquakes in Charleston.
I haven't been so afraid since the first invasion. Then the noise stopped, and I wasn't dead, so I grabbed a baseball bat and ran outside. The sound must have affected people all over — usually you don't see so many gathered in the open.
My friend took this picture:
I thought that the silver ships might explode or attack when they hit Earth, but since they haven't, now I'm terrified of what they've brought down. Skitters are enough to deal with.
I'll write as soon as I know more. I'm going above-ground, so keep an eye out for my updates. If this is my last entry, readers should be warned that what came out of the sky is very bad.
Update, 12:45 PM: I'm back in one piece, but there’s little information and a lot of chaos. As far as we can tell, no one's being killed or rounded up like before, but everyone reported seeing the lights descend, and most are convinced that they are some new kind of alien transport. Just what we needed.
I met a guy who swore he saw one of the pods land and something step out of it. He was too scared to stick around to see exactly what. He was pretty messed up about it. We're lucky to have a doctor and some supplies here where I hide out, but if things get bad again, there's no way we're ready. At this point I think I'd welcome benevolent alien overlords, if they brought back hospitals and hamburgers.
Update, 1:02 PM: My sister says that's not funny. She says we should be readying ourselves for a new invasion, for all-out war, for anything. She's gone to stockpile food and water — she doesn't care what's out there. She just knows she wants no part of it. But I have to know what we're up against. And I made a promise to help document what's happened to humanity so that history will remember us. I'm going to see what I can find out.
Update, 1:34 PM: I managed to get a closer picture of one of the ships:
Update, 2:16 PM: There's a lot of panic in the streets. Families are trying to make it to places where there's military protection. The military is advising all unarmed civilians to stay "indoors" and lay low pending further communication. Believe it or not, that hasn't been reassuring. Everywhere you go there's a different rumor about what we're facing. After what we’ve been through, we’re assuming the worst. No one knows whether to run or hide.
Update, 2:55 PM: People are squabbling over resources and fighting over the best places to shelter. It feels just like post-invasion times. Either this is some new Skitter tactic or we've got something else entirely on our hands. Neither option is comforting.
Update, 3:25 PM: I've been hearing shouting for a while, but now it's closer — less than a block away. These days you have to run to the news in order to get it. Wish me luck.
Update, 4:16 PM: I can't believe what I've heard. I don't know what to think. I have to write everything down so that the future has a record of this day. It turns out the shouting in street was for a good reason. A Jeep made it through from the main base in Charleston with some of the supplies we've been asking for. That was the shouting. A soldier from the base stayed behind to try to bring some order. You can bet the crowd got quiet really quickly to hear what he had to say.
The soldier couldn't tell us much that wasn't classified. But he did tell us the gossip spreading around the capital: as soon as the strange sound was heard and the disturbance in the sky was seen, the fighters of 2nd Mass and the military rushed out to meet the threat. They were ready for anything, said the soldier, and everyone was positive there was about to be a terrible battle.
Then one of the silver ships opened, and a creature came out that looked nothing like a fish-face or one of their overlords. It had a head, two arms, and two legs, and walked like we do — no skittering. It was heavily armored and had a silver mask that revealed an extraterrestrial, intelligent-looking face, and it did not attack. The soldier said that the 2nd Mass and the army lowered their guns.
None of us knew what to think, and I still don't. There are so many questions but no answers yet. If there wasn't a firefight, does this mean that we now have an alien ally? Can aliens be allies? What do they want from us? Are they here for us or for the Skitters? And why would the 2nd Mass trust them on sight?
This picture has started circulating. I never thought I'd see Tom Mason riding into battle next to an alien.
Update, 4:30 PM: My sister says that we should trust the judgment of 2nd Mass and the leaders in Charleston. It’s not that I disagree — I’ve seen first-hand how Tom Mason and the 2nd Mass fight for freedom with words and weapons. Knowing they’re out there makes me feel less afraid. Some people think they're fighting an unwinnable war, but if we don't resist our invaders, we have nothing left. I trust the 2nd Mass, but the idea of allying with aliens scares me. Our planet's population was almost completely destroyed.
How do we know the new arrivals aren't here to finish the job?
Update, 4:47 PM: Within a few hours, it seems as though all the usual talk of resistance has changed. There’s this sudden excitement that help has come at last. Maybe we won’t have to struggle alone any longer. I guess it’s good to see hopeful faces again, but I can’t help feeling like it’s premature. We don’t know anything about what these things want from us or what they can do to us. For all we know, they’re worse than the Skitters. These days I’d believe anything is possible.
Update, 5:14 PM: People are starting to argue about whether we should only keep our allegiance among fellow humans or if we should embrace potential alien allies. We may not have a choice, but that’s not stopping the debate. It's getting vicious.
I left an argument to duck back outside. Now that the skies have settled, there's some kind of mission underway on the ground. There's a caravan of horses and supplies. Is 2nd Mass on the move again? I wish they'd tell us where they're going.
Update, 5:45 PM: Fights are breaking out between friends and family as to whether you are on team #aliens or team #resistance. It’s a division we’ve never had before. This is the biggest thing to happen to Earth since the invasion, and I don’t know if it’s the end or a new beginning. We can only wait and hope the resistance knows what they're doing.
Kaila Hale-Stern is a writer who lives in your social media stream and works on saving science fiction's past for the future.