[At 2:33 AM on a Sunday, something falls out of the sky in Iceland.
The area onto which it falls is mostly populated by volcanoes and ice rather than humans, particularly as the nights grow longer. But something illuminates the sky so brightly that it can be seen for miles around, just outside a small town to the remote north.
It hits local news as a UFO story, at first. Relatives of people in the town
, however, can't seem to contact anyone they know. Within 24 hours, a news crew and some intrepid UFO investigators head out to interview local residents about what they saw.
The town is empty. Most of the homes have been demolished, and the residents are missing. The town looks as if it was hit by a localized earthquake. Toppled buildings and debris are left, but no bodies to speak of. The only sign of what might have happened is a symbol
burned into the ground at the end of the town's single main street. The symbol is recessed down six feet or so, as if it has been carved into the earth, unlike other examples of this mysterious phenomena which have appeared elsewhere on the planet. The soil around the symbol is burned, and the edges shine with glass melted from the soil by the heat of whatever struck there.
Eventually, most of the residents are tracked to a cave nearby, recessed into the cliffs, where the tiny town's population of a hundred fled. They describe a great light in the sky in the middle of the night, a thunderous sound, and a shockwave which leveled their homes. Most of them luckily had time to run, warned by the approaching thunder and flickering in the clouds. There are just a few casualties, all told, and only one firsthand eyewitness, a very young boy. His image is transmitted around the world, insisting to reporters that there was a man in the light after the shockwave, that the man was screaming, and that he stumbled north.
The Icelandic authorities try to write the incident off as a freak storm, a strike of lightning in the night, but the international media speculates, and speculates. A new invasion from outer space? The international community insists there is no evidence to prove such claims.
Authorities find no sign of the man the boy claims he saw. North of the town there is only ice, and the desolate, beautiful coastline
, and the billions of stars in the long, clear night.]