Saturday, October 18, 2014


The World Conqueror

Chapter 1

Hello, I am calling on behalf of the World Conquering Empire, and we are conducting a brief survey to determine if you intend to declare yourself an Enemy, or non-combatant, but before you make up your mind, please listen to the following message by our Emperor:
Hello, I am the World Conqueror, Emperor Sam XVI, and I’d like to thank you for listening to my brief message before you make your selection in our brief Friend/Foe survey. I intend to conquer your world, and afterward I will make a few changes, but your world will then retain much of it’s autonomy. The first change I will make is to eliminate hunger, followed by the elimination of deadly diseases with our advanced medical technology, and of course it goes without saying that All Warfare will be totally outlawed.
Our military prides itself on it’s accuracy during battle, and will only kill duly designated Enemies, unless they surrender by kneeling down and placing their hands on the back of their heads. If you register as an Enemy you will receive a sticker saying “Enemy” and a catalog of all the very same weapons our military uses. You may choose any weapon from our catalog and return your selection in the return envelope, at no charge. You will receive your free weapon within two months. If you register as a non-combatant you will receive a sticker saying “Don’t Shoot Me!” and a catalog of our very latest non-combatant technology, such as distress beacons, shields, and very large white flag hologram emitters. Once you return your selection in the return envelope you will receive your free technology within two months.
If any of our soldiers, intentionally or not, kill a non-combatant, they will be arrested immediately and forced to apologise, in person, to the family of the unfortunately deceased, who may then decide the punishment. The family will also receive a generous condolence package, and all funeral and burial arrangements will be taken care of. For all of the brave Enemies who die in battle, their families will receive a generous condolence package, and they will receive a full military burial, with all posthumous medals earned. The Enemy deemed to be the Bravest and most courageous will have a statue created in their honor and a beautiful memorial built at the site of their brave battle.
If the One Year time limit for Active Warfare is reached and we still have not conquered your world, all our forces will retreat, and your world will be designated an Unconquered World, which means it will be left alone for a period no less than Five years. Your world is scheduled to be conquered in November of next year. To learn more details about our Empire, our culture, and what you can expect once hostilities have ceased, please visit our website, have a nice day, and enjoy the coming war.
Thank you for listening to our esteemed Emperor’s message, please press 1 if you are declaring yourself as an Enemy, or press 2 to declare yourself as a non-combatant. Once you have made your selection your DNA and unique bio-energy signature will be registered in our highly advanced Friend/Foe system.
Thank you for making your selection, have a nice day, and enjoy the coming war.
Bob Smith sat back in his chair after hanging up the phone. “Well that was a strange call.” he grumbled. He shrugged and clicked play on his DVR, to watch what he had paused when the phone rang. The next day the “news” organizations picked up on what was going on, and the speculation and arguing on the 24/7 cable channels took off. Most people thought it was a joke, and answered the survey without taking it seriously. Bob, however, who was widely considered somewhat of a crackpot, had decided to take it seriously, even if it was a prank, so he chose non-combatant.
Just as the buzz about these phone calls started to die down, that’s when people started getting their stickers and catalogs, which just appeared, out of nowhere, at people’s doorsteps, along with the morning paper. That’s pretty much when the whole world went into panic. A lot of people who had chosen Enemy suddenly regretted it. But, when people looked through their catalogs they saw some pretty amazing stuff. None of it remotely human in origin. It was like the whole planet plunged into some crazy Twilight Zone episode.
Bob was ecstatic, and ordered the biggest, loudest, “I’m not an enemy, I surrender, don’t shoot me Please!!” hologram emitter in the catalog. Like everyone else who ordered something, he was amazed when the return envelop simply vanished as soon as he’d sealed it. The Empire uses Instant Mail Teleporters, and all their envelopes have special circuits actually printed into the material they are made of. It really doesn’t take much energy for them to do it, and it’s a lot faster than shipping things around in space ships.
Well, lots of people chose various weapons, you can probably guess who was the most likely to get the biggest baddest weapons, right? If you guessed the Military Industrial Complex people, you’re close. The Most people to get the biggest baddest weapons were the kids that still thought the whole thing was a big joke, and loved playing violent video games! Crazy. Well, anyway, the Military people started going door to door confiscating all alien technology, weapon or not. Bob hid his Very carefully.
