|Hi, I haven't read much of what I printed out. (Chapter One, I presume?) Thus I'm not actually rating it overall. Seems a bit unfair, but apparently I have to tick a rating. Part of the reason for not going on at the moment is...well frankly I'm rather confused by what I've read so far. I do understand that other worlds,time zones etc come together for the reader rather like a mosaic, many pieces eventually making a pattern. But I believe the reader's interest has to be well and truly sparked up front, to make searching for the pattern an adventure,rather than a chore. So far, for me, it's like swimming through mud, heavy going.
I don't want to sound too negative! As I go on, the veils might lift for me. Problem is, as it stands, I would not go on. Thus I'm tackling just this introductory stuff, because I truly feel you need to inveigle the reader, within these first few paragraphs.
That said, the OPENING paragraph is quite strong. Couple of small suggestions. I would look at a standard way of displaying The Event throughout the whole story, perhaps Italics, or, if, as it seems the story is virtually all narrative(dialogue?) 'The Event.' I also think your punctuation is rather pedantic,stopping the reading flow ie.. processing signatures, and footage. (drop the comma.)...But whether it came OR WAS PLANTED OR ANYTHING ELSE, clumsy here. If you have to express this, perhaps SOMETHING else? But I believe the language needs reworking. Then there's the tense, grammar thing...It was a long time coming...I believe this would work better in the past perfect..it HAD BEEN a long time coming. .. For purposes of simplicity..I know you are trying to establish a certain rather formalised voice for the narrator, but perhaps this should be SIMPLIFICATION or even BY WAY OF EXPLANATION, seems to read very awkwardly as is. I am A? Chief of Staff ...is there not only one?..thus THE? The Generals can't panic THAT. They can panic among themselves (technically AMONGST, and it does seem to better suit the voice you've chosen.)They may need to CONJECTURE (or similar) THAT. Confused as to whether you are then referring to THEIR government or mean some other government, when you go ...across the ocean or down the continent. If their own, why add this. If generalising, A government, or SOME government.....at first, applied solely to our screens. The screens on our heads sprouted SPROUT out from behind the right temple, and the stalk of the screen was IS an extension of our skin:ETC. You have to use the present tense here.(unless they have all died out, or are now physically completely different. If so you'll need something like..at that time...)You have to weave the present tense through when you are describing what IS, the stalk PROTRUDES from the screen etc. You will find areas throughout your story when this crossover is essential.(I can direct you to an example of this kind of thing, but I'm sure you know many).
I won't be so detailed in future, and will try to get to more of the story in a more generalised way, when I find some time. You might HATE ME. If so,just tell me to do the other thing.