The Oregon Invasion
Written by Jayne Tannehill
(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition,
published January 1988)
A Visitor who was left behind on Earth
after the fleet pull-out on V-day has a destiny far beyond any he
As the novel opens, we are introduced to Hadad, a Visitor who was
accidentally left behind when the Visitors fled Earth after the release of the
red dust on V-day. Somehow he has seemingly found a small area of Oregon,
around the city of Prineville, where the paths of the dust-carrying winds did
not travel. He has survived for the past year living in a cave in the hills,
eating wild rodents, insects, and lizards and working for money for his other
needs at the local lumber mill.
One night he accidentally tears the dermoplast covering on his hand and
determines he must pick up a "medicine plant" in town the next morning to patch
In the morning he wakes up to see a mothership hanging over the valley below. He
hikes down the hill and finds that the townsfolk are gathered in public places
such as markets to discuss what to do about the arrival of the ship. They know
it's only a matter of time until the Visitors come down and they wonder what they
should do. Some want to fight and some to run, others to just wait and see. Hadad stays in one market to listen to all the ideas. As the crowd finally
breaks up and leaves, another person enters the store and recognizes Hadad, speaking
to him in Visitorese; it is his former friend, now nemesis, Jeffrey. But a woman
named Ruth speaks up for him, saying he's no Visitor and claiming he's her
fiancé. Jeffrey pretends to believe her and leaves.
Ruth then takes him to lunch and they talk about her alternative medicine,
herbal remedies, and other things, though Hadad tries to keep his words truthful
but close to the vest. He does reveal to her that his name of Hadad was given to him
because he was expected to become a leader and reestablish a lost city called Pau in
the Middle East. They are confused by each other yet they feel a strange
mutual attraction as well as they prepare to part ways. Hadad tells her that
she must go to Los Angeles and find the resistance there and convince them to
release some of the red dust near Prineville so it will become uninhabitable to
the Visitors. He knows this will likely mean his own death as well. Ruth
promises to do it but, as she walks to her car, she is struck by another vehicle and
left laying on the pavement.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey has returned to the hovering mothership and reports that he
has found Hadad in the city below. His death has been commanded by Diana should
he ever be discovered. Jeffrey's superior, Paul, has convoluted plans of his own
to gain power; he has even befriended the fifth column for his own ends. He
reminisces on how he has eliminated all of the other 50 "priests of the Leader"
(former priests of Zon who have been converted to follow and preach the Leader's
words) and Hadad is the last one left.
Back in Prineville, Hadad rushes to the fallen Ruth and he uses his healing
powers to heal her battered body. She gets up, feeling fine. Just then the
Visitor invasion begins, troops rushing into the city. Hadad says he must leave
and Ruth must get to Los Angeles to fulfill her promise.
Hadad knows he must get out of Prineville before more Visitors recognize him
and, in the morning, he is able to catch a ride with a local named Jerry who is
also fleeing to another small city to the west, Vida. Hadad again moves up onto a
hill in the wild of the forest. He gets a job cleaning and sweeping at a pizza
parlor. Weeks later, Ruth finds him, having tracked down Jerry, and tells him
Prineville is now fully in the Visitors' hands and that she found the resistance
in L.A. but they told her they can't release any more red dust because the
Earth's ecology is already at the tipping point of the red dust becoming harmful
to Earth creatures in large amounts. Hadad tells her she shouldn't have come to
him, but she wants to be with him. He insists they cannot be together, there are
things she does not know that he can't tell her.
She refuses to go, saying she will live here in the woods with him, so he
finally tells her that he is a Visitor. At first she doesn't believe him, but
when he tries to touch her she shouts, "Don't touch me!" and runs off in a
Hadad visits Jerry who has just returned from picking up his parents and a
neighbor from Prineville. He helps Jerry unpack their belongings from the back
of the pickup and take them into the house. Jerry introduces Hadad to his
parents and old Mrs. Hardesty. She is somehow able to smell the scent of a
Visitor and yells at Hadad to get away from there and leave them alone. Jerry
apologizes to him and Hadad heads back to his place on the hill.
He finds Ruth waiting for him there. They wind up kissing and then making love.
The next morning she is ill and Hadad realizes that she is pregnant. She tells
him it was with a man who is no longer around and she had no desire to find him
again. They spend days (or perhaps weeks) living this way together, though not
without the problems couples often have together, made more difficult by their
different species and cultural upbringings. At one point, she runs away from
him, crying, and heads to Jerry's house. She tells him that Hadad is a Visitor
and when the Visitor comes by to find Ruth, Jerry chases him with a rifle. But Ruth finds
him first and helps him escape in her car. She apologizes for her behavior and
tells him she didn't know how Jerry would react to the revelation.
