KITH AND KIN
FILE NO. 1398
NEWS REPORT—JACOB LAWSON, BBC LONDON
Location: Regent’s Park, London, England
A twenty-story-tall metallic figure appeared in the middle of Regent’s Park this morning. Caretakers at the London Zoo were the first to notice it at around 4 A.M. Standing on one of the Hub’s football pitches at the north end of the park, the figure, or robot, bears a resemblance, in both size and shape, to the UN robot we now know as Themis. This new giant, however, appears to be a man, or shall I say is made in the image of a man. It is much more muscular than the slender feminine titan that visited London less than a year ago, perhaps taller as well. Its colour is also different, a lighter grey than the UN robot, and it is striated with yellow light, in contrast to the turquoise-veined Themis.
According to early witnesses, the robot appeared out of thin air in the middle of the park. “It wasn’t there, then it was,” said one of the zookeepers. Fortunately, the football pitches at the Hub were deserted at this hour, and not a single casualty has been reported. It is unknown, of course, whether this early appearance was deliberate, as we do not know where this robot came from or who sent it. If this is indeed a robot like Themis, and if it is controlled in the same manner as she is, there could be pilots aboard. If pilots there are, are they Russian, Japanese, or Chinese? Or are they from somewhere else entirely? We can only speculate at this juncture. There might be no one at all in this giant structure. In the four hours it has been standing here, it has not moved an inch.
The Earth Defense Corps (EDC) has yet to issue an official statement. Dr. Rose Franklin, head of the scientific division, was reached in Geneva, where she was to give a speech later this morning. She would not speculate as to the origin of this second robot but has assured us that it is not part of the UN planetary defence. If true, this would suggest that either a second alien robot has been discovered on Earth and kept from us or that this one does not come from our planet. In New York, the EDC has scheduled a press conference for three o’clock London time.
The Earth Defense Corps, which was founded nine years ago by the United Nations following the American discovery of the Themis robot, is tasked with extracting new technologies from the alien artifact for the benefit of mankind and to protect this planet against extraterrestrial threats. Only time will tell if we are facing such a threat today.
No word yet from His Majesty’s Government, but sources say the Prime Minister will address the nation within the hour. The British people will not have to wait to hear from the other side of the aisle. The official opposition was quick to issue a statement earlier today, immediately calling for the Prime Minister to offer some reassurances. Opposition leader Amanda Webb took to the air about an hour ago, saying: “There is an alien device with potentially devastating power standing in the middle of London and all the Prime Minister has seen fit to do is to restrict access to one city park. Can he tell the thirteen million people who live in the Greater London Area that they are safe? If he can, he owes the British people an explanation, and if he can’t, I for one would like to know why we aren’t talking about evacuation.” The former Foreign Secretary went on to suggest that Central London be evacuated first, something that, by her calculation, could be accomplished in an orderly manner in less than forty-eight hours.
Londoners, for their part, appear in no hurry to go anywhere. Perhaps as surprising as the robot’s appearance is the utter nonchalance the population has displayed since. The towering figure is visible from most of London, and while one might expect civic unrest, or a massive exodus from the city, Londoners, for the most part, have gone about their business; many have even made their way towards Regent’s Park to see this new titan up close. The police have closed off the area south of Prince Albert and north of A501 between A41 and Albany Street, but some have managed to escape their attention and found their way into the park. The police even had to evacuate a family that was preparing for a picnic, a mere few steps from the giant metallic feet of the intruder.