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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: The Day That the Rains Didn't Come "The Day That the Rains Didn't Come"
Author Unknown
V Annual 1986 (World International Publishing Ltd.)

The Visitors use their superior scientific knowledge to plot a devastating flood against human resistance.

Story Summary

A fifth columnist named Steven has informed the L.A. resistance of the Visitors' plot to cause a tremendous flood by triggering torrential rains. Elizabeth and Willie write a computer program that should halt the Visitors' plan and make them believe that their calculations for it are erroneous.

Later, while others plant explosives at a Visitor chemical plant and blow them as a diversion, Donovan, Kyle, and Elizabeth sneak into the cargo hold of a shuttle heading back to the mothership. But they never arrive at their destination. Instead, the cargo doors open and they are looking into the faces and gun muzzles of four guards led by Diana. They struggle with the guards but are overcome. Suddenly, the second resistance team drives up and rescues them with the help of a bazooka, but their mission to sabotage the Visitors' flood plan is seemingly thwarted.

Later, Elizabeth explains that she recognized one of the guards as Steven and slipped the computer tape to him to plant the glitch in the system. When the weather is still hot and dry two days later, they know Steven was successful.

THE END

 

Didja Know?

This story appeared in the British V Annual 1986, a kids book of short stories, articles, and games all about V. The stories are all pretty lame. There is a page of V jokes, described as being anti-Visitor jokes told by the humans of occupied Earth; the jokes are all bad as well, but I kind of like this one: Q: What's worse than seeing a Visitor's tongue? A: Seeing its tonsils.
V Annual 1986

Didja Notice? 

The resistance's fifth column contact in this story is named Steven. I guess the Visitors recycled the name after the Visitor security chief by that name died in "The Final Battle"!

As the story opens, Steven is taping over a hairline crack in his camera. The illustration appears to show him with a standard Earth 35mm camera. But why does he have such an unusual (for a Visitor) item? It seems like it's supposed to be a setup for events later in the story, yet it's never used nor mentioned again! I guess he just wanted to snap some pix of his human pals!

As the resistance members drive down the road to head to the Visitor chemical plant to cause a diversion and steal aboard a shuttle to the mothership, they are suddenly attacked from the air by skyfighters. Why were they attacked? How did the Visitors know this particular van was a threat?

Who is sitting to Kyle's right in the van on page 8? The dark, frizzy hair doesn't seem to match any of the characters described in the story. If anything, it looks like Robin's hairdo in early episodes of the weekly series.
Donovan, Kyle, and mysterious passenger

On page 9, Abe refers to the Visitors as "reptilicus nasticus". Possibly this is a reference to the low-budget cult-classic 1961 film Reptilicus. Other than that, I have no special point to make about it, I just like all the nicknames the humans give to the Visitors.

The presence of Diana at the chemical plant for the capture of the resistance members might suggest that she knew about the infiltration attempt that was to take place. But how? We're never told.

On page 12, a Visitor guard is about to kill Elizabeth during her struggle with him. Diana stops him, saying, "No! Afterwards--by all means you may have her. But first...first we must do the experiments." This seems a bit out of character for Diana though, to say that about Elizabeth. The others, yes, maybe...but with Elizabeth she has tried to give the impression that they are friends who can help each other achieve greatness.

At the end of the story, the resistance members realize the computer sabotage must have worked because the Visitors' plan to cause a huge flood of rain has not occurred. What was the Visitors' full plan? We learn only that a flood was planned, apparently by artificially triggering massive rains. It must have been a plan focused solely on Los Angeles or the southern California region, because it's not too likely they could flood the entire world, despite Al's description of the plan as an apocalypse. Still, if they could control the weather, the Visitors would have a fairly effective weapon against human population centers (as witnessed by such natural storms as Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005). The Visitors do also use a weather control device in "The Deadly Rites of Spring" and Path to Conquest.

Elizabeth and Willie wrote a computer program to halt the Visitors' flood plan and make them believe that their calculations are wrong. But they would also have to convince them that the science was also untenable or the Visitors would just try it again.

And speaking of the computer program, since Elizabeth ends up giving it to Steven to plant in the mothership's system, why didn't they just give it to him in the first place? Steven was there with Elizabeth when she was writing it!

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