First Contact

Plastic electricity, as we have called it, is almost impossible to be created except through artificial means. It is also the only way to travel faster than light, at least to the best of our knowledge. If you can lock on to the signal that an plastic electricity sample puts off, you can travel to within twenty AU of the sample in seconds. To find intelligent life, you simply wait until they create a sample of plastic electricity.

Its signal is easily detectable if you know what to look for. That’s what caused First Contact. Our scientists created a small sample of plastic electricity as part of a special convention of the world’s most innovative scientists. They weren’t given a chance to study it before the Mothership arrived, especially after it went missing.

The ship remained in orbit for several months. When we sent a communication to it asking after its intentions, it replied back that our planet’s atmosphere was not compatible with their race, but they working on a solution to that. Of course, everyone thought they were going to terraform the planet and kill us off in the process. Those fears were amplified when the Mothership sent down probes around the planet. The military of the world tried to dislodge or destroy the probes, but that proved useless. Smaller ships came out of the Mothership and began building strange space stations around Earth in high orbit. We slowly became resigned to our fate.

That is, until we received a communication telling us to call a UN meeting that would include all of the most powerful nations’ leaders, as well as bring the strange material our scientists had discovered. Once a scientist came forward with the sample of Plastic Electricity, we did as we were told. The scientist, a Silvano Winston, brought the sample into the center of the assembly. We were about to call the meeting to order when the space around the sample warped, and three aliens appeared with their hands resting on the sample.

The UN guards surrounded them, but they spoke calmly. “We are here because you are an intelligent race, and you have created ‘Plastic Electricity,’ as you call it. It has allowed us to breach the edge of the universe and enter this Sol system. We have need of materials and a workforce. Your people are hardworking and industrious. They enjoy discovery and exploration. You are perfect for our needs.”

The question of whether we wanted this was raised, to which the aliens responded. “You may think us cruel for forcing this upon you, but there is another race of aliens that would not be so kind in their subjugation of your race. They are coming, and when they get here, you need to be ready. The stations we have built around your planet act as a defense mechanism. They keep unauthorized ships from warping inside the sphere they create, as well as firing on any that warp to outside of that sphere.”

Whether we liked it or not, we were propelled into what promised to be an intergalactic war. Shipyards were built, along with more samples of Plastic Electricity. Workers warped to the shipyards to work in the morning, and then warped back home at night. Life carried on almost without any difference, save for the knowledge that aliens were real. War was not on our minds, since no other ships had attacked us yet. We just built what our new leaders told us to.

There were small uprisings, of course, but our human weapons and armor couldn’t match the aliens’. We couldn’t attain alien weapons because they were so uniquely tailored to their creator’s biology. Any attempt to steal and study them was met with swift retaliation, and utter destruction of those who aided in the theft. Our new leaders were careful not to be too controlling. They let us work in any way we wanted, as long as a certain percent worked in their industries.

That wasn’t hard to do considering those who did received special bonuses. The decontamination process the workers went through before and after work made it almost impossible for them to get sick, and of course the thought of being able to work with alien technology made many people excited. After a few years, it was like it had always been this way.


2 thoughts on “First Contact”

  1. Sounds kind of like Roman-style conquest, i.e., leaving things as much like they found it as possible while still getting the benefits of conquest (taxes, soldiers, etc.).

    Do you have any thoughts on how the language barrier was crossed so smoothly?

    Do we get a description of the aliens, apart from apparently having hands?

    1. I’m not sure what the aliens look like, but I’ll probably do a ramble on them that answers both of those questions, at least once I figure out what they look like.

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