They came by the thousands, but took the lives of billions. Hardly any energy was spent on their part, yet the people of Earth lost everything.
Who could have seen this coming? There wasn't a single scientist on Earth with any idea of what was about to happen.
No one, except Dr. Vance.
Dr. Vance was the creator and head scientist of the science and tech company called Vance Corp. His scientific achievements and inventions couldn't go unnoticed after he invented a renewable energy source capable of replacing fossil fuels in most modern vehicles. As his name became internationally known, his wealth skyrocketed. His family became a spectacle to the public despite their efforts to remain private. It didn't help that his daughter, a genius in her own right and heiress to Vance Corp, had a style and personality that called for the attention of the public. She was a princess in the modern world.
An extraterrestrial disturbance was picked up on the scanners of Vance Corp. The company's focus had moved to the sky as the people of Earth moved closer and closer to space travel. Vance Corp's lab was the only one with strong enough equipment to sense anything regarding the recent discovery. Dr. Vance was the face of the entire project so he was the one burdened with taking the frightening information to the public.
In an excerpt from a press release he said:
"Something big is coming for Earth at such a rate that the people need to make survival preparations immediately or it will be too late."
Unfortunately for Earth, nobody believed the flustered genius when he brought the news to the eyes of everyone. For the first time in his career, his knowledge was questioned. People started doubting his findings and calling him a "mad scientist". The news he was trying to spread didn't catch on in the media and the announcement was ultimately lost in the midst of headlines obsessing over celebrities and other superficialities. Even his own family thought he was probably just overreacting and ignored his warnings to prepare for the worst.
Dr. Vance should have gotten an award for such a discovery. Governments should have heeded his warning. However, it was much too late for preventive measures.
'Alien invasions don't happen in the real world,' the Vance family convinced themselves. These words brought them comfort until one day, the disillusionment was shattered and the family huddled together, hiding in a storage closet from monsters who were tearing apart the once extravagant Vance Estate.
Dr. Vance had deep bags under his eyes from many sleepless nights over his extraterrestrial discovery. As he leaned against the wall of their cramped hiding spot, he sighed. He felt guilty that he couldn't have done more for his wife and daughter. His influence could only go so far and, ultimately, no one believed his discovery. Now, because of his not pushing harder and not caring if no one believed him, his family hid from the monsters outside, waiting for their fate to be decided.
His daughter, Varya, and wife, Diana, both had long silver hair and light blue eyes. He was always grateful Varya didn't get his straight black hair, brown eyes, and need to wear glasses. His daughter did, however, inherit his mind. Based on her educational path so far, at only 21 years old, she was showing unbelievable grades and carving out a name for herself because of her involvement in some of his projects and inventions of her own.
One arm was around his wife and he used his free hand to squeeze his daughter's hand, hoping it came across as comforting when he, himself, was feeling far from that. The closet was dark and he hoped no one could see his expression.
"What are we g-going to do if they f-find us?" Varya's blue eyes were brimming with tears and her parents could only offer her empty promises that it was going to be okay.
Varya wasn't a child. Despite her parents' gentle words and efforts to comfort her, she had ears and could hear the only home she ever knew getting smashed to pieces outside of their hiding spot. It was clear to her the assailants were likely looking for the Vance's.
There was another bump from outside of the door. This one was louder than the last. Were they getting closer to finding the Vance's hiding spot?
Dr. Vance grimaced at the noise before whispering, "We're going to stick together no matter what." He wiped away the tears of his wife and daughter before hugging them to his chest. "Don't ever let those monsters take advantage of your mind, Varya. You are a genius with a bright future ahead of you. You can do anything."
As he held Varya, his fingers brushed through her long, grey hair. He hadn't shown so much physical affection towards his daughter in a long time. She used to be his little princess, sitting on his lap or on the counter of one of his labs while he worked. She never stopped asking questions. Since she started university, despite still living at home, she was always off on one of her adventures or stuck in her own lab at school, working on class projects. Dr. Vance felt he took for granted the time they shared together. As long as he lived, that would be his biggest regret.
Varya trembled, never having felt fear like this before, and hid her face in her father's shoulder. She never wanted to let either of her parents go.
After earlier events, she was led to believe something bad was in store for her next.