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This is it. You finally made it to the corner office. You're the second youngest VP in your whole company (but technically the other one got his job through nepotism, so...). You've worked super hard, made sacrifices, been ruthless, and here you are, looking out on the East River
Sure, it's Long Island City and not Manhattan, but you can't see the Chrysler building from inside the Chrysler building, you know?

As you take a moment to bask, you notice a smoke trail arc down from the sky. It's... it's fast. And it's headed for the river.

What do you do?
you check twitter to see what everyone else is saying. You've just clicked over to trending topics and seen that #EastRiverAsteroid is trending when

BOOM

It hits the water right outside your building. The magnetized executive toy on your desk starts clacking with the impact.
You bust out of your office and run. God damn, this is the first time you’ve regretted working on the 35th floor.

How do you get out?
There’s no way you’re going to just stand there on that slow fucking elevator. You book it down the stairs. Thank god you just finished your fifth round of P90X. You reach the lobby to see the street is filled with mist.

Wait, not mist.

Steam.

What do you do?
You check twitter again. There's hundreds of bad pictures and blurry video circulating already. In some of them, it looks like the asteroid -- or whatever it is -- is glowing a kind of pinky-purple color. Weird. I mean it's been a while since you got your physics minor from MIT
And let's be honest, you've not really kept up with the literature. But that doesn't sound like what an asteroid is supposed to happen. You strain your brain back to your chem class on metals. Maybe it's just high in potassium? But some of these pictures look very... oval.
You call Professor Chen. "Hi," You stumble "I, uh, don't know if you remember me but I took your class a few years back."

"Well, generally I make a point of forgetting the ones we lose to the petit-bourgeois pigpen of finance"

You roll your eyes. You forgot she was like this.
“Ok, yes, funny. So I’m, like, feet away from whatever the fuck it is that hit the East River?”

You hear her sit bolt upright in her seat.

“Show me.”

You don’t know what to—

“SHOW. ME.”

What do you do?
You FaceTime her. She’s in her cluttered little office. Planets and rocket ships dangle from the ceiling.

“You called me up to show me some mist through a glass door??”

“No. Right.”

You open the door. It’s hot to the touch. You step out. it’s impossible to see

What do you do
You step confidently towards where, ten minutes ago at least, the river was. Within three steps you can't see anything. You hear the distant honking of a car alarm, the rumble of the 7 train and a quiet but persistent hisssss. It's coming from the direction you're walking toward
You keep walking, being extra careful to place your feet.

"ooh this is so spooky!" cackles Dr Chen. She's right. It's horribly spooky. But, well, you kinda didn't know that you'd missed this kind of excitement. Not that you'd ever had it before. You're far too focused on work.
"what do you think it is?" you ask her, mostly to distract yourself.

"who knows!" She replies, gleefully. "Asteroid, satellite, military vessel, internet prank, false flag attempt by our fascist overlords to declare martial law"

"spaceship?"

"just keep walking, we'll see"
As you get closer to the river, your Apple watch starts pinging. You assume it's just your mom, who panics every time anything interesting happens within 20 miles of NYC. You look. Over and over, it's the same message.

STOP

STOP

STOP

STOP

STOP

STOP

STOP

what do you do?
You ignore the messages. Honestly you’re not sure you could get back at this point, so you may as well keep going.

It’s getting really hot. You take off your jacket and throw it over your shoulder (it’s new, dammit!)

You start to see a pinkish glow through the steam.
STOP

STOP
You walk towards the light. It pulses through the steam. The hissing noise now has a clicky-clacky-ticky-swish underneath. You can smell the river mud twinned with burning and ozone. Can you smell ozone?

“It’s the smell before a summer storm” the doc tells you.

Yes, that’s it.
Then — oh my god. There’s a shape moving in the steam. It’s hard to make out exactly what it is except that it’s person shaped. Well, ish. And that it’s glowing with the same purple-pink light as the asteroid. Or whatever it was.

“Fascinating.” Breathes Doctor Chen.

What now?
Fuck it. You're the second youngest VP in your fucking company and you're not gonna freak out about this.

"Hello!" You yell with a cheeriness that you do not feel. "Hello over there!"

You see its head turn. It begins moving towards you.

What do you do?
You stay put, trying to seem collected but non-threatening. You wipe your sweaty palms on your shirt but it's pointless, you're sodden from the steam.

