This is it. You finally made it to the corner office. You're the second youngest VP in your whole company (but technically the other one got his job through nepotism, so...). You've worked super hard, made sacrifices, been ruthless, and here you are, looking out on the East River
Sure, it's Long Island City and not Manhattan, but you can't see the Chrysler building from inside the Chrysler building, you know?
As you take a moment to bask, you notice a smoke trail arc down from the sky. It's... it's fast. And it's headed for the river.
What do you do?
you check twitter to see what everyone else is saying. You've just clicked over to trending topics and seen that #EastRiverAsteroid is trending when
It hits the water right outside your building. The magnetized executive toy on your desk starts clacking with the impact.
You bust out of your office and run. God damn, this is the first time you’ve regretted working on the 35th floor.
How do you get out?
There’s no way you’re going to just stand there on that slow fucking elevator. You book it down the stairs. Thank god you just finished your fifth round of P90X. You reach the lobby to see the street is filled with mist.
Wait, not mist.
What do you do?
You check twitter again. There's hundreds of bad pictures and blurry video circulating already. In some of them, it looks like the asteroid -- or whatever it is -- is glowing a kind of pinky-purple color. Weird. I mean it's been a while since you got your physics minor from MIT
And let's be honest, you've not really kept up with the literature. But that doesn't sound like what an asteroid is supposed to happen. You strain your brain back to your chem class on metals. Maybe it's just high in potassium? But some of these pictures look very... oval.
You call Professor Chen. "Hi," You stumble "I, uh, don't know if you remember me but I took your class a few years back."
"Well, generally I make a point of forgetting the ones we lose to the petit-bourgeois pigpen of finance"
You roll your eyes. You forgot she was like this.
“Ok, yes, funny. So I’m, like, feet away from whatever the fuck it is that hit the East River?”
You hear her sit bolt upright in her seat.
You don’t know what to—
What do you do?
You FaceTime her. She’s in her cluttered little office. Planets and rocket ships dangle from the ceiling.
“You called me up to show me some mist through a glass door??”
You open the door. It’s hot to the touch. You step out. it’s impossible to see
What do you do
You step confidently towards where, ten minutes ago at least, the river was. Within three steps you can't see anything. You hear the distant honking of a car alarm, the rumble of the 7 train and a quiet but persistent hisssss. It's coming from the direction you're walking toward
You keep walking, being extra careful to place your feet.
"ooh this is so spooky!" cackles Dr Chen. She's right. It's horribly spooky. But, well, you kinda didn't know that you'd missed this kind of excitement. Not that you'd ever had it before. You're far too focused on work.
"what do you think it is?" you ask her, mostly to distract yourself.
"who knows!" She replies, gleefully. "Asteroid, satellite, military vessel, internet prank, false flag attempt by our fascist overlords to declare martial law"
"just keep walking, we'll see"
As you get closer to the river, your Apple watch starts pinging. You assume it's just your mom, who panics every time anything interesting happens within 20 miles of NYC. You look. Over and over, it's the same message.
what do you do?
You ignore the messages. Honestly you’re not sure you could get back at this point, so you may as well keep going.
It’s getting really hot. You take off your jacket and throw it over your shoulder (it’s new, dammit!)
You start to see a pinkish glow through the steam.
You walk towards the light. It pulses through the steam. The hissing noise now has a clicky-clacky-ticky-swish underneath. You can smell the river mud twinned with burning and ozone. Can you smell ozone?
“It’s the smell before a summer storm” the doc tells you.
Yes, that’s it.
Then — oh my god. There’s a shape moving in the steam. It’s hard to make out exactly what it is except that it’s person shaped. Well, ish. And that it’s glowing with the same purple-pink light as the asteroid. Or whatever it was.
“Fascinating.” Breathes Doctor Chen.
Fuck it. You're the second youngest VP in your fucking company and you're not gonna freak out about this.
"Hello!" You yell with a cheeriness that you do not feel. "Hello over there!"
You see its head turn. It begins moving towards you.
What do you do?
You stay put, trying to seem collected but non-threatening. You wipe your sweaty palms on your shirt but it's pointless, you're sodden from the steam.
You hear a quiet crunch from your phone. Somehow, from somewhere, Dr Chen is eating popcorn.
The shape begins to emerge.
It's big. Maybe like 6'5" or so. Its feet click on the concrete of the sidewalk. As it comes into your full view, you realize that it's... cute? Or at least it's designed to look that way. Because it is designed - some kind of suit with large eyes.
It reaches out its right hand.
You hear "Are you crazy??" from Dr Chen as you put your hand into its. It inspects your hand then jerks you in closer. A strange tingle that you somehow know is the same pink-purple as the... alien? You hear more clicks and whirrs then it lets you go. A panel opens up in the suit
You’re maybe the first human to ever meet an alien and damned if you’re gonna show it that you’re afraid of it. IT should be afraid of YOU. I mean, not really but boy are you doing a great job of not freaking out.
A black rod extends from the panel and a light turns on inside it
A hologram appears in the air in front of you. It’s a lumpy looking ball surrounded by four cloudy halos with tiny balls zig-zagging around inside of them.
“Is.. is this your planet?” You ask it.
“Capitalism has rotted your already soft brain!” You hear from your phone.
“That, you waste-of-a-good-education, is potassium!”
“So you’re telling me.” You say unbelieving “that this alien crashed in the East River to get a banana??”
What do you do?