The inhabitants of a six-block suburban area are abducted one night by an alien probe, using a means of teleportation to transport the entire neighborhood to another planet, Luminos. The intention of the Luminoids is to study the feasibility of enslaving the entire human race to do manual labor on their planet, since Luminoids themselves suffer from a genetic disease that condemns them to become as immobile as rocks as they age. But, the aliens must overcome humanity's own susceptibility to that disease - from either a touch, or by breathing the same air - and the willpower of mankind's resistance to slavery. The abductees soon discover that if they survive the humid, viral climate, and avoid the possibility of becoming infected, the immobile Luminoids will abduct Earth's remaining population, condemning them to enslavement. In the end, the abductees decide to sacrifice themselves for the sake of mankind by voluntarily contracting the same disease, thus driving the Luminoids' feasibility study to a failure, and forcing them to give up on their goal. Back on Earth, all that's left of their neighborhood is a crater that's been cordoned off by the authorities.
A Tropability Study:
- Bittersweet Ending: The protagonists' Heroic Sacrifice ensures the safety of the rest of humanity.
- Heroic Sacrifice: An epic example, since an entire neighborhood of people sacrifices themselves to save the whole human race.
- Human Aliens: What the Luminoids apparently were before contracting the disease.
- Mass Teleportation: Kicks off the plot.
- Rousseau Was Right
- Rousing Speech: Simon Holm gives one to his neighbors to convince them to infect themselves.
- Shout-Out: One of the streets in the transported Earth neighborhood is Midgard Drive. Midgard is the name given to Earth, the realm of humans, in Norse Mythology.
- Viral Transformation: Humans can catch the virus through touch, or just by breathing the same air as an infected Luminoid.
- We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: A lampshade is hung on this trope when the Luminoid spokesman explains their plan to Simon Holm, who exasperatingly asks what use they could possibly have for slaves when they have the technology to move a giant chunk of a distant planet thousands of light years to their present location. The alien sheepishly responds that they consider using this technology for menial labor to be demeaning.
- What You Are in the Dark: The population of Earth will never know that the courage of the abductees saved all humanity from slavery. As Simon puts it:Simon: Thats the whole bright mystique of life, isnt it? Choice. Maybe thats what the soul is: choice.