DC Universe: Invasion, Book 1, Epilogue: Warning

by Doc Quantum

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June 30th, 1987:

A small farm near Salzburg, Austria: Klaus Schultz, a sprightly senior of seventy years with a long, shaggy white beard, was awakened suddenly in the middle of the night by an all-too familiar sensation.

Ever since Schultz could remember, he had been visited by extraterrestrial beings who sometimes abducted him for hours at a time in order to conduct various experiments upon him. Of course, none of his family had ever believed his stories of repeated alien visitations and abductions — that is, until recently. Over the last decade and more, there were stories of aliens living on Earth among humans, as well as tales of several alien invasions, both on a small and larger scale. These news reports and rumors did little to change the minds of all but his youngest relatives, though. Stuck away in this relatively remote area in the Alps as they were for generations, it was easy to disregard news of both the aliens and alien invasions, as well as all those stories of superhumanly powered people who, if the stories were true, must have been literally swarming the air all over America. It was a wonder that they were not constantly crashing into each other.

None of them had so much as glimpsed any of the extremely rare (in comparison) European so-called super-heroes, such as the Wild Huntsman or Wingman, and thus they were believed to be nothing more than constructs of the media, most likely fabricated in order to sell dishwasher detergent or something like that. First of all, if there really were super-heroes in existence, it made no sense to their way of thinking that 99.9 percent of them would be American. Odds were that there would be more super-heroes in the more densely populated areas of the world, like Asia and Europe. And why would the United States of America need so many super-heroes when so many other countries were in much greater need of their type of heroism, particularly those in the so-called Third World? There were people suffering under dictatorships all over the world, yet one was supposed to believe that the gaudily costumed super-heroes of America wasted their wondrous powers by constantly foiling bank robberies perpetrated by petty criminals who dressed in equally gaudy costumes. No, they all agreed that if super-heroes really did exist, they would be doing much more important things with their gifts. Thus it was easier to dismiss all this talk about super-heroes as so much rubbish.

The television coverage of last year’s alien invasions, however, had been very convincing. At the end of January, the world had been subjected to a blitzkrieg invasion by the Alien Alliance, which was defeated almost as quickly as it had begun. (*) Then, two weeks later, the world was invaded by another alliance of the Martians and the Atlanteans, which was also summarily defeated in turn. (*) And these were only the latest of the alien invasions that had occurred over the last fifteen years or so. Some of Schultz’s grandnephews began to look upon him in a different light. Perhaps he had been telling the truth about them all along. However, after their fathers carefully explained how the media could do so many amazing things with film nowadays, giving numerous examples — including a magician who once supposedly made the Statue of Liberty in America disappear — it was easily dismissed as another hoax, just like all the rest seen regularly on the television news. And they went back to their work, smug and satisfied with themselves once again.

[(*) Editor’s note: Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Strange Visitors and Justice League of America: Between Sea and Sky.]

Klaus Schultz, however, continued to be visited by extraterrestrial beings ever since last year’s invasion, almost as if outer space had been slowly heating up like a pressure cooker, and tonight was no exception. Thus he crept outside, being careful not to wake any of his relatives who were visiting, and he snuck out to the large fir tree in the middle of the field that had become the usual spot for the visitations.

“Hello?” he said in a clear but quiet voice. “Hello? Are you out there?”

After several minutes of waiting, Schultz finally sat down on the grass under the starry sky above and began to fall asleep once more. And he began to dream.

In his dream he was back on board the usual spacecraft he was taken up in. He could see the asteroid belt as they passed it by on their way to the outer planets. The aliens had once told him that the asteroid belt in Earth’s star system was actually once the fifth planet from the sun before it was completely destroyed, leaving only chunks of rock still floating in its orbit. They did not tell him what — or who — had been responsible for its destruction.

He watched from the craft as it continued to speed past Saturn and Jupiter, the ringed planets, and past Uranus and Neptune and finally Pluto. He had seen them all before. He was surprised to see a tenth planet now, though, slowly approaching the solar system. It was massive, much larger than Pluto, and as they continued to draw near to it, he could see that it was like no other planet at all. It had been artificially constructed, he realized with a gasp. That huge planet was one large assortment of machinery, like a tractor engine, only on a Brobdingnagian scale. But what purpose could it possibly have?

Schultz gulped as he recalled a movie one of his younger grandnephews was watching on television once, which had in it a planet very much like this one. It was called the Death-Star, he remembered. And it was nothing less than a world made solely for the purpose of war — a veritable War-World. Only that had been fiction. This planet before him looked all-too real.

He knew then that he was dreaming. However, he’d had dreams like this before. His missionary niece had once called them prophetic visions due to their always being accurate foretelling of the future or of things happening elsewhere in the present. This was one of those prophetic visions, he could tell. This War-World had come to the solar system on a mission to either conquer or destroy. And there would be no stopping them, he thought in despair. Somehow the aliens who had abducted him so many times had allowed him to see this for some reason — perhaps as a warning.

As he watched several small specks of light move out from the world like mosquitoes move out from a putrid pond, he suddenly realized that these were ships of war sent off where he had come from — no — where his physical body still was. And he struggled to return there first with all his might and wake himself up.

The small rural area outside of Salzburg, Austria, was disturbed that night by the elderly, bearded Klaus Schultz as he ran down the road from house to house, repeatedly shouting, “The aliens are coming! The aliens are coming!”

But like the boy who cried wolf once too often, no one believed him.

Continued in DC Universe: Invasion, Book 2: Battleground Earth

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