No matter what anybody did, nobody could even take apart any of the stuff they got from the Empire, let alone figure out how it worked. Bob, along with a lot of other people, chatted about all of this with other people. “My theory as to why we were sent catalogs and allowed to get these weapons and stuff for free is because the Empire has a sense of fairness.” said Bob to his next door neighbor George. “It’s no fair blowing up a dumb unarmed cave man with a grenade, you know?”
Bob worked at a grocery store, stocking the shelves. There were always people buying things, but now the grocery stores were being emptied out by panicking people. Bob couldn’t keep up with the restocking, nor could anyone else. Eventually the stores shut their doors, and Bob was out of work. So, as it happens, he was standing around chatting with his next door neighbor George, rather than at work.
Then the promised war started. But unlike any war in the history of mankind, apparently the human race had been allowed to chose the single designated battleground where the armies of all the nations of Earth would fight the Conquering Empire’s army. They were true to their word, not one single non-combatant, such as medical staff in MASH units, were so much as scratched. When any of our people were wounded, and were no longer able to fight, they ignored them completely. And, this boggles the mind, the war was conducted on a strict schedule. The Empire’s army would just appear on the battlefield at 0800 GMT, sharp, and simply vanish again at precisely 2000 GMT, every day.
It seems the Empire’s sense of fairness caused casualties among their own soldiers, but our people were not able to capture a single enemy soldier. As soon as one went down, a portal opened up under them, and they vanished. Being aliens, they came in many shapes and sizes, but all wore the same uniform armor, emblazoned with the crest of the Empire. They precisely targeted and killed any enemy of the Empire who was fighting, and hadn’t surrendered. Everybody that surrendered by kneeling down and putting their hands on their heads were ignored during the fighting. Not even one was wounded.
Bob, not being one to stand up in the middle of a firefight, stayed home, and watched the news about the war. If the local news channels didn’t cover it, they lost viewership quickly. All the TV shows people normally watched were suspended indefinitely. This was a war unlike any other. Reporters and their cameras were able to record everything that happened on the battlefield, because they were completely ignored by the Empire’s army. And, luckily, they didn’t get any friendly fire.
For Bob, this was validation of his ideas and ramblings that people thought were crazy. There WERE aliens, and they DID want to take over the world! “Well would you look at that! Glad I’ve got my hologram!” Bob said to himself as he watched the wildly speculative news coverage. His hologram was inactive, but would automatically activate if he was anywhere near active combat.
Bob’s phone rang, and he picked it up after pausing his DVR.
“Hello sir, I am an emissary of the World Conquering Empire, and I’m conducting a brief survey of product satisfaction. Press 1 if you are satisfied with the product you received. Press 2 if you are unsatisfied, and we will connect you with a customer service representative.”
“You’ve gotta be pulling my leg, right?”
“No, sir, we want to ensure that all of our customers are satisfied, and taken care of.”
“Wait, am I talking to a person, or an automated system?”
“Uhh… Ok…” Bob clicked the 1 button.
“Thank you for your response, is there anything else I can help you with today?”
“Yah, sure, can you tell me Why this Empire of yours is conquering my planet?!”
“Yes sir, I can. There are two main reasons for the decision to conquer your world. First, we are a peaceful civilization and we have recently become aware of your technological advancement, and our projections indicate that Earth will be capable of interstellar travel within 10 years. Your constant wars with your own kind led us to conclude that you would very likely become a threat to one or more of our worlds. The second reason is that many of our people have become intrigued with humans and your world and would like to visit, as in tourism. But we cannot associate closely with a civilization that poses a threat to us. Therefore the threat must be dealt with now, before it can blossom and become unmanageable.”
Bob was speechless… But not for long. “So… you are a peaceful civilization, but you have an incredibly advanced military and advanced weapons?! What?!”
“Yes, sir, we are peaceful Because of our advanced military and weapons. No one dares to break the Imperial Law against Warfare among the member worlds, and the only standing army allowed to exist is the Empire’s. Enemies of the Empire who attempt to break the law and kill many innocent people are quickly, and accurately, dealt with.”
Bob let out of puff of air he hadn’t realized he’d been keeping in. That actually makes sense to him. Just look at how peaceful and free of war the US has been for a long time, because its strong military and advanced weapons keep its enemies off its shores.
“So, do you tell anybody this if they ask?”
“Yes, of course, sir. Can I help you with anything else?”
“Uhm… no, I’m fine, thanks.”
“Thank you for answering our brief survey, and have a nice day. Enjoy the rest of the war.” click
Bob shook his head and decided to turn off the TV and read a book. This is just too much crazy for even a crackpot like him.

