I can remember the colors of nighttime.
There were the dark blues and indigoes; the orange and pink and ochre and yellow of sunsets. There was the green of the last of day reflecting off a cloud. Pale, pale pink and white, an imperfect diamond whose carbon lattice is shifted just enough to reflect traces of the color - Mars traversing. White and grey and hints of brown on the Moon. I remember all those colors. Boron traces of another diamond, this one blue enough to be Venus.
The cracking towers roar a flue of condensate and particulates, contamination spilling into the choking air of Earth around the feet of the Eggs.
Twenty stories tall, two hundred stories tall. Resting almost daintily among fractured skyscrapers in downtown Chicago; settling far enough into the earth in Soweto that the bottom half of the ovoid is underground. Perched impossibly atop a minor peak in the Alps, balanced on one hind quarter looking like the entire gigaton thing was glued to the side of the mountaintop, a cardboard shape dropped casually above the modelmaker's table.
There is no more night. The Eggs see to that.
They appear to be solid. None have ever opened. But around their bases, the soil and the rock and the trees and the grass and the water has slowly, over the course of years, flowed and flowered into form. Organic curves but regular patterns, they extend out from each Egg for some distance. At first, they thought these forms were some kind of building or preparation, that the Eggs' inhabitants (whether foetal, or embryonic, or just taciturn) would reveal themselves when the preparations were complete.
Elements rush into the bumps and shapes, where strange things happen to space. Monatomic hydrogen and gouts of pure carbon fire emerge from the top, proof that some form of alchemical transformation is occurring. Before we fell, we studied the outgassing; measured the heat of the flames and the density of the air, determined to reverse engineer the industry that was killing us.
Later, it was generally agreed that calling it industry was premature.
The Eggs loom silently over our Earth, and pay no heed to the scrabbling that goes on beneath them. They cannot be harmed, or shifted. We have tried earthmoving equipment, low explosive, high explosive, and prompt criticality through supercriticality. Lasers and kinetics and corrosives and water and fire. No discoloration occurs, no residue remains. If the ground beneath an Egg is destroyed, the surrounding earth will flow slowly in to replace it. The Egg will not move, relative to the center of the Earth's mass. If this means it remains above the surface until the flow ceases, then so be it. It does not hover or fly; rather, it remains still, and reality sheepishly conforms to it.
At last count, inaccurate as it was, there were twenty million humans left on earth.
It's been nine years. There remains a wealth of ruin and resource; a technological infrastructure bult to support eight billion leaves plenty for one four-hundredth of that. We have communications, and transport, and medications. But they will run out, one day, and we cannot agree on which things to begin to build anew. No one wants to plan for building human-powered technology; to admit that we have lost two centuries of ourselves. No one can admit that we simply do not have the numbers nor the freedom to build what we had, but smaller.
Perhaps half of those alive today steadfastly ignore the Eggs, which requires grim determination. By estimates taken when we had satellites, there is an Egg of some size perhaps every twenty or thirty square miles of Earth.
We do not know where they came from. We do not know what they are doing, if anything. We do not know why.
What we know is that they descended from space, simultaneously; appearing at the outer edge of the atmosphere in silent synchronicity, descending with the regularity of the tide. Their velocities varied, based on the height of their eventual resting spot, such that all touched the Earth together.
She shuddered. No one who is alive will forget that feeling, the moment of unfamiliar motion that some have anthropomorphized as pain; others pleasure, others stubbornly insisting on measurement of energies released and mass in contact, physics and geology and turbulence and hydrodynamics reducing over pages of equations to a number which can represent that shudder, perhaps even explain its proximate cause, but cannot name it.
The Sun rotates through our sky, unchanged, but now, when it drops near the horizon, the burning plumes sputter and shift, elements we cannot even guess at combining in ways we can no longer plumb to produce arcs of light brilliant enough to read by ten miles away, as the air shrieks and moans in its tortured rush into the pyres. Storms appear and disappear, and there is no clear sky anymore - just a grey and silent palette which is painted with the flames.
Today I heard a frog sounding in a field.
I knelt down and cupped my hand over it.
When I lifted it to my eye, it looked at me, and in its unblinking pupil I saw myself, from above, the Egg looking down.