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July 21, 2015

"Our top story this morning is hurricane Evan, which is expected to make landfall sometime this morning in the Florida Keys. Experts upgraded Evan to a category four hurricane last night, and it's expected to cause major problems across at least six states. Today Show correspondent Serena Michaels is in Florida to report on the storm and she joins us now from Miami Beach. Serena?"

"Thanks Beverly, yes, residents have been evacuated from costal areas because of what's supposed to be a record-breaking storm surge. Right now, as you can see, the winds are very strong. Wind gusts of a hundred and forty miles per hour have been reported in the Bahamas."

"The wind looks very intense Serena, are you sure you and your crew are safe?"

"I believe we are Beverly. It's gotten worse just in the last ten minutes, but when we first arrived, it wasn't raining at all. We got here at around four in the morning during a very unusual electrical storm which was unlike anything I've ever experienced before."

"Can you describe what it was like?"

"I'm sorry Beverly, I didn't quite get that..."

"Can you describe the electrical storm?"

"Oh, yes. The lightning was almost constant. We didn't even have to turn on our lights to set up. The electrical activity in the clouds created a sort of pale blue haze. And the sound —it's difficult to describe. There were thunderclaps, but also this low hum that sounded like voices. I had our sound engineer record some of it because it was so unusual... It was a demonic sound."

"I'm sorry Serena, your feed is a bit garbled. Did you say demonic?"

"Yes it sounded demonic. I believe it was a warning from an angry dimension. I... I can't explain it. I think — arr — inspire — ex—al — ist..."

"We seem to have a bad connection Serena, can you hear me?"

The image froze, stuttered, then came back pixilated and froze again with Serena Michaels farther back from the camera. The last frozen image was of Serena Michaels, out over the ocean, arms and legs splayed. She stood out from the dark clouds in the background because her whole body was illuminated, lit up from within by a bright blue light.

The screen went black.

Smik knew that this was the new-product launch he'd been promised, but it was not at all what he'd expected. The last time he'd been told to watch the news on a Tuesday morning for a new-product launch had been on September 11, 2001. This was different, subtler, certainly, but also targeted to a different part of the brain. This was not a political or social agenda being launched, it was not a new phase in consumer conditioning, or an attempt to produce mass PTSD. It didn't even seem like a whole op yet, more like phase one, or some kind of preamble to the actual event.

Smik sipped his coffee and thought.

On the TV, the news anchors expressed concern for the safety of Serena Michaels and her crew. Beverly promised that they would regain communication with the team to make sure everyone was okay, and that they would have an update after the commercial break. Smik noted that the spiritual ascension of Serena Michaels was brought to the public by Cialis and the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. He opened his phone and looked at Reddit. By the end of the commercial break, there was already a clip being shared. Serena Michaels was shining bright out over the thrashing ocean in front of the dark clouds of hurricane Evan. The first comment below the video contained one word: ALIENS.

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