Chapter 2

The war was over in a lot less than one year. Lots of brave soldiers died fighting for their world, but in the end, the Empire won. The Empire apparently prides itself in very fast wars. After it was all over, the Empire did exactly what they promised they would do. All the funerals and burials were taken care of by the Empire, with full military honors. A statue was made at a really nice memorial. It was… amazing. Shocking. Totally different. Crazy.
And then they started to ship food all over the planet, all the starving people suddenly had all the food and water, and even medicine, clothes, and shelter, they could ever need. Poverty was done away with faster than the war lasted. They even started cleaning up the environment. Most of the people who were constantly fighting wars and getting the rest of the world riled up were either dead or had surrendered and been shipped off to a processing center. So, true to their word, the Empire had outlawed warfare.
Transportation portals sprang up all over the world and interplanetary commerce and tourism started up. All the aliens that came through the portals could speak human languages, or at least they tried, sometimes with hilarious effect. One purple little alien asked Bob to help him pick a pet hotdog. Which made Bob laugh so hard he nearly passed out. The little purple alien thought he’d hurt Bob somehow and called a medic. Which Bob waved off when it arrived.
Bob was surprised at how friendly and easygoing all the many creatures from those other planets were. The very first day after all hostilities had ended and all the funerals had been taken care of, new arrivals appeared in our cities with what looked like cameras, apparently taking pictures and even Buying Souvenirs! Since none of them had any of our currencies, they traded bits of precious stones or metals. One dropped a huge diamond, and apologised for the mess!! Apparently that’s part of their biological process.
Bob finally looked at that website, in the phone message, and discovered that apparently this is routine for them. They’ve conquered dozens of worlds, some of which didn’t fight at all and just welcomed the Empire with open arms. Bob watched videos of the Emperor himself playing with giggling kids in a park! He thought it was, well, completely bizarre!
How did a militarily advanced Empire, that just totally defeats its enemies lightning fast, have such a peaceful, happy, society? It boggles the mind. Also, the only punishment for breaking Imperial Law, of which there are very few since the worlds retain much of their autonomy, is to be arrested and shipped off to some backwater planet with no technology. Don’t like following the rules, go live somewhere else, where you can’t hurt anybody. Seems like a reasonable solution.

Bob found a world where they do not use currency of any kind, it’s one big bunch of Gift Economies! Bob found the info on the website for how to arrange travel to a particular world using one of the portals that had appeared all over Earth, and made plans to visit the moneyless world. And the Empire is one giant Resource Based Economy. All the food and other resources that every sentient being needs is just instantly made available to them, On Demand, no matter what planet they are on. No charge. For Free!
“I haven’t felt this happy and carefree in a very long time.” said Bob to his new neighbor, a little purple alien, named Glorp.
“I hear that from lots of people, once the Empire takes them in.” Said Glorp, with a bit of an accent, and with a surprisingly low base voice for a creature of his stature, being only 3 feet tall.
“So, how many worlds have been conquered Glorp?”
“Oh, well, usually planets are welcomed in peacefully, because most species that get the Empire’s attention abandoned warfare a long time ago. But there have been a few that needed extra attention, like yours. I know of 5 others, myself, but I’m not a historian.”
“Nor am I, but we have a saying. History is written by the victors.”
“WHAT?! That’s insane! How would you ever know what really happened if the historians aren’t allowed to be disinterested third parties who chronicle events for posterity?”
“That’s my point… we don’t.”
Glorp looked at Bob with two eyes, and twirled his third eye, one of the many new body language things to learn these days. Apparently, it is similar to when a human twirls a finger at their temple to indicate something crazy.
But, not being used to alien body language yet, this caused Bob to laugh, and wheeze, in his comfy chair on the porch where he and Glorp sat chatting and watching the strange new things going on in the neighborhood.
All the world governments have had to adjust pretty much everything they do, or just quit. The Empire handles any infractions against their laws instantly. Someone breaks an Imperial Law, they are dealt with quickly, never to be seen or heard from again. Unless you go visit them on whatever backward world they wound up on, which is only a two way trip for visitors, the offenders have to stay.

