The town of Morgan's Vale has nestled in the Wiltshire hills since in 1576, when it grew up about a chalk quarry (now abandoned) just outside the village. By and large it has remained peaceful, and relatively unaffected by drastic changes in the world outside the valley. Most of the current inhabitants have lived here for many years, if not generations, and everyone knows everyone else. Gossip is inevitable, but mostly good-hearted, and the Parish Magazine is felt to reflect the sense of community present among the villagers.
One problem the village has suffered from, and has done for enough years that nobody can remember when it started, is regular disturbances at the time of full moon. Initially, sheep and cows were found dead after every night of the full moon, savagely mauled and devoured by some wild beast. The local farmers and other keepers of animals have now made very strong pens in which to keep their flocks and herds at this time, and there has been evidence that the creature has turned to deer and rabbits. Local children are not allowed out of the house after dark at this time of the month, and few feel any temptation to break this rule. Dogs and cats also often appear terrified when the moon is full.
The villagers, however, are of a phlegmatic disposition. They know that one of their number is clearly a werewolf, but since thus far the creature has only struck under the irrestible influence of the full moon, they have not felt it necessary to uncover the otherwise innocent individual. Two of their number have trained as Seers in case a change of situation occurs.
Local lore has much to say on the subject of werewolves, which appear to have been a feature of life in the village for centuries. It is said that they remain safe most of the month unless they are subjected to great stress, in which case they can become extremely territorial even in human form. They are also alleged to be able to learn much about a corpse's physical state prior to death using their extremely acute sense of smell, even in human form, and to be immune to parasitic infection of all sorts.
In the late half of the 22nd century, several isolated communities were nearly destroyed by mysterious influences on apparently randomly selected citizens, causing them to attempt to murder all non-affected people. Investigation suggested that this was the result of a parasitic lifeform from outer space, some adults of which apparently choose Earth as a suitable place for a strange and horrible part of their life cycle.
The aliens operate by infecting certain animals with their larvae, which quickly grow into the hosts' nervous system, assimilating much of the creatures' knowledge and habits. These larvae mature in a matter of weeks inside the hosts they control, and with sufficient privacy can move on to the next stage of development, of which nothing is known. The alien desire for privacy appears to be what drives the host/larva constructs to destroy all others of the host species in the vicinity, from which it may be speculated that the next stage in development is very vulnerable for a time. In all communities which have so far been targetted, however, the breeding attempt has failed when the infected humans were killed by the uninfected ones.
Governments around the world are obviously concerned about this, and are keeping it very quiet so as not to cause mass hysteria. The current policy is to isolate all affected communities and let them sort it out internally.
More effectively, however, a secret society known to its members as the Illuminati have been working to gather scientific data about the aliens. Willing to use deeply unethical experimental methods, they have developed a very rare vaccine against takeover, currently available only to members, and the means to test a few people for infection. The Illuminati have spread to the point where there are several in most settlements.
On the night of Saturday the 23rd, strange lights were observed in the sky above Morgans Vale, and loud mechanical noises on roads through the village near the houses. This was recognised by government officials, who interviewed villagers by telephone, as consistent with the first signs of alien invasion as seen in several other isolated communites.
The area was immediately placed in quarantine and observed from outside. The first murder appeared to confirm the suspicions of invasion, and it was decided, as in the other cases, to let the villagers get on with it.Back to Index