What Everybody Knows-
Not much. For weeks there have been bright lights, then bright oval rings, in the night sky, so bright this morning that they were visible in the day-time. There has been panic and hysteria online and over the air-waves. Lies told boldly in news-conferences, we don't *not* know what is going on, of course, but it's alright and your government is taking care of it…
The world didn't end, not for most people, just for you.
You went about your business that morning, whether it was forting up or standing tall, stepping up, and doing your job in the face of fear and chaos. Wherever you were, suddenly white filaments dropped out of the sky and around you, vehicles, buildings… and into the ground. A fine mist sprayed down, clouds appeared in a cloudless sky, and the earth moved, heaved.
Then up you went, into the sky.
Those rings? Some kind of transport system. No UFOs, except, well, we didn't know what they were, no tractor beams and anal probes, though we did get screwed over and abducted. Along with our cars, our homes, our places of work… large chunks of them. A swath of Main Street, from half the library on the West-bound side to the whole drug store by King on the East-bound side, a farm, a used car lot, some railroad tracks with a coal-car, a tractor trailer with dry-goods for S-Mart (but no driver, lucky bastard).
All up into the sky with twice the weight we were accustomed to, let down slowly by soft filaments wrapping us like a precious bundle. You had just over an hour to freak out while the heaviness tilted sideways and then fell away. By the time the Earth was above us and thousands of miles away, we felt half as heavy.
Then nothing, free-falling away…
The aliens peeled your apple, strip-mined dozens of fifty-foot sections of the planet. As terrifying as it was for you, you wonder what it was like for them, on the ground, that two hours of impotence-
You saw at least one nuke go off, down there. God have mercy on them.
The strip was like an A-frame house with window-walls. Air inside, vacuum inches away, dirt 'under' our feet when the strip began to twist and spin sideways like David's sling. You felt light, but at least down was down again. The Sun and Earth went around once a minute or so. Twelve hours later, you sailed past the Moon, and kept going.
A day or two later you came up, fast, on a glowing circle. Watched it coming, growing for maybe an hour, then went through much too fast to see what was going on.
You weren't in the Solar System, any more.
They started to roll your strip of Earth up right away, but did that more slowly, thankfully, so you got to rubber-neck a little. Wherever you were, now, the sun was an orange-color and maybe twice as big as the Sun back home. There were many, many 'cocoons', maybe, cylinders with cones on either end, three times as long as they were wide, attached to branches on what looked, maybe, a little like a tree. After a moment you realized that each of them was turning slowly.
The leading end of your strip curled over and lapped itself, then your bit zipped up next to curled strip and there was a hundred feet of ground to the left, then fifty, a hundred, a hundred and fifty, then more, to the right. The sky turned on your left, and slowly that end of the cylinder was butted up into a cone…
The abducting, absconding, aliens rolled your bit of earth up into one of the spinning cocoons and lit it up with an artificial sun which crept from one end of the space to the other in twelve hours, and went out for twelve more before repeating at the original end… maybe somebody should tell them that that direction was North, Northwest, before.
Maybe you will.
Orbital Velocity = V = (9.82*12,760/2*1,000)^.5 = 7,915.3 m/sPeriod = Circumference/Orbital Velocity = 12,760*pi/7.9153 = 5,064.46 seconds, 5,064.46/60 = 84.4 minutes.
84.4*(4/3)^1.5 = 129.9 minutes; half of that is just over an hour.