A short story.
New Nation Welcomed to UN
New York Wiretap
September 1, 2097
Barnum Smith, Contributer
Events in the past eight weeks have world citizens in deep fear, confusion, and even relief. Our first contact with intelligent interstellar individuals began with a force of three million soldiers landing in the Sahara Desert in Africa. The world watched and waited to find out what they would say. Their initial transmission could be summarized as, “We intend peace, but are prepared to fight.”
President DuPont initiated the Planetary Summit in Cairo, which was considered a success, although philological and cultural differences made for quite the press frenzy. Ambassador Zyrek and other Gauldron diplomats were welcomed into the United Nations Headquarters four days after the close of the summit.
Zyrek spoke on behalf his home solar system and Prefect Pomalt, the leader of the Gauldra Union. In his speech, he addressed the recent misunderstanding. Translators were praised for their excellent interpretation of the speech, as the dialect is based on American English and their native Gaal language.
“We learned English and other languages from your broadcasts starting during your 1970’s. We received your broadcasts on our receivers until Earth year 2007, at which time we saw news reports of war and natural disasters. Then Earth went gradually darker, and our technology was limited, far behind your own.”
The first questions we were asking was, “What are they talking about? We broadcast almost everything!” The answer to that lie in the time period of their loss of our communications. Nearly everything we broadcast was on analog signals prior to 2010. There were theories that the old broadcast waves would go into space and then just keep going. No one was able to prove this, of course.
However, the Gauldrons were watching the whole time. They caught bits and pieces of our history, culture and current events almost daily for sixty years. Then we went digital. Our broadcasts became HD, and their screen went blank.
During the past ninety years, they developed technologies based on our own, some that we haven’t even been able to produce yet, namely advanced light speed. All of it, however was inspired by something we, on Earth, in small televisions studios, recorded. It has overwhelmed many in the journalism world, including myself.
Ambassador Zyrek continued, “Our army was amassed over fifty earth years’ time in response to your terrorist concerns. We then set course for your planet preparing to help you defend it and reestablish settlements if needed. We landed in the desert to begin operations, but we soon realized we had been mistaken. One of our most ancient beliefs is that no communication means there is trouble. With the news of war, terrorism and natural disasters, we decided to help. We were relieved that it was a misunderstanding and we gratefully and humbly accept your invitation.”
The ambassador then announced that the majority of his forces would return home, and the rest would remain on Earth for diplomatic and scientific purposes, and there are also numerous trade opportunities he is overseeing himself.
Although the vote to admit the Gauldra Union was unanimous, the Robotic Alliance was skeptical. Their admission in 2076 was granted after a destructive ground war lasting five years. Robot President Alpha Program spoke to the assembly a day prior to Zyrek’s arrival at the UN.
“We lost many people on both sides, and though this is but a memory to us now, I cannot help but wonder why my predecessors were not treated as humanely as the Gauldrons have been thus far? The concept is truly incalculable,” Program expressed.
President Program also said he had full intention of recognizing the Gauldra Union, and his administration has openly released the policy and required updates. Toward the end of his speech, Program remarked, “There is no reason not to make new friends. However, it stands to reason that humanity has now developed a conscience much like we had from the beginning.”
Barnum Smith is an Associate Dean at Columbia University and is a political consultant and proud broadcast personality.