The Visitors arrive in Vida as this is happening and Jerry's house is destroyed,
with its occupants. As Ruth and Hadad try to drive to a safe place, their car is spotted
and trailed by Paul in a skyfighter. But a storm starts and the fighter is
struck by lightning and returns to the mothership for repairs. Meanwhile, other
Visitor patrols wipe out over a hundred people in a campground while searching
Hadad begins to have flashbacks of his time in the conversion chamber back on
the homeworld and realizes that the Leader and Diana changed him from what he
used to be, a follower of Zon. He and Ruth retreat to an abandoned resort and
fix up a cabin there to live in, hunting and gathering food from the land. A few
nights later, Hadad hears a voice in his sleep and follows it outside. There he
sees an image of Amon, the last priest of Zon. He tells Hadad that he, Hadad,
must become Amon on Earth and fulfill the prophecy to teach the Star Child,
Elizabeth, and lead her to her destiny. He also says that Ruth and her child are
part of the prophecies of the books of Earth. Amon then disappears.
A few days later, Hadad and Ruth are attacked by a cadre of Visitors led by Paul
and Jeffrey. Jeffrey is killed and Paul injured, but Paul comes to the
realization that he, too is a converted follower of Zon and accepts Hadad as his
leader. The rest of the troops in the cadre are all fifth column and follow
Paul's commands to leave.
Paul gives Hadad and Ruth a skyfighter so they can begin their search for the
The novel goes into great detail about the
towns, streets, and businesses of central Oregon. Most of the
details are highly accurate to the real world state of Oregon,
including the names of streets and businesses and their
locations in town!
Jayne Tannehill was the wife (or at least
long-time companion; reports differ) of fellow science-fiction
author Theodore Sturgeon. The two lived in Oregon until
Sturgeon's death in May 1985.
Page 1 establishes Hadad as living near the small city of
Prineville. This is a real town,
the seat of Crook County Oregon.
Page 3 reveals that the Los Angeles mothership was originally
organized to go to the Fertile Crescent area of the Middle East,
but Diana objected and arranged to have the ship go to L.A.
instead. This might explain why Willie was stationed in L.A.
when he was originally taught the Arabic language to be stationed in
the Middle East. Hadad also has difficulty with English at the
more so than Willie. Presumably Diana was able to exchange most
of her crew for English-speaking crewmembers but some, like
Willie and Hadad, wound up stuck in L.A. without the proper
Page 5 mentions Coombs Flat Road, which is a real road in
Prineville, though the more popular spelling seems to be Combs
Page 7 reveals that, besides rodents and insects, Visitors are willing to
eat small lizards.
Page 7 also states that if he had been assigned to the Middle
East as originally scheduled, Hadad would have been involved in
the building of a city called Pau below the Dead Sea. This seems
like an unusual statement in the novel, beyond the usual scope
of the Visitors' invasion, and we are provided no further
embellishment other than Hadad's conversion to be a priest of
the Leader. I can find no evidence of a city by that name
already existing there (though there is a Biblical lost city
called Pau [or
Edom], possibly located in Egypt). Why would the Visitors want
to build a city there? A possible clue is that the previously
mentioned Biblical city of Pau was once led by an early ruler
named Hadad ben Bedad and our Visitor character says, on page
39, "I was named after an ancient king, because they wanted me
to be a great leader here on Earth."
Page 9 seems to suggest that Hadad's true Sirian name is
Gclixtchp (he dreams of his mother addressing him as such and is
addressed as such by Jeffrey later and by Diana in his flashback
of the conversion process).
Page 10 describes an Earth plant with white sap that is useful
for patching up tears in the Visitors' dermoplast skins. The
plant is not named, but the novel states the plant is easily
found in stores in L.A. and Hadad has more difficulty finding it
in Oregon. Ruth later guesses from his description that he may
be referring to a type of Aloe vera plant.
After the arrival of the mothership over the local mountains,
page 13 describes Hadad following Crooked River from his cave
home to Deer Street in town. This is an accurate description
of areas around the city of Prineville. He visits Erickson's market, a flower
store called the Posie Shop, and Bob's Market. Erickson's and the
Posie Shop are real businesses. I found no evidence of Bob's
Market, but that doesn't mean it didn't exist at the time the
novel was written in 1987.
Page 18 mentions the cities of Madras, Redmond, and Bend, all
real cities in Oregon.
As the city residents attempt to organize a resistance to the
Visitors, someone suggests Cary Fisher Hall as a central meeting
place on page 19. I can find no evidence of a Cary Fisher Hall
in Prineville, but there is Cary (or Carey) Foster Hall. Perhaps
the author changed the names of some establishments if she did
not have permission to use the real one. The name Cary Fisher
may also be a play on the name of actress and writer Carrie
Page 32 suggests that the Visitors have worked out some way to
control the vibratory resonance of their voices to emulate human
Some Visitor words are spoken on pages 34-35: "Gclixtchp!
