The Tides of Earth – Chapter 2 – Wake-up Call

Prelude front cover

Mike immersed himself in thought. Today was Show and Tell. They’d demonstrate to the United Nations the full power of the K’Laadian weapons. The decision, while returning to Earth in command of this ship–their prize–had been difficult. But there was no going back. We’re in it now! It’ll only get tougher, because now they needed to buy or pry away the political support they’d need to build a planetary defense.

They found no other choice. Humanity had to be defended, but the captured weapons were too powerful–too dangerous entrust to any one government… even more dangerous to share with all. The K’Laadian’s view toward human civilization may have been cold, but it hadn’t been entirely inaccurate. With these weapons, mankind could tear itself apart.

Creating an independent council was Maggie’s idea. Completely independent from Earth governments. Never to interfere with earth’s local affairs. Maggie’s plan. But it was Tracy who’d recognized the full truth. 

They had already learned too much themselves. Earth’s governments and competing factions would never stop seeking control of the technology. Their knowledge would always make them a target–a threat not only to themselves, but to their families. That same risk would face all who joined them.

Mike glanced at Tracy and frowned. She still scanned the globe nervously. The harsh new reality meant end to any chance at a normal life. Self-imposed exile… for them and anyone they recruited. But harder for her, Mike knew… a life now defined by morbid duty and dashed dreams.

Tracy interrupted his thoughts. “You’re sure the canisters are ready? All the parameters right?”

“We’ve prepared all we can,” Maggie answered instead. “The practices have been successful. Targeting software has been perfect. No reason to believe it’ll fail now. And better us than the K’laadians picking targets.”

“We’ve got it covered.” Mike reassured. “Listen, the UN needs a demonstration. They’re just going to get a bigger one than expected.”

“There’s an understatement,” a thin smile broke on Maggie’s lips, “but we haven’t come this far to fail now. We stick to the plan. There must be full cooperation to hold a worldwide vote. No government interference! And certainly no exceptions for dictators! It’s everyone’s choice! Whether to fight or to flee–all humanity must decide.” Maggie shook her head, “they’ve got to learn to work together.”

Well, this ought to do it! Mike mused…. There’ll definitely be some soiled britches today.

Maggie inhaled deeply and reflected… Khreseea, their former captor, had been right about one thing–humanity was immature. But she had been wrong about K’laadia ruling Earth. Humans didn’t like being told what to do. Millenia of genetics and conditioning stood in the way. We have to decide for ourselves.

“Time to make the phone call.” Maggie said. “Mike, lock targeting. Engage the moment I hang up. We need to wrap this up before the UN goes in session.”

Mike leaned back and took a deep breath, ready. “Won’t be a problem. Targets are all tagged. I expect we’ll be done in two hours.”

“No casualties?” Tracy frowned. She didn’t want to jeopardize public support. More so she didn’t want it on her conscience. The UN demonstration would be a piece of cake. This unscheduled pre-demo operation is what worried her.

Mike smiled sympathetically. “We’ve done all we can, but there’s no guarantee. We hit the targets fast enough–before they can man their weapons–and we’ve got a pretty good chance. You’ve seen it work. If all goes well, best their military will be able to do is stand by and watch.

Maggie listened to the exchange, looked down at her com station, and shuddered. It’s time! No choice! She’d accepted it, now hoped she was right. Here on out everything they did would be under intense scrutiny… and they needed all the public support they could get–even for this!

At 00:30 AM Beijing time, morning of the UN general assembly program, Maggie reached out to Premier Chou. It took another ten minutes for his staff to get his translator, although the K’Leestra47’s computer could translate if needed.

“Premier Chou, my apologies for disturbing you at this hour,” she didn’t know if there was a proper protocol…” but there is some urgent business concerning North Koryo, and only China can help resolve it.” She heard a torrent of words in the background that she couldn’t understand, then the interpreter answered. It amounted to one reciprocal pleasantry, and then–as she interpreted it–a “what the fuck do you want”–or a close approximation thereof.

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