Movement 1: Weeds and Thorns - #11



ARTHUR DEGLASS, UNITED AMERICAN STATES (UAS) - Ambassador, we’ve called this emergency meeting to order because we need answers. That’s why myself and all the key players who couldn’t attend in person are linked in remotely to hear what you have to say, as I imagine we’re going to need to coordinate at the highest level against this new threat. We’re hoping you can provide some additional information regarding what we’re facing here and next steps. What kind of casualties can we expect? What is the capability of this new enemy? What level of combat readiness will be necessary from our combined militaries?

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) – We have reviewed the data provided from our starship’s long range scanners and the Heimdallr arrays. This is a matter of utmost urgency. You must mobilize a significant amount of military force to obtain additional time for civilian evacuations of all of your major cities. That is all your forces can hope to accomplish at this time. Objectives beyond that would be counter-productive to long-term survival. 

AYOUB ABDULLAH, ARABIAN UNION (ARU) - Excuse me, Ambassador, did you just say evacuation of all major cities? Over what time period? Days? Weeks?

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) - You have approximately six hours based on our analysis of all readily-discernable probable outcomes before large-scale casualties will be inflicted.

<Unintelligible cross-talk>

XIE INTAO, GREATER CHINA CONFEDERATION (GCC) - Excuse me, Ambassador, but when you say the most our combined militaries can do is obtain additional time, do you mean that our military resources will be insufficient to contain this threat? 

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) - Yes, Minister Intao. That is precisely what I mean. Have the emergency sites designated under the Sanctuary program been completed? 

DEGLASS (UAS)– Hold on a minute, Ambassador. This is a lot to take in. From your response to Minister Intao’s question, it sounds to me like you’re talking about a defeat, maybe a massacre here. How is that even possible? 

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) - Yes, Secretary DeGlass, you are indeed headed for a military defeat. We all are, at least in the short-run. I would ask you to address my question regarding the Sanctuaries. Are they complete?

XIE INTAO, GREATER CHINA CONFEDERATION (GCC) – No, they are not. Many were started, but to my knowledge none have been completed unless my allies here want to correct me. 

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) – In that case, I request information regarding percentage completion on those sites as soon as possible. These were resource-intensive but simple engineering projects. We provided the appropriate schematics directly to your governments, as well as site surveys and recommendations. We indicated that the Sanctuary program should be a very high priority. 

ARTHUR DEGLASS (UAS)– Ambassador, there were complications with that program. The political climate is very tricky. Many of our domestic constituencies view taxes as unacceptably high at the moment, and most of us are running significant budget deficits. Raising taxes or cutting spending on other areas to engage in a costly Alien project was not politically palatable. Many even attribute unfortunate motives to your people for wanting to construct them, that they might have a sinister purpose. We simply didn’t have and couldn’t obtain the resources to build the number of Sanctuaries you recommended, especially in the manner you specified them. We’re in a serious climate of fiscal austerity. There were also legal issues with the contracts to build them. 

XIE INTAO (GCC) – That’s because the UAS wanted to ensure preferential treatment of their own domestic contractors, which violated a number of international trade agreements.

ARTHUR DEGLASS (UAS) – You and the GCC took the same tack. How dare you accuse us when you wouldn’t let our firms bid on your contracts either.

HANNELORE SCHUCHERT (EUROPEAN UNION) – Both of you did it, so did everyone else. That’s why our firms filed the appropriate bid protests at the Global Trade Organization. No one would provide a level playing field for anyone to bid on the Sanctuary program, so we all had no choice but to take it to the respective trade courts. 

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) – I am beginning to understand, though I am having difficulties expressing my level of disappointment with this situation. What of the emergency distributed production caches we recommended?

XIE INTAO (GCC) – Many of our domestic manufacturers raised concerns over the impact these “meta-tools” you proposed would cause in terms of unfair competition. We couldn’t proceed without covering their concerns.

HANNELORE SCHUCHERT (EU) – Building those facilities would’ve had dramatic impacts on all of our economies. 

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) - We recommended the introduction of those caches to only be used for emergency circumstances. I do not understand how their mere existence would have created economic impact.

ZHENYA PETROV, RUSSIAN UNITY FEDERATION (RUF) - I knew this meeting was a waste of my time. We are spending what few minutes we have left talking and arguing when death comes for us all. <Logging off>

AYOUB ABDULLAH (ARU) – The meta-tools were clearly too much of a temptation. No one would keep to using them just for emergencies. If just one nation broke ranks and began using those meta-tool factories on a regular basis it could have triggered global trade wars. We were conducting studies on how they could be gradually introduced so as to minimize this disruption pending the appropriate multi-lateral agreements and assurances to be codified in the GTO. Nevertheless, I’m sure at least some of you built them anyway. 

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) – This is not the scenario we had envisioned, but I accept there is little to be done at the present. To reiterate, I recommend that you commence evacuation of all of your major cities immediately. 

HANNELORE SCHUCHERT (ARU) – Ambassador, that is not a satisfactory answer to our concerns and questions. Just what is this fleet or hostile starships coming toward Earth? Who are they? Speak plainly, Ambassador, so that we can clearly understand what it is we’re about to face. 

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) – We are preparing more complete data on this subject to distribute to your respective military and political leaderships, but I will provide you what brief information time will allow. These aggressors are a crude but brutal race known as the Ehvow. They will attack with no mercy. They will target every major city and political capital that they can identify and bombard them from orbit, possibly sending in drop ships full of ground forces that will exterminate all human life they encounter.

XIE INTAO (GCC)– Ambassador, your ship, the Black Sphere, is the most advanced piece of technology humanity has ever seen. Can you not defend us? What about the UAS Space Force? Our own GCC fleet? Are they truly helpless to stop this?

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) – We may have superior technology, but even our ship cannot stand against a force of this size and scale for very long. Your own fleets may allow you additional time, as I have stated before, but victory against this Ehvow force at this time is nearly impossible. Humanity must retreat and regroup. That is the only chance you have for survival. 

AYOUB ABDULLAH (ARU) – So that’s all you can do, buy us time? With all of your advanced science and weapons or whatever you have on that ship, you’re just as helpless as the rest of us?

ARTHUR DEGLASS (UAS) – Can’t you at least call for reinforcements? Send out a distress call or something like that? You must have more warships that can come stop this! 

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) – We have requested relief from those that may provide it, but so far none have agreed to accept our request within a timeframe that would make a difference. I must take my leave now as we attempt to devise a battle-plan to defend your planet.

HANNELORE SCHUCHERT (EU) – That’s it? That’s all you can do?

<ARU and GCC delegations logging off>

AMBASSADOR SIHS-JIN (TARRARE) – Most of my people that came as part of our delegation are on our starship. As we discuss this, they are preparing for battle. Nearly all of them will die defending your planet. Buying you time, as you put it. I deem this sacrifice sufficient. If you disagree, that is unfortunate. 

<Unintelligible crosstalk as Ambassador Sihs-Jin departed the chamber>

Image Credit:

NASA, ESA and W. Harris (McMaster University, Ontario, Canada)