Truqch klzopltx grbpdtiq? Spriqktz plictx klzopltx plafqzkrsm.
Zhrnimpt trlipgt qravcprts. Crizlchsqpts!" and "Gclixtchp,
plupltle." Page 45 reveals that the message delivered with
these sentences was that Diana had given orders that Hadad was
to be shot on sight as a traitor and now that Jeffrey had found
him, he would be rewarded for the information that "the
despicable one" was on Earth.
On page 39, Ruth reveals she was named after the Ruth of the
Bible, who was known for her loyalty to her mother-in-law after
her husband's death.
On page 41, Ruth mentions she will have to look up Hadad's
"medicine plant" in her Culpeppers. She is likely referring to
the 1653 book The Complete Herbal, a record of herbal
pharmaceuticals by Dr. Nicholas Culpeper. From her own knowledge
of alternative medicine, she guesses Hadad's plant to be a type
of Aloe vera, a plant well-known for its many medicinal
and cosmetic properties.
Page 43 describes Hadad as being quick enough with his hands to
catch flies in midair.
Page 44 reveals that the Visitor Jeffrey's true name is Spligxzt
which means "the Jealous One".
After Hadad explains to Ruth that he was meant to be a ruler by
his people, she jokingly tries to guess what he used to do
before coming to Prineville to work at the mill. She asks, "What
did you do? Guard hordes of beautiful maidens in the holds of
slave ships? Do battle with Amazon queens for power and control
of empires? Program giant computers so that with the flip of a
switch only you could touch you could destroy or preserve the
lives of millions?"
Ironically, her sarcastic remarks are close to the mark for a
Visitor who: used to be the head technician of human storage on
the L.A. mothership; came into conflict with Diana; and was
poised by the Leader to be a Visitor leader on Earth.
On page 52, Hadad pulls a Willie, misspeaking English words the
way Willie frequently does. He says "uncontainerated" instead of
"uncontaminated" and uses the phrase "the wrong rail" instead of
"the wrong track".
Page 60 reveals that a Visitor scientist named Eleanor has
developed an antitoxin to the red dust, but it lasts only a few
hours, the Visitors can only be reinjected with it every 72
hours, and repeated use of it makes the user ill in itself.
Perhaps Eleanor's discovery could be said to have sprouted from
the herbal antitoxin found and lost (?) by the Visitors in
Old Times' Sake" and "End Game".
Of course, this also begs the question of why the Visitors don't
make use of the
synthesized virus that temporarily holds
the red dust bacteria at bay from the novel
The Florida Project.
Page 64 reveals that after essentially wiping out the priests of
Zon and forcing Amon into exile, the Leader had taken 50 of the
young former followers of Zon, who all bore the mark of Zon,
and, using conversion techniques, molded them into priests of
It's possible that this is what the Leader also had in mind for
Elizabeth when she goes to see him at the end of
He also has banned the Book of Zon and replaced it
with the Book of the Leader.
Page 65 then goes on to reveal that Paul, for his own reasons of
power usurpation, has eliminated all of the priests of the
Leader on Earth...except for Hadad.
On page 66, Paul reads from The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
This is a real book written in the 6th century BC by the Chinese
general Sun Tzu, still studied today in military academies. You
can read the book online for free at
On page 75, Hadad observes the Zodiac constellations of Cancer
and Scorpio as well as the somewhat lesser known constellations
of the Eagle, Dolphin, and Swan. These are all internationally
recognized constellations in the real world.
Page 78 mentions Hadad and Jerry driving through Sisters. This
is another small city in Oregon not far from Prineville.
On page 81, Hadad mentions to Ruth that he was to rebuild the
lost city of Pau. He does not mention whether this is the same city
by that name which is recorded
in the Bible.
Also on page 81, Hadad describes himself to Ruth as one of the
"marked people" (presumably referring to the Mark of Zon). Ruth
asks him if it is like the Mark of Cain, but he is not familiar
with the term. The Mark of Cain refers to the curse and
historically unrevealed mark on Cain left by God as punishment
for killing his brother Abel.
On page 82, Jerry says, "Es la vita." It's not translated, but
from the context it may be Italian for "This is the life." The
statement is meant to go along with his and Hadad's arrival in
Vida, another town in Oregon. Later, the businesses of Rhodoland
(a nursery), Ike's Pizza, and Filacres (a filbert [Hazelnut]
farm) are mentioned, which are real businesses in Vida. Also
mentioned are the roads of Goodpasture Road and Angels Flight
Road, real roads in the area of Vida.
