Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer

It has always been the way that the skies inspired images of freedom and escape from the troubles of the now. “The sky belongs to none”, as my grandfather used to say.
We’ve had Eflubian motherships and Targamor raidcraft, Claflandian God-discs and Rablag Hulks. Nothing changed the facts that the skies remained free and humanity regarded the sky as their property no matter what came thundering through it to place a claim upon our resurgently verdant planet.

It was nineteen months after the last Rablag Hulk fell, taking the last of our militaries with it, when someone noticed that the birds were flying low. That may not seem like much, but those who observed eagles and similar high flying species agreed: the birds didn’t ascend as far.

Then David Meocrid flew his aircar above one-thousand feet and something tore him to pieces inside the craft, as he chatted on videocam with his business partners. Without that video, chances are we would have carried on for a while before anything was spotted as unusual.

There’s something in the sky, and it doesn’t like life, in any form, trying to share its airspace. We even sent up some geraniums in a basket slung under a balloon. It was all very scenic until one-thousand-an-one-feet up, whereupon the flowers became confetti. Within a month of what was named ‘the Meocrid Incident’, anything that ascended above a thousand feet had any organic ‘components’ shredded.

A year later, mankind had adapted and sea travel was burgeoning again. Then the sky started turning purple in places. While many powerful or curious people tried to work out what was ‘up there’, most people just changed their way of doing things. The tourism industries took a hit, and anything that depended on flying went under. Apart from the occasional sensationalist news pieces and the odd prophet or two, things seemed to be business as usual.

Except we knew that the skies weren’t ours anymore. People don’t look up to the heavens these days. We just go about our business and stay under open skies for as short a time as possible. Something else owns our sky and too many of us spend too much time worrying and waiting for the day it decides that the heavens are not enough.