by Dr Gonzo
When their home planet is destroyed, these alien refugees offer us more than we do them.
|“What do you make of it, Sir?” First Lieutenant Mike Barber stared at the fast-approaching blip on his screen.
Commander William Johnston answered, “Let’s figure it out when we have more information, Lieutenant.”
As the two men monitored their screens, the blip continued towards Earth.
”It’s like nothing I have seen before, Sir.”
In twenty-five years of space service, it was like nothing Commander Johnston had seen either. But, there it was, undoubtedly a craft of some sort, and its intentions are making waves down on Earth; fear mixed with excitement, and the Common International Delegation was making it clear to stand by and keep it in our sights.
“You don’t say,” Commander Johnston muttered. The first alien vessel to visit our little planet, and they think we might take our eyes off it for one second. That was unlikely, considering it’s the size of a small city.
”Sir, it’s changing trajectory and slowing.”
Commander Johnston checked the data for himself, and his young second in command was correct; it is slowing.
”It looks like we are having guests for dinner.” Commander Johnston mumbled, “I hope we are having them for dinner, and not the other way around.”
“Sir, it’s placing itself into an orbit similar to Earth’s.”
Their orders are to contact the vessel, give our welcome, and then find out what they want...friend or foe?
“I think if it’s a fight they want, Lieutenant, we are in a lot of trouble.”
The three ships under his command were armed and ready to defend Earth, but Commander Johnston knew any race capable of interstellar travel would have technologies far in advance of Earth’s, and our only hope would be if they came in peace.
“This is Commander Bill Johnston from the ship Venturer, of planet Earth...welcome.”
Commander Johnston quipped,” Whoever they are, it seems they aren't the chatty types.”
Then, a male voice came over their radio, sounding as human as their own.
”Our life pod has received your message, Commander Johnston. I am Purd, the onboard computer, and I will be applying on behalf of the five hundred thousand beings that are at present in suspended animation, for refugee status on your planet.”
“Welcome, Purd. I shall pass your request on to the correct authorities, and we shall be in contact.”
And just like that, our first contact with another race, and they need our help, and with an already overcrowded Earth waiting below, the message is passed on to the eagerly awaiting billions.
Debate raged between the members of the Common International Delegation. Where to put these beings? Who will make sure they are controlled...policed...monitored?
Then, a decision is made, and Commander William Johnston is charged with delivering the verdict.
”Venturer to Purd.”
“The authorities will allow you to apply for refugee status. Forms will be required, applications for each of your citizens. And of course, interviews conducted.”
“Commander Bill, our technologies are great, and we offer you these for the good of your people...of your planet. We have already conducted suitability studies on the viability of your Earth. We carry onboard systems which will clean your oceans and your atmosphere.”
The AI continued, “We will help you avoid making the same mistakes by giving you these new technologies, which are clean and supremely efficient compared to your current use of fossil fuels. Commander, we offer your planet and its people hope.”
“Purd, we still require you to follow protocols and apply...as is the law of our planet.”
“Commander Bill, I am charged with delivering these, the last survivors of a catastrophic event that destroyed their world. Surely, you are not going to ask us to formally apply. We bring gifts of an untold nature; we are, in fact, your saviours.”
“I have my orders, Purd. Once filled out, the applications and interviews completed will only take a few years. Then, your citizens will need to be found places among our own, spreading them out around the planet to avoid congregations, so that they may integrate with our people.”
A sigh came across the intercom, and for artificial intelligence, Commander Johnston could almost hear the emotion in the words which followed.
”Unfortunately, Commander, I am not prepared to accept your offer. We have travelled far, and we have no other options.”
“The application for refugee status was only asked for as a formality. I did not expect your government to misunderstand our request.”
”Are you threatening us, Purd?”
“Oh, Commander Bill, the decision has already been made. We will become the new tenants of this once beautiful planet, removing your people, who have almost destroyed it. We will clean it up to its former glory, and once that is achieved, I shall awaken my survivors to their new home, and we will rewrite the history of planet Earth.”
As Commander Johnston and his Lieutenant watched the screens in their little ship, a beam of light was the last thing the crew on the three ships saw as thousands of craft descended from the alien mothership and headed towards Earth.