In the week’s session of Dawn of the Monster Invasion by Randy Lubin, we portrayed six speeches to follow the invasion and response to an incursion of dragons across the world.
Our story begins with a backpacker in a National Park telling everyone she can find about the bird-bat hybrids she saw flying in the fog on the mountaintop. She describes the leathery wings and long beaks but is puzzled when she remembers the long tail. Later, a herpetologist at a scientific conference presents his findings from his efforts to find and identify the creature the hiker saw. He believes that it is a dragon, although he’s willing to entertain other words for the creature. He tells about the long scorch marks like a flamethrower shot through the trees, but the other conference-goers believe his lifelong obsession with dragons is clouding his scientific judgement. Some think he may even have manipulated his data to draw his desired conclusion. Surely, there is another, simpler explanation.
The Bounders live-streamer goes out into the Park looking to prove the reports true by getting the creature, whatever it is, on film. His commenters include plenty of skeptics, people who say he’s using a green screen and not even in the park. He shows the world around him to prove his honesty, but then sees something that frightens him. He sees a bird and follows its flight so fails to see the small dragon that flits between trees behind him. A gigantic shadow passes over him, and he looks up when he hears the flapping of giant wings. He screams and the stream goes silent.
At a PTA meeting in a school across the state from the park, a mother named Susan exhorts everyone to prepare for the dragons, and to build their own bunker. You’ll need as much canned food and toilet paper as you can store. She has a sealed, safe concrete bunker in her basement and ends up inviting the other parents to stay with her when they start asking questions. She says she has plenty of water and fire extinguishers for the stay. One mother insists on bringing a bevy of tutors for her daughter to prepare her daughter for college once we emerge from the bunker in about five years. Susan storms off when that woman starts claiming ownership of the bunker for herself and threatens to kick Susan out. We’re all left wondering if the invitation still stands.
Many months later, after the dragons have begun appearing all over, ever closer to populated areas, a group of investors has gathered in a lone conference room to hear the pitch from one James Weldon. James wants to steal dragon eggs, raise and domesticate them, and open parks for people to see these creatures up close. They might even be able to ride them. Most of us doubt his ability to deliver, what with him never before having found a dragon egg or spent any time training them. Others think his monetization plan is too narrow, when there could be many other, more lucrative applications for domesticated dragons. Meanwhile across the country, a group of government bureaucrats are meeting with a researcher who insists that the best way to destroy these pests is by introducing reptile pathogens into their habitats. The hope is if you infect one of the large enclaves that the disease will spread to other areas, weakening the creatures enough to make eradication easy. Any collateral damage could easily be contained through quarantine protocols, he assures them. If the military can procure some test subjects and he can build out his team of experts, we can have a working prototype in a few short months.
However, his plan apparently fails because our final speech is made by a lizard person, a humanoid with reptilian eyes and scaly skin. She explains that now that her people have aided humanity, as requested, by telepathically controlling and calming the dragons, they will continue to control things here on the surface. And it won’t be necessary for our destructive human civilization to continue. They will order the dragons to delivery anything we may need to survive, and may even leave us with our precious internet for entertainment. Some lucky few of us have lizard person blood and will receive special privileges, including activation and training in the use of our dormant psychic abilities. She orders us all to go home and to stay out of trouble.