The FBI politely declined to answer any of Marianne’s questions. Politely, they confiscated her cell and iPad and took her in a sleek black car down Route 87 to New York, through the city to lower Manhattan, and out to a harbor pier. Gates with armed guards controlled access to a heavily fortified building at the end of the pier. Politely, she was searched and fingerprinted. Then she was politely asked to wait in a small windowless room equipped with a few comfortable chairs, a table with coffee and cookies, and a wall-mounted TV tuned to CNN. A news show was covering weather in Florida.
The aliens had shown up four months ago, their ship barreling out from the direction of the sun, which had made it harder to detect until a few weeks before arrival. At first, in fact, the ship had been mistaken for an asteroid and there had been panic that it would hit Earth. When it was announced that the asteroid was in fact an alien vessel, panic had decreased in some quarters and increased in others. A ship? Aliens? Armed forces across the world mobilized. Communications strategies were formed, and immediately hacked by the curious and technologically sophisticated. Seven different religions declared the end of the world. The stock and bond markets crashed, rallied, soared, crashed again, and generally behaved like a reed buffeted by a hurricane. Governments put the world’s top linguists, biologists, mathematicians, astronomers, and physicists on top-priority standby. Psychics blossomed. People rejoiced and feared and prayed and committed suicide and sent up balloons in the general direction of the moon, where the alien ship eventually parked itself in orbit.
Read the rest of the excerpt from Nancy Kress’ Yesterday’s Kin at Tor.com.
For more info on Yesterday’s Kin, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Thomas Canty.