Bob asked Glorp about taxes, the costs that defeated people usually have to shoulder after they lose a war. Glorp twirled his third eye again and said “They don’t do that kind of thing. Once a world is conquered it is considered just another part of the Empire. No taxes, no major burdens for people to bear, no abuse, no slavery, nothing like the stuff you crazy Humans have typically done to each other. Isn’t that great?! Oh, and their military is entirely professional, everybody that joins gets compensation for their service, nobody is Forced to join their military. No draft. whew I’m sure that if I joined, I’d be kicked out of their Basic Training boot camp. Not that I’d want to anyway.”
“No way, nor would I, I hate fighting, I wouldn’t use a gun on anybody, that’s crazy.”
“You got that right, Bob. You sound almost Sane!” exclaimed Glorp in an apparent attempt at humor. Bob found it pretty funny and laughed until he could barely breath, while Glorp’s third eye spun around at him.
“So, there must be some kind of horrible, evil, secret behind this unbelievable utopian Empire. Right? I haven’t found it yet. But when I do, boy oh boy, I’m gonna blow the lid on that secret. Like, wikileaks style, you know? Until then, I figure I’ll enjoy myself as much as possible.” Bob explained, while sipping on a chocolate milkshake.
“Wikileaks? Never heard of it. But, no, as far as I know there is no deep dark secret. The Empire just wants everybody to get along and play nice. What they get out of it is the same as what each member world gets out of it. Peace and prosperity.” Explained Glorp while sipping on some green slime Bob had yet mustered up enough bravery to taste.
“Well, Glorp, my new friend, I’m tired, and I’m going to bed. I’ll see you later.”
“Ok Bob, nice chatting with you, as always. Have a nice night, and enjoy the peace my space brother.” Glorp grinned at Bob with a mouth full of razor sharp teeth that are apparently great at cutting wood, as Glorp had explained during an earlier chat.
Bob got up and went inside his home, stretched, yawned, and put the now empty glass in the recycler, which hummed happily as it dematerialised the glass. Yet another of the improvements to the world the Empire had graciously provided. As Bob crawled into bed, he wondered about possible evil secrets, which of course wouldn’t be secrets if everyone in the Empire knew them. Still the same old conspiracy theory crackpot, Bob supposed to himself.

