Santa Fuego, California, United States of America. 5 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Friday, June 6, 2008. 1452 hours.

(Matthias Fisher)

I kick my shoes off once I'm inside and dump my backpack on the ground. Finals are next week and I'll probably have to end up studying... But neither of those are on my mind as I plod into the kitchen, grabbing a bowl, a spoon, and a gallon of milk. I glance at a small Post-it note left on the counter as I pour Chocolate Chex into the bowl.

Dear Matthias,

I've taken Anna to soccer. We should be back at around 5:00 PM. I've got pizza for dinner!

Love, Mom

I quickly wolf down my cereal, stick my bowl and spoon in the sink, and charge upstairs, flipping open my laptop. Shrugging, I attempt to connect to Unreal Tournament when-

No response. Connection failed.

Suddenly, my internet fails completely.

"What the hell?"

I try to restart my modem, then I notice a deep humming noise that steadily gets louder. It starts to rain outside and I look outside. Maybe it's a power cut.

The sky is dark now, odd considering it's, like, two in the afternoon. Something big is blocking out the sun; maybe it's an eclipse.

As I open my window and step onto the roof, the humming gets even louder. Lightning flashes, illuminating a giant... thing... in the air. Several balls of blue light appear on it, and the humming is soon accompanied by a high-pitched whine.

Then it fires.