You hear a quiet crunch from your phone. Somehow, from somewhere, Dr Chen is eating popcorn.

The shape begins to emerge.
It's big. Maybe like 6'5" or so. Its feet click on the concrete of the sidewalk. As it comes into your full view, you realize that it's... cute? Or at least it's designed to look that way. Because it is designed - some kind of suit with large eyes.

It reaches out its right hand.
You hear "Are you crazy??" from Dr Chen as you put your hand into its. It inspects your hand then jerks you in closer. A strange tingle that you somehow know is the same pink-purple as the... alien? You hear more clicks and whirrs then it lets you go. A panel opens up in the suit
You’re maybe the first human to ever meet an alien and damned if you’re gonna show it that you’re afraid of it. IT should be afraid of YOU. I mean, not really but boy are you doing a great job of not freaking out.

A black rod extends from the panel and a light turns on inside it
A hologram appears in the air in front of you. It’s a lumpy looking ball surrounded by four cloudy halos with tiny balls zig-zagging around inside of them.

“Is.. is this your planet?” You ask it.

“Capitalism has rotted your already soft brain!” You hear from your phone.
“That, you waste-of-a-good-education, is potassium!”

“So you’re telling me.” You say unbelieving “that this alien crashed in the East River to get a banana??”

What do you do?
“Uh, well, there’s a bodega on the corner, let’s go there.” You gesture to the alien to follow you.

Nobody is going to believe your first day in the new job story.

You walk slowly to the corner and enter the bodega.
you usher the alien (I guess you are thinking of it as an alien now) into the bodega, hoping that none of the wild gestures you are doing are offensive.

"hi, this is an alien" you say to the guy behind the counter. He doesn't seem impressed.

You grab a bunch of bananas.
You place the bananas in the alien's hand. It looks at them, you hear more clicks and whirs, and the bananas turn to dust. Tiny purple mites fly out of the dust and get sucked into the suit.

"you're paying for that!" comes quietly over the counter

Ok. Well what do you do now?
You go to grab more bananas. The alien follows you over and, before you can touch them, vaporizes them. More of the specks absorb into the suit.

It turns to you and projects the atom again.

Well fuck, when did you become an aliensitter?

Also, nbd but it can vaporize shit.
"What am I supposed to do here, Doc?" you ask, exasperated. "I'm in over my head here."

"coconut water."

"what?"

"look. At some point the feds are going to turn up, and they're going to take this... whatever it is, and then they're going to cut it up and cover it up."
"so give the thing some coconut water. For science! And for me"

BOOM

BOOM

BOOM

Something's going on outside. Something big. Your Apple watch starts buzzing again. Two words, over and over. Bring them. Bring them. Bring them. Bring them.

What do you do?
You go grab some coconut water out of the fridge for the

BOOM

— look, you wish it didn’t work on you but this alien is really super cute

BOOM

and there’s some base instinct in you to protect it.

It gleefully vaporizes the whole fridge worth when

BOOOMCRACKCRASHBANG
The whole front of the bodega is ripped clean off.

“YOU’RE PAYING FOR THAT TOO!” You hear screamed from behind the counter.

Through the dust and steam you see another alien.

But this one ain’t so cute.

💫TO BE CONTINUED 💫

(Tomorrow, this website is free)
Is everybody sitting comfortably? Good. Then we’ll begin.
“WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT!!” Shouts Dr Chen.

“I AM looking at it!” You reply. God, this woman.

The smaller alien’s lights pulse. It runs through the aisle of the bodega, knocking detergent and ramen off the shelves with its big head.

It reaches the back door but can’t open it.
You duck and run to the back and push the crossbar that opens the door. The alien follows you through.

You’re in a storage room, piled high with boxes of dry goods. A battered old deep freeze fizzes in one corner.

There are three closed doors.

What do you do?
The freezer is full of too-frosty ice creams and various suspicious meats. You check the boxes and find one labeled

LOW SODIUM SALT SUBSTITUTE

Which is mostly potassium chloride.

You can hear the shop behind you being pulled apart.

What next?
You open up the box and show it to the alien. It vaporizes it. This time, it’s more like a stream of purple than a few specks. It’s eyes glow yellow and it starts running maniacally around the tiny room, knocking over everything in sight. Weird light displays surround it.
“Oh my god.” You hear from your phone. “Is it high?? Did you give the alien alien-cocaine??”