Chapter 3

Bob’s alarm clock he’d had for many years went off at 6am, as usual, so he could get up, start a pot of coffee with his good old trusted coffee maker, jump in the shower, and come out in a towel, just as his coffee finished, so he could get dressed, sit on the porch with a nice hot cup of coffee, and read the newspaper that was always waiting at the foot of the front door.
But these days Glorp would meet him on the porch to chat, always with a big toothy grin, and a happy demeanor. Bob decided to discuss his plans to go visit other worlds with Glorp that particular morning.
“I’ve decided to go visit some other worlds. I’m thinking of going to that one that doesn’t use money. I’m curious to see how they get along without it.”
“Haa! Well get ready to have a great time, Bob, that’s one interesting planet! They have huge flowers, big as your human skyscrapers, and they just build all around them, and dig out compartments to live in. But those giant flowers only bloom once in a century, then die. So they move from one flower to another.” explained Glorp.
“Wow! That sounds really fun! Are there any giant bugs to ride around on?” asked Bob.
“Why would you want to do that?! Those things are crazy, violent, things, too busy gathering enough nectar and pollen to be tamed.”
“What?! I was just kidding about the bugs! There really are huge bugs there?!” exclaimed Bob.
Glorp popped a large bubble, his version of a sigh, and said “Yes, Bob, it’s a very oxygen rich environment, the insects get really huge. In fact, you humans will need breathing equipment because the oxygen is too rich for you. Honestly, I don’t know how such a weak species managed to become such a huge risk to the Empire so quickly in your evolution.” and Glorp shook his rear tentacle, his equivalent of a head shake being as he didn’t have a head that could swivel on a neck.
Bob grumbled. Glorp means well, but it always irks him to be called weak, stupid, or insane, as a species.
Just as Bob opened his mouth to tell Glorp how irritating it is to be called weak, stupid, or insane, he was shut up by a loud alarm coming from all around, followed by a booming voice:
Attention! Attention! All beings currently on planet Earth, the Empire has detected a Zarvot swarm ship on an approach vector. Repeat, the Empire has detected a Zarvot swarm ship on an approach vector. Evacuation is advised. Repeat, evacuation is advised.
“Zarvots?! Oh no!” exclaimed Glorp, as he jumped down from his chair.
“What the?! What are Zarvots?!” asked Bob, as he watched the sky change color as the newly installed planetary defense system activated and shield projectors powered up.
“No time to explain, come on Bob, we have to go, Now!!” exclaimed Glorp as he grabbed Bob with more strength than Bob had imagined the little purple alien had, and dragged him along to the nearest portal, which was already lining up with terrified humans and aliens.
Just before Bob and Glorp finally reached the portal to evacuate to another world, one of the shields directly overhead was hit, hard, which overstressed the shield projector, which exploded, opening up a hole, temporarily, in the planetary shield grid. Several hundred small fighter craft managed to get through that hole before other shield projectors came online to plug that hole back up.
They started shooting anything and everything, without discrimination. The people trying to evacuate screamed and started pushing to get through the portal faster. Bob and Glorp got carried along. Then an explosion threw Bob, Glorp, and several others to the side, onto the ground. When Bob looked up he saw that half his house was gone, and in it’s place was a smoldering wreck of one of those fighter craft.
“Noooo!! Not my house!!” exclaimed Bob!
“Forget about, Bob, we have to get out of here!” yelled Glorp, shoving Bob toward the portal, and helping others get up again.
Bob finally got through the portal and stood to the side allowing others to get through as fast as they could. He grabbed Glorp and pulled him in just as he saw a flaming fighter craft plummeting toward the portal. It crashed, destroying the portal system on Earth, permanently shutting down the portal on whatever planet they’d evacuated to.
Bob had finally left Earth. And had no idea where he was. Or what was happening to his planet. Breathing hard and staring around he found a lot of other people in the same state of shock and terror, covered in dirt, grass stains, and debris.
“Ok, can you explain what the heck is going on please?!” exclaimed Bob.
“Those guys are evil, they refuse to listen to reason, and no matter how many of them the Empire destroys we can never find them all and beat them into submission. They don’t apparently have a homeworld or main base of operations. As soon as they capture a world, they wipe out all life, gather up all the resources they can, and take off again. They build new swarm ships out in deep space and split off in random directions. That’s all we know about them, I swear! We don’t even know what they call themselves, we just call them Zarvots because of the first Imperial member world they invaded, called Zarvot II.” Glorp explained, while dozens of small bubbles formed and deflated all over his head.
Attention! Attention! All evacuees, please find the nearest attendant, they will help you find food, shelter, and medical facilities.
Bob sighed and just sat on the ground. Glorp seemed to agree with that sentiment and sat next to him, slumped to the side. Others wandered away, looking for an attendant to help them.
“Could this be the deep dark secret reason the Empire conquered Earth?” Bob inquired of the universe aloud. Glorp remained silent. As did the universe.

Chapter 4

Bob and Glorp had eventually been found by an Attendant and been taken to a large emergency kitchen to get something to eat. The chef is a multi-eyed giant blob with multiple tentacles flipping, stirring, frying, and boiling a huge amount of food for everyone, while simultaneously trying to entertain the crowd.
“Hey everybody, I’m Hverklump, but you can just call me Klump. for all you humans from Earth, I gotta say, I love your monster movies, especially the Giant Blob ones. Hilarious!” the chef Hverklump explained loud enough for everyone to hear.
Bob barely noticed the chef’s cheerful attempts to brighten his spirits. His house must have been burned down by now. He’d lost everything. His precious coffee maker. His comfy bed. His favorite books. All gone.
When food was delivered to him by one of the Attendants, he looked up, but didn’t feel like trying it. Glorp looked at him and patted him on the back.
“Hey, Bob, come on, you have to eat something. You’ll feel better, believe me. No matter how bad things get, Klump’s food always makes you feel good. He’s famous!” said Glorp quietly, trying to be helpful.
So Bob picked up the strange looking utensils and tried to use them to eat some of the food on his plate. His efforts made Glorp guffaw suddenly. Which shocked Bob out of his gloom, and he grinned at his clumsy attempts.
“Look, Bob, it’ll be alright, we’ve dealt with Zarvots before, we’ll kick them off Earth soon enough, then rebuild and get everybody back home in no time at all. So, just enjoy the time away from home. Don’t worry about it.” said Glorp, before he shoved an entire plate of food in his mouth.