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Literature / The Maybe Invasion

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Another short story by The Lyniezian and a companion piece to Grangefield Park, telling the story from the perspective of Megan's (the principle character in that story) little sister Alice's perspective. May also be found on the author's blog.

In the tale, a young girl (Alice) bursts through the doors of a police station trying to warn the authorities of an incoming invasion from an unheard-of foreign power. She's taken through for questioning and rather more ominous details about the setting they inhabit than we might initially think.


Tropes present in this story include:

  • Alternate Universe: The Lyniezians are portrayed as being from one.
  • As the Good Book Says...: The Inspector utters "O Lord, make haste to help us" as if in prayer when the invasion starts, referencing Psalm 69.
  • Cassandra Truth: Played with. Whilst the regular police seem to be in confusion over whether to take Alice's report of an invasion seriously, the Secret Police take it as a probable ruse to cover up something else, but even then discount nothing.
  • Creator In-Joke: The utterance one character makes that "The bats really have left the belfry after all" by one character, which was meant to be a reference to the Alien Space Bats meme (they're implied to have influenced the creation of the dystopia). The Inspector's name also qualifies.
  • Creator Provincialism: Set somewhere in rural Yorkshire, not too far from where the author lives and a favourite area for visits.
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  • Dystopia: The setting, though it's intended not to be too obvious at first.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Alice thinks of herself as the Responsible Sibling in relation to Megan, though since Megan is simply rebelling against an oppressive and puritanical police state whilst Alice uncritically defends it at first, this turns out not to be quite so much the case as she thinks.
  • Historical In-Joke: The oppressive regime being a "Commonwealth" ruled over by a "Lord Protector" as a nod to the days of Oliver Cromwell.
  • No Woman's Land: Hinted at with the fact Alice is forced to wear a long skirt and headscarf despite no obvious religious reason to do so. Later made more explicit with the way the female police officers are treated and the roles they are relegated to, essentially an official policy of Stay in the Kitchen.
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  • One-Letter Name: The secret police's liason agent as addressed only as "F".
  • Police Are Useless: Played somewhat for drama, and justified as in a dystopian police state, the authorities seem to be as much about pinning the blame on whomever is most convenient as much as actually following up the leads they're given even when national security is at stake. Admittedly (as further revealed in Grangefield Park) they had very literal reason to suspect Jenny Everywhere of terrorist activity (just not that Jenny Everywhere) and to link Alice to a possible plot. Played straight and lampshaded in the case of PC Jones, the junior officer whose part in the proceedings appears to be nothing but to interrupt for no good reason.
  • Secret Police: As represented by agent "F".
  • Shout-Out: The names of some of the police officers, at least a couple alluding to the author's favourite cop shows.
    • The Inspector's name to the names of people the author knows personally.
    • The surname of the policewoman present at the interview is Cartwright, a shout-out to Annie Cartwright from Life on Mars (2006).
    • Another unseen policewoman is referred to by the name of Lacey.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: The Inspector towards WPC Cartwright, though it's hinted this is official policy.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The location of West Garth Farm is kept deliberately vague, as is which precise town the police station is in, other than that both are in Yorkshire.note 
  • You Have to Believe Me!: How Alice behaves pretty consistently as regards the invaders.

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