“Not on purpose??” You whisper-yell.

“I think you have to be open to the possibility that you drugged a ch-“

The wall behind you explodes backwards. Oh my god that other alien is big.
“Look, this... whatever it is your... child maybe I guess, asked me for potassium so I got it some. I didn’t mean for this to happen! All I wanted was to have a good first day in my new job, and now my new suit is ruined and you don’t understand any of this, do you. Great.”
The big alien has no interest in excuses. It’s too focused on corralling the little one, who is at this point, literally bouncing off the walls and the ceiling.

“Maybe its planet has higher gravity than ours, and that’s why it can jump so high”

You wish she’d be more worried.
You’ve done enough interfering for one day. You hunker down next to the deep freeze and aim your phone so Dr Chen can get the best view possible.

The big one finally manages to get the little one under control. Flickers of light pass between them. It’s beautiful, honestly.
They start to leave the ruins of the bodega, when the little one stops. More flickers of light pass between them.

It comes up to you and painstakingly makes the same “come, follow” gestures that you made leading it in here.

What do you do?
You follow on behind. What else can you do? You have to see this through.

The steam has started to clear. It’s still foggy, but more atmospheric than blinding.

You follow the strange little family (why are you anthropomorphising them?? Human brains are dumb) back to their ship
It’s a huge bright pink glowing oval, about the size of a terraced house, or your CEO’s yacht. It’s flickering with lights in the same way that you saw the two aliens communicating earlier.

It’s surrounded by cops.

“Ugh. Pigs.” Dr Chen mutters. “I told you, a cut and cover job”
You run in front of the aliens, waving your arms wildly to stop them.

“Hi! You need to stop. Those guys are dangerous. We’re not all like this—“

“Yes we are” pipes up Dr Chen

“But these guys...” you mime guns and being killed, hoping that they understand.

They keep walking.
You go along with them. It’s eerily quiet except for the click-clack-clang of their feet on the street. The smaller one is still super hyped, sometimes running tiny laps around its ?parent?.

The POP of a loudhailer breaks the moment. A man’s voice.

STEP. AWAY. FROM. THE ALIENS
You stand in front of the aliens, arms outstretched in protection. You’re sure you look ridiculous- they’re huge, if the cops wanted to shoot them they could, and in any case, who knows what those suits do? But you know if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to live with yourself.
“I don’t think they mean any harm!” You yell out. “The little one was just hungry”

Another POP from the loudhailer. “MY PROTOCOL STATES THAT IF YOU DO NOT MOVE, WE WILL BE FORCED TO MOVE YOU.”

What do you do
Your Apple Watch stopped buzzing a while back, but you realize it must have been them, the big alien or someone aboard the ship, sending you these messages.

Which means that maybe you can send one back.

What do you tell them?
You send the text. For a tense second nothing happens.

Then another.

Then ano—

The ship lifts up out of the river. Steam once again obscures everything. You hear a brief rattle of machine guns, then feel a weird buzzing through your feet.

Then quiet.

The aliens start walking
“Did you just kill a bunch of cops?” Asks Dr Chen.

“Shut up! Maybe. Fuck.” You reply.

“Hey, I’m proud of you!”

“Well, great. That’s what I was aiming for” you snap sarcastically.

It’s hard to see through the steam, except that you notice... nothing. There’s nothing here.
You reach the ship. A panel opens and a ramp extends out. The aliens go up, the smaller one running.

You pause for a second. The smaller one runs back. You realize it’s come back to get you.

What do you do? Are you going to leave your home, your planet? After you JUST made VP?
Fuck it. Fuck it! You’ve lived such a safe life up until now. Hard, maybe, challenging, definitely, but safe. All the “right” choices. But here’s your chance to be more than just a cog in the machine.

You’re going to go to SPACE.

“Hi, Dr Chen? I have to go.”
“Of course you do! Get on that spaceship! But take good notes. And photos if you can. And come back here with samples or I’ll find a way to find you and I’ll kill you with my bare hands.”

You laugh. “Ok! I’ll do my best. But only if you let me into your PhD program”

You hang up
You look around, take one last, big lungful of air, and climb aboard the ship.

Now THIS is going to be an adventure!

💫 THE END 💫
Thanks for playing with me 😊
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