On page 110 and throughout the rest of the book, the term "hover craft"
is used for what seems to be the vehicle normally referred to as
On page 114, Hadad removes his human eye lenses to better see
what Ruth looks like "without the limits of those tiny holes".
This would seem to suggest his lenses are not electronically
augmented as described for Willie's lenses in the novel
The New England
Page 114 suggests that the eating of at least some seeds and grasses by
Visitors that humans are able to eat causes regurgitation of
stomach contents, similar to dogs and cats eating wild grass.
Perhaps this is true of many plant substances for the Visitors
and might explain why they are generally carnivorous. If that is
the case, it would mean Willie, as a vegetarian, has to be
careful about what he consumes on Earth!
Page 129 describes the destruction of a bridge on Goodpasture
Road near Vida, by the weapons of a Visitor skyfighter. This may
refer to the Goodpasture Bridge, a covered bridge listed in the
National Register of Historic Places. (Photo by
Page 129 mentions the town of Leaburg. This is a real town in
Oregon, west of Vida.
Page 131 mentions the towns/cities of Wendling, Marcola, Sweet
Home, Cascadia, Albany, and Detroit. These are real places in
Oregon. Also mentioned is State Route 22; this is the main road,
also known as the Santium Highway (after the Santium River), into
and out of Detroit.
Page 135 mentions the Cascade mountain range. This is the range
of mountains that runs from British Columbia, Canada through
Washington, then Oregon and northern California and is part of
the ring of volcanoes known as the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Page 135 reveals that the theft of water from the region by
Visitors has altered the weather patterns, leaving Oregon much
drier than it has been in the past and the forests ready to go
up in flames at the slightest spark.
Page 148 reveals that, since the hardships induced by the
Visitors' arrival on Earth, many of the lawns and lots in the
town of Detroit have become vegetable gardens as the citizens
struggle to survive with less. This scenario would probably be
true pretty much throughout the country and the world.
Page 152 mentions Mount Jefferson. This is a stratovolcano in
the Cascade Range.
On Page 161, Ruth comments that more than a third of Earth
inhabitants have already been taken by the Visitors!
On page 167, Hadad draws on the energy of Zon to feed into the
life force of a young boy, saving the boy's life. This is
similar to the healing powers evidenced by Elizabeth in episodes
of the TV series.
During Hadad's cosmic
hallucination on page 173, he
witnesses himself floating among
There were explosions around him
as stars were born and died.
Sirens wailed as comets swung
through solar rings, and shots
crackled as starchildren went
celebration of the Lords of
starchildren reference meant to
be interpreted as multiple Star
Children as in the type
evidenced by Elizabeth? If so,
is the supernova reference just
a metaphor? Could it be meant as
a literal cosmic explosion? In
J. Michael Straczynski's
unproduced treatment for a
revival in the 1990s, it is
mentioned that after capturing
her following the
episode of the original series,
the Visitors studied and ran
tests on Elizabeth at one of
their outposts and eventually
the entire area went up in an
destroying all, with Elizabeth
presumed dead as well. Perhaps,
in this scenario, Elizabeth's
Star Child power went supernova?
Although not specific, various passages in the novel,
particularly pages 180 and 191 suggest that this story takes
place during the "open city of Los Angeles" portion of the
On page 184, Patricia tells Paul how a couple of the skyfighters
in Jeffery's assault on Oregon destroyed two dams, robbing both
the local towns and the Visitors themselves of the water
resources there, seemingly as a prank. We are never given a
reason why Jeffery or anyone else would want to have done that.
On page 205, Amon, the last priest of Zon, appears to Hadad.
Amon's only other appearance to date is as a holographic image
in the earlier episode "The Overlord".
On page 207, Amon tells Hadad to assume Amon's own identity on
Earth. He also says that the waters both on the Earth and above
will do his bidding, and that the substance of the Earth itself
and all life on it will respond to his word. It seems that Hadad
is being set up to become a messianic figure. Amon goes on to
state that the child of Ruth's current human pregnancy will die
to fulfill a prophecy of the books of Earth, but she will then
have a child by Hadad himself who will do battle for the
preservation of the people of Earth.
Page 208 reveals that the dermoplast artificial skin worn by the
Visitors is a symbiote that lives off the cells of the Sirian's
natural skin and can heal itself over time (or more quickly with
the use of medicinals such as the "medicine plant").
The book ends with what seems to be a setup for a sequel that
At the end of the book, the Visitors still have the temporary
antitoxin and are still plundering central Oregon.
The cover of the book features Donovan and Julie but they
neither appear nor are they even mentioned in the story.
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