A century ago, a group of humans (a breakaway civilization) abandoned all of Humanity after stumbling into superluminal flight technology. Now, they have come back from a post-scarcity Utopian society in the stars for unknown reasons. How would the world react from this?
In our time, it is 2100…
The cylinder slid quietly through the thick blackness of space. It was hardly a ship, more of a soda can be forged from exotic metals, but to the travellers inside, it was a ship, nonetheless. It was returning home, to the blue planet that gave it life, the sphere upon which its purpose had been born. A foreign home, yet still a homecoming.
Sensors had detected its presence as far out as Jupiter, yet the public had not been informed for fear of unrest. A week from then, the news had broken. Hobby astronomers saw evidence of the Intelligence they had been searching for their whole lives. An alien ship; purplish black, with hundreds, no thousands, of blue projections emanating from its cold body. We are not alone. A ship the size of Chicago is proof.
There was fervent speculation about the ship’s inhabitants. Some scientists hypothesized that the “aliens” could be intelligent cockroaches or even sentient robots. To the religiously minded, this ship was the work of Satan, it’s cargo demons, who had come to deliver to us the Antichrist. There were many atheists born that day. The militaries of the world united in preparation for conflict. The process was slow, as these things go. Yet when evidence of the ship’s god-like power began to surface, they all had no choice but to become one. Aliens like these are too dangerous to be trusted. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so they say. These views were all wrong, but yet, the risk was too great to care.
The most intelligent minds in the world began to work feverishly to defend our blue world. Engineers, molecular biologists, computer scientists; all the jewels of earth’s brilliance; were enlisted in creating weapons of war. Hundreds of drone shuttles raced to the sky, carrying with them the weapons of humanity’s past nightmare. Satellites armed with lasers and rail guns soon cluttered the stratosphere. Earth’s chess pieces were in position, what would their enemy’s move be? It is rather strange to think about how a common enemy brings out the best in us, but then wasn’t a time for reflection.
Soon, the ship began sending out signals; radio waves on strange frequencies. Cryptographers and language experts concluded these signals were messages but had little insight into their contents. The language was too strange, too foreign to comprehend. Only a broken portion was understandable; roughly translated to say “you are our home”. This message brought about, even more, speculation than the alien’s arrival itself. The public consensus, however, was that this was a message of conquest; to wit, surrender your planet.
A small wedge detached from the mothership. The alien cylinder had seemingly anchored itself near the moon. The wedge sped towards earth, in its deadly crosshairs; our future. There was only one rational action. We destroyed it. Mankind was saved. The mothership waited for a few days, then leapt back from whence it came. We would be too much trouble to enslave, so it seemed.
Over the next few days, wreckage from the would-be conqueror’s ship surfaced around the globe. A beam here, a box there. Yet, in a green field near Paris, the most intriguing discovery of all was found by the 12-year-old son of a farmer; a shiny, blue, man-sized cylinder. The boy opened the contraption and stared in wonder within.
His gaze met a face; human and lifeless. We were all wrong, yet we live on. One of humanities greatest chances of advancement pissed away by human hubris.
As far as the world’s reaction, I’m pretty sure we’d like to know how the hell they did it. How does one “stumble” upon FTL technology, especially at a time when most people didn’t even have radios? We are still using chemical rockets to get into Earth orbit. FTL is science fiction, probably will be so for at least another 200 years.
Why did they come back now? Who have they been hanging with for the last century of our time? What do they want? Why did they leave in the first place? It would be a great question/answer period. If the travellers are American citizens, I am quite sure they will be taxed for the amount of time they have been gone. They might consider getting back in their ship and coming back later. Might be more cost effective. If they are National League baseball fans from Chicago, nothing has changed…Yet.
This scenario doesn’t have to be a splinter group from a breakaway civilization, could be aliens and some aspects of the response would be similar. But let us say it was a human splinter group. Assuming they arrived during the present day and made their peaceful intentions known, with a few exceptions everybody on earth from governments to ordinary people would demand that the splinter faction shares their knowledge and tech. Conspiracy theorists and ancient astronaut theorists would go nuts. Some religious extremists would also go nuts.
It would be a media sensation, the event of the millenia…and we blew it.
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