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?” said First Lieutenant Mike Barbera.
“Let's figure it out when we have more information, Mike.”
As the two men looked at their screens, the blip was on the outer edge of the planetary system and heading their way...fast.
”It's like nothing I have seen before, Sir.”
In twenty-five years of space service, it was like nothing Commander Bill Johnston had seen either. But there it was, undeniably a craft of some sort. Its intentions were 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 stop watching it for one second. Pretty hard to do, 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 is correct, it is slowing.
”Well Mike, it looks like we are having guests for dinner.”
He then thought to himself, “I hope we are having them for dinner, and not the other way around.”
“It's manoeuvring sir, looks like it's going to be placing itself into an orbit similar to Earth's.”
Their orders are to contact the vessel and give our welcome...then find out what they want...friend or foe.
“I think if it's a fight they want, Mike, we are in a lot of trouble.”
“This is Commander Bill Johnston from the ship Venturer of planet Earth...welcome.”
”Whoever they are, it seems they are not the chatty types.” Commander Johnston quipped.
Then, a male voice...sounding as human as their own.
”Our life pod has received your message. I am Purd, the onboard computer. 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 onto 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 below, the message is passed on to the eagerly awaiting billions.
“What's another five hundred thousand strangers to add to our numbers?”
Debate rages between the members of Common International Delegation.
Where to put these beings?
Who will make sure they are controlled...policed...monitored?
Then, a decision is made and Commander Bill Johnston is charged with delivering the verdict.
”Venturer to Purd.”
“The authorities will allow you to apply for refugee status. There are forms that will need to be filled out, 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 Bill, we offer your planet and its people hope.”
“Purd, we will 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. The applications, once filled out, then the interviews completed should only take a few years. Then, your citizen's will need to be found places amongst our own, spreading them out around the planet to avoid congregations, so they may integrate with our own 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 and clean it up to its former glory. And once that is achieved, my survivors shall be awakened to their new home, and a new history of planet Earth shall be written.”
As Commander Bill Johnston and his Lieutenant watched the screens in their little ship, thousands of craft descended from the alien mothership, heading towards the Earth...and there was nothing they could do to stop it.