Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Long War, Part XXVII - The New York Address


Esteemed representatives of the great planet Earth. I come before you today as a visitor, and ask for your indulgence. I am the Speaker. I speak for my kind, and while we have names, our names have no easy equivalent in your speech. Suffice to say that I belong to a Council of Elders, and I can speak for them. We have traveled across time and unimaginable distances to come to your world.

Many of you are undoubtedly wondering what our purpose is, and why we have come. We are part of a galactic coalition of intelligent species, and mankind has ascended sufficiently to join our ranks. It is our intention to impart the secrets of faster than light travel to your species, in order that mankind can join our confederation and take its next step towards a larger universe. Before we take such a step, however, we are obligated to ensure that your kind is worthy of such an ascension. Our obligation is twofold - we have a duty to our members to ensure that a warmongering, destructive species does not join our ranks. What we have seen upon your world has given us grave reservations. We also have a duty to mankind not to provide you with gifts that you are not adequately prepared to receive.

We have watched you for untold aeons, and when it was judged that Earth had the potential to produce a space faring species a barrier was built around your solar system designed to keep your kind from perceiving the galaxy as it truly was - a place teeming with life. You were never alone. We apologize for the deception, but it was a necessary step. The barrier screened our greater civilization from yours, so that you had the opportunity to develop free from our influence. Believing yourselves alone and masters of your own fate what kind of world would you carve out for yourselves? This is a test that is incumbent upon all developing civilizations. The barrier also served to protect you and keep your kind hidden, free from interference. Despite our best efforts there are still predatory civilizations that prowl the fringes of the galaxies, looking for worlds to devour or subjugate. We have found that only together can we resist the darkness that threatens to consume us all.



I must apologize if what I say causes you alarm, but I am bound by necessity. The barrier shrouding your world dissolved a few years ago, when the satellite Voyager I left the heliosphere and passed into interstellar space. Earth lies naked and exposed, visible for all to see. When Voyager passed the ancient markers left behind in the Oort Cloud it triggered a signal for the barrier's dissolution and for a message to be sent to us that mankind was ready to make contact with the greater galaxy beyond its borders. When your astronomers look again into the night sky they will find the unmistakable signs of other civilizations. Like it or not you are part of something much larger, and it is time for humanity to grow up, and discard the petty tribalism that has plagued its short history. You have in your hands the means to eliminate most of the suffering on your world, yet you concentrate your wealth and resources into the hands of a miserly few. You slaughter each other over the most trivial of distinctions, and sow division and discord where there should be trust and amity. Our first sallies for peace were mercilessly rebuffed by representatives of the UN, by the paramilitary unit known as X-Com. Our pilots and navigators were slaughtered and killed, and even now their bodies are kept in secret labs beneath the earth, the subjects of cruel tests and experiments. This will no longer be tolerated. You have been warned.

To show that we come in good faith we present you with several tokens. We will give you the technology to scrub your atmosphere, to reverse the accumulation of carbon gases that will soon choke your world and turn it into a seething hothouse. We will give you the means to cure the vast majority of afflictions and illnesses plaguing your world, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and HIV. We will impart the secrets of gene therapy, so that everyone will have the chance to maximize their potential - to live beyond the limits imposed by the lottery of genetics. We will provide you with cleaner, renewable sources of energy, and free nations from the tyranny of oil and those who control its supply. The solar system and its riches lies waiting, yet mankind squabbles over the Earth's diminishing resources, unable to look beyond a few petty years of its lifetime. Even now the nations of China, Japan and the US arm themselves in anticipation of a conflict that could devastate the world.

We will not force you into joining our coalition. For those who do, we will lay down several prerequisites, the chief being an adherence to the tenets that all humans are deserving of respect, dignity and freedom. In return we will grant those nations who join us the greatest gift of all - the secret of interstellar flight. The Free Nation of Syria is the first nation-state to join our coalition, and we re-affirm our commitment to their cause. We ask President Al-Assad to sit with us and negotiate a peace, so that the slaughter may end, and that millions of Syrians may return to their homes to rebuild their nation. President Hollande of France and President Poroshenko of the Ukraine have also expressed their wishes to join our coalition, which we have named ADVENT in honor of this momentous occasion. This truly is the advent of a new age for mankind, and we ask you all to embrace it. For those who choose not to join us the only consequence will be a slow fade into historical obscurity. We will not impose ourselves upon you. Mankind must ascend willingly, or not at all. For those who join us, however, we offer the riches of the solar system and beyond. Humanity was never meant to stay bound to one planet. Its destiny lies in the stars.

Next: TBC

6 comments:

  1. It's a trAAAAAaaaaap...

    Also, I know a lot of the diplomats listening to the speech are going to buy it, but I just find it funny that they seriously are trying to pretend all those Sectiods were just going about their day, minding their own business, *totally* not abducting anyone. Also, totally ignoring the whole "we sent bloodthirsty killing machines into Africa and wiped out an entire city" thing.

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    1. Yeah, there will be hard questions being lobbed the aliens' way, especially from the Nigerians. :D

      But hey, in the era of "alternative facts", "sound bites" and short attention spans the aliens could get away with it, especially with the infiltration and mind control options they have at their disposal.

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    2. That is very true. Hopefully Bradford and pals will avoid the crossfire.

      I just get that feeling in the back of my mind that this'll go like the loss cutscene that played in the original XCOM...

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  2. Thank you for this chapter.

    Just for this part "China, Japan and the US arm themselves": would not it be better to have Russia instead of Japan? Especially since Japan has a very small army.

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    2. No worries!

      The line "China, Japan and the US arm themselves" refers to the standoff in the East China Sea, not as preparations against the aliens. The world is trying to work out how to respond at this point to the aliens' address.

      Russia would be a stronger ally than Japan, but since the aliens have picked them as their enemy it is likely that they will become more wholehearted allies of X-Com in the future.

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