"But, Mum, it's just as I told you!"

"Sheep from the sky?" Siân Jenkins eyed her daughter curiously over the rim of her afternoon tea. "In the car park?"

"Aye."

"Flying?"

"No. Falling."

The older woman shook her head and set down her teacup, her other hand clenching to the Monday paper without her eyes even glancing to it.

"That's the most disturbing thing I've heard since The Life of Brian. Gwen, what have you been drinking? You didn't touch your father's bottle of flat cider did you?"

Gwen sighed with exasperation and fixed her steely greyish blue eyes on her mother.

"Mum, I'm telling you the truth! Think me mad all you want, but I saw it all with my own eyes!"

"Sit down and stop flailing your arms. You're worrying me." Siân got up from her seat, teacup and saucer in hand, and walked over to the kitchen sink.

"But…it really happened," muttered Gwen defensively as she sank into the chair across from her mother's abandoned one.

A college student in her third year, Gwen had always envisioned herself as the sensible sort of third-year university student. She didn't drink, didn't smoke, preferred reading to watching football or rugby, and always kept her wits tightly about her. Her ebony hair was always neatly brushed about her shoulders, and her clothes were smart and well matched. Ravings about falling sheep, however, seemed to blow that persona straight to the moon.

"Was anyone else there?" asked Siân lightly from where she stood washing the dishes.

"Plenty of people. According to one, it's the end of the world."

"Well, now, I never thought sheep could foreshadow such a thing."

"When they're falling from nowhere, it makes you wonder…."

"Regardless, Gwen, it's madness. Whatever this event was that happened at the shopping centre, it can be nothing but a prank pulled by the local lads. You know how teenagers get this time of year."

Gwen nodded slowly. She let her mother think she was right and her daughter mad. The young woman knew it wasn't a prank. Teenage boys weren't invisible and couldn't fly.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

Sardokken stared at her monitor for a brief minute, her crimson, almond-shaped eyes blinking in curiosity. Something just wasn't right. She couldn't place it, though. Tapping wildly away at her keyboard, all twelve of her fingers busily typing out coding, she tried to fix the gravitational regulator, but something was horribly amiss with it.

"Grilani!" she called over her shoulder to her partner who was busy at the controls in the cockpit. "Do you think you could head below and see what the matter is with this thing? You won't believe the things we're putting our charges through down on the surface."

Grilani turned around in his high-backed pilot seat, his emerald green eyes focusing on Sardokken with an odd look to them.

"What kind of problems?"

"Well…" began the other, "it's playing around with its capabilities for one. Whatever being has this genetic code"--she pointed to a series of As, Cs, Ts, and Gs--"is having a right fun time down there."

Grilani sighed heavily. He was Sardokken's senior by a good couple of light years, and, even though her knowledge with the gravitational regulator was extensive, she was definitely missing one vital point.

"Let me see," he said, leaning over her shoulder and using the keypad to scroll through what coding she had written out to fix the machine. Try as hard as he might, he couldn't find anything wrong with it.

"Well?"

"I'll check below."

"Right," replied Sardokken. She ran a hand through her long, lavender hair and sat back, awaiting the report as to what exactly was wrong with the regulator.

"Poor things…" she murmured after a few seconds, watching red blips appear at random throughout what the surface-dwellers called the British Isles. "Whatever they are, I'd really hate to be one of them right now."

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

Farmer Jones spent the entire day roaming the sheep pastures with a handful of other farmers. Every now and again, one would whistle and summon a barrow to cart away a sheep to the veterinary, whether it was injured or not. The locals had already come to call the infliction The Great Madness for no reason other than they had no notion as to what could possibly be causing it. The sheep were fine, more or less. It was the people that were going mad.

"I don't understand it, like," commented Farmer Davies as the pair took a break for tea that afternoon. "Why is this happening to the sheep?"

"Perhaps it's just time they moved, no doubt," replied Jones. "They've been roaming this grassy knoll for generations, now. Maybe they've actually tired of it at long last."

"Buggery!" exclaimed the other. "Sheep desire change? Now, the one that catapulted himself high up into the blue to never be seen again--where he landed is anyone's guess--but the others? Flattening yourself or getting your head lodged in a mud hole is not my idea of leaving."

"Nor mine, nor mine, but they've got to be wanting something."

"Maybe it's a sort of protest. The grass just ain't good enough for them any longer. Or the feed you're giving to them."

"These ain't just my sheep, Davies."

"True, true, but yours are where the problem began."

Jones let out a long breath through his nose. His friend was right…but he just didn't know how to explain it at all. Not even to himself.