They came from the darkest night astronomers have ever known. Nobody expected them ; not even Nostradamus had foreseen such a thing. Yet they are on Earth now. How did they manage to cross this space that mankind hardly begins to grasp? This is a question which can only be answered by them.
But their landing near the famous Stonehenge site has severely shaken the Pax Britannica. Scholars and officers alike are eager to fathom the reasons why they came so suddenly, and the Regent insistently urges them to provide him with a logical answer. But ignorance is the general rule, and no one can explain the arrival of these beings. Is England being invaded?
These travellers from another world came aboard a ship which looked like a huge bud or a gigantic pod. This unknown structure did not resist the impact of the landing. The army soon besieged the site and after forty days of observation, some scouts were sent to try and assess the threat. They discovered the passengers of this unusual vehicle and could hardly describe them, but they did not seem dangerous. Some scholars – who had been stamping their feet with impatience – were finally allowed to meet the strangers. They came along with pastors whose task was to find out whether this celestial phenomenon was heaven-sent.
The creatures did not match with any theological canon and they were certainly not angels, so they were eventually considered as extra-terrestrial. Once the first thrill was over, more appropriate measures had to be taken. Leaving these “invaders” in the English countryside was simply out of question. The first studies led to the conclusion that the creatures were very weak because of Sir Isaac Newton’s gravity, which they found difficult to cope with. The army’s headquarters was comforted, but some said the whole thing might just be cunning. It was decided that the visitors should be conveyed to a place especially made for them, where they could be kept under close watch both by scientists who wanted to study them and by the army. Faced with such an unprecedented problem, the government decided to organize an international contest in order to find the genius who may be able to design the appropriate kind of jail.
The jury, whose members were prominent scientists sworn to secrecy, selected the project of a French engineer, Gustave Eiffel. The clever engineer created steam-powered multipods able to transport their precious cargo to Hyde Park. A magnificent greenhouse, called “the Embassy” was built in record time in the park where the great 1851 universal exhibition had been displayed.
Faced with the extra-terrestrials’ utter passivity and the failure of all the attempts made to communicate with them, the Regent allowed experiments to be made with them “as long as the moral implications of life were respected”. The extra-terrestrial guinea pigs’ indifference to the experimenters’ inventiveness puzzles London profoundly. What is the danger threatening the British Empire?