Music is slow and simple - a single monophonic wordless voice. Melancholy.
A shooting star drops down into the scene, as the music reaches its end.
After the music reaches the end, the star suddenly flashes bright, and explodes.
The shadows vanish. The trees flash into flame, and then skeletonize, and then vaporize. Animals do the same. This all happens in silence. A visible shockwave expands out from the star, which is clearly at least several hundred miles away. The shockwave arrives in perhaps five seconds, tearing up the ground behind it, obliterating pretty much everything. The sound effect - basically a deep rumbling - approaches with it. It passes the camera - the camera is unaffected, but everything around is ripped apart, leaving a completely lifeless shattered wasteland.
World War 3 ended before it began.
Korea and China postured and raved. The United States claimed the moral high ground, and pulled Canada and Australia with it. Most of Europe wavered and debated.
And then something exploded over Germany. Something a thousand times more powerful than the largest nukes any country could build.
(The voiceover continues to describe the devastation in detached, technical terms.)
I have absolutely no idea where this story's going. I suspect the star was either a natural disaster (an exploding black hole, for example - yes, technically this can occur, and many people think Tunguska was one), or an alien attack, or a detonating alien spaceship that just happened to be in the wrong place (namely, anywhere near life.)
I don't know any more though. I don't know if it has anything to do with plotlines in the universe. I don't know what the extent of the destruction actually *is* - I suspect most of Europe is sterilized, but I don't know about Asia. (It has to be Europe, sadly, because I need to obliterate a large number of high-tech countries, and it needs to happen at a time when most of the world isn't high-tech. So I can't wait for Africa or South America or the Middle East to tech up, and I can't hit North America or Asia.) It sets up a pretty conventional post-apocalyptic world, but one in which we didn't cause the apocalypse, and one in which the explosion can have pretty much any characteristics I want.
And it sets up a nice mystery too.
No idea where this is going, but sadly, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. This idea's getting thrown into the Ideas File, which so far contains no less than nineteen items. Some of which you all have seen, most of which you haven't.
I just can't stop generating these things. I wish I had the time to flesh 'em out . . . but I don't. Pick and choose.
Ideas are cheap. Finishing them . . . that's the tricky part.