Link to Chapter 5
You’d think the news that there’s a massive alien invasion fleet on the way to subjugate Earth would be a wake-up call to humanity and that we’d finally get out shit together. And it was, it just took longer for us to wake up than you’d hope. The first reaction was disbelief. Most people thought the whole thing was just a big U.S. psyop. But, the disbelief didn’t last long because other countries — the UK, China, Germany, and Russia — came out with their own aliens because Xav’s collective had sent representatives to each nation. Most everyone got on board with the idea after that, though there were some hurt feelings among the countries who hadn’t gotten a Llesote. But, the collective made visits to other nations and smoothed things over, so it worked out in the end. Then, they addressed the United Nations and shit was on after that.
The Big Apple
Xav and I stood just offstage in the United Nations General Assembly Hall waiting for my friends’ opportunity to speak. To say I was out of my comfort zone was a massive understatement. But, I thought, I haven’t been in my comfort zone since all this shit started. That was, what, a week and a half ago? It was kind of hard to tell as everything blurred together and time had sort of ceased to have meaning. Last night was the first time since Jerry’s early morning call had kicked it all off. I wondered how Xav was handling things. Only one to find out, I decided. “Hey, pal,” I said, nudging them, “You doing okay?”
“We are. . . nervous,” they said. “We have done some public speaking, to other non-telepathic races in the Confederation mostly. But, it is not our forte.”
While that admission caught me off guard, it shouldn’t have. I mean, it wasn’t like they hadn’t shown vulnerabilities before, they had. But it always threw me because they always seemed so self-assured and confident. After a second to recover, I said, “I hear that. Public speaking is one of those things I can do but I never feel good about it.”
“Do you have any advice?”
“Not really,” I said. “I guess the most common thing people will tell you is to imagine the audience in their underwear.”
They looked at me, confused. “Does that help?”
I laughed. “It doesn’t do anything for me. I can’t get past the fact that I have no desire to the vast majority of people fully clothed, much less in their underwear.”
They still looked confused. “We do not understand? May we?” they said, gesturing toward my head.
Ever since that time in the car on the way to the White House, we’d connected mentally several times. It generally turned out okay. “Sure,” I said. They placed their fingers on my temples and I felt our minds link. It was still a bit weird but I was getting used to it. I tried to mentally picture a bunch of old people sitting around in various stages of undress and Xav burst out laughing.
“Oh my,” they said after gathering themselves. “I see what you mean.” They paused for a moment, then said, “Thank you, Robert.”
“For making us laugh,” they said. “And, being our friend.”
Addressing the Assembly
Before I could answer, I saw a security officer approaching us. Then I heard, Usko Lehtola, the Secretary-General, say, “The assembly will hear an address from Their Excellency Xav, representative of the Llesote of the Galactic Confederation. I request Protocol to escort Their Excellency.” As Xav made their way to the podium, they continued, “On behalf. . . On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honor to welcome Xav of the Llesote and the Galactic Confederation. And I invite him to address the assembly” The stutter was caused by the audience’s gasp when they saw Xav in the flesh.
They stepped to the podium and beamed that weirdly comforting smile at the Assembly and everything settled down. They began speaking:
“Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, people of Earth,” they began. “Friends, we will keep this address short as there is much work to be done and very little time in which to do it. In our quadrant of the galaxy, there is a race known as the Arvenoid. They have decided to invade and colonize Earth, to extract your planet’s resources, and make your people their slaves.
We, the Llesote, find this repugnant as we have also endured the horrors of colonization before finally overthrowing our oppressors and joining the Galactic Confederation. Our experience has led us to extend the hand of our people, the Llesote, and assist you in keeping the cruel yoke of the Arvenoid from humanity’s neck. All we ask is that you stand with us should the Arvenoid or another race attempt to do the same to us. In short, we offer our friendship and propose an alliance between our races and worlds.
We greatly appreciate the warmth and hospitality that we have been shown since our arrival on Earth and to show our gratitude, we present these detailed files of Arvenoid strategy and tactics, order of battle, and technology to the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. At their discretion, they may disseminate them to the necessary parties to facilitate preparations for receiving the Arvenoid attack. We shall also remain on Earth at the disposal of your military forces to assist in any way possible. Thank you for allowing me this time to present our case.” Finished, they stepped away from the podium. For a moment, there was dead silence in the room. Then, as we were led away by security, 1,800 voices erupted in excitement and fear at what they’d just heard.
“Well, Xav,” I said, “I have to say it’s never boring when you’re around.”
The Shit Hits the Fan
Remember how I said the shit was on after Xav’s address to the UN? Yeah, things definitely took off after that. And, with a lot less bickering and bullshit than I expected. Very quickly, the world decided to unite under the banner of the United Nations. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t quite as smooth as that makes it sound. A couple of Earth’s more obstinate nations had to be “convinced” that unification was best for everyone, some more forcefully than others. But within a month of the disclosure that we weren’t alone, everyone was on board, whether they wanted to be or not. It wasn’t pretty, but “pretty” wasn’t really an option at that point. Unfortunately, this whole mess spawned a metric fuck ton of doomsday cults and they were way more of a pain than you’d expect. But that’s a story for someone else.
The first order of business, even before bringing those balky countries in, was setting up a military structure. Since the UN Security Council handled that, the task was relatively painless. The hardest part was picking a commander-in-chief. The Chinese were insistent on an Asian filling that position (really, they wanted their guy, but that was a no-go), so the council went with Nepali general Pradeep Thaman Gurung, great-great-grandson of WWII Victoria Cross winner Thaman Gurung. It was an excellent choice because while the Nepali Army wasn’t huge, they were tough; Ghurkas when you got down to it. And, Ghurkas are world-renowned fighters. While the politicians did politician stuff, Gurung got to work building a military force that could handle the Arvenoid. We didn’t know it at the time, but he did one hell of a job.
End of Part 1