When they came to Earth, most called it the end of the world.
Irene called it ironic.
She remembered how it was before they came. She'd been sitting in her car, fingers tapping the steering wheel in time to the newest pop hit.
Irene stared at the red light, willing it to turn green. The car behind her was slowly creeping forward, and she could tell it was ready to honk. Jacka**.
The change on the radio programming was so abrupt Irene automatically slammed her foot onto the gas in shock. All around her people did the same thing, cars jerking forward in a surprised wave.
"We interrupt this broadcast to bring you an international news update. Right now in Central Park we are seeing what could be the beginning of an extraterrestrial invasion. We ask all to stay calm and out of the streets. We repeat, stay calm and out of the streets..."
The newscaster kept repeating the message of safety. Irene almost laughed. Must be another AlyenPlanet-sponsored scheme, she thought. Some kinda throwback to The War of the Worlds, or something.
She looked around to the other people waiting at the stoplight. Most were shaking their heads or grinning. Even the idiot behind her was rolling his eyes.
AlyenPlanet had hands in everything now. After the release of the first movie in 2020 the company gained so much money at the midnight release they became richer in one day than most countries become in 5 years. It was incredible.
Whether you sold Carmen Sanchez (Lead actor/alyen killer of the franchise) bobble heads at Hot Topic or accidentally appeared as an extra in a promo, everyone was connected to AlyenPlanet.
The official website, www.alyenonline.com, was second in popularity only to Google, and that was because Google had payed them a hecking lot to say so. You could play games, read articles, post in forums, find your soul mate, or even order your groceries all from your AlyenOnline account.
Over a dozen movies, three TV shows, and thousands of fan-made videos populated screens everywhere. People said it was like someone had taken StarWars (Irene hadn't heard of those old movies until she was a teen) and cranked it to a thousand. Everyone liked AlyenPlanet, or at least lived with it.
So, when the radio broadcast came on, and a man started talking about "extraterrestrial beings" landing in Central Park, the world laughed. It was just like the setup the to first AlyenPlanet movie. Some people were even quoting along in their cars.
The people around Irene grinned and shook their heads and waited for the light to turn green, fingers already fumbling around to find a channel that was playing real music.
That was until they realized the light wasn't going to turn green. Until they realized this same broadcast was playing on every channel around the world. Until they realized the ground was shaking. Until they realized the world was at war.