We Weren't Ready


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I'm getting back into writing after a long break.

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We weren't ready for the aliens, but should have been.

They first got our attention with a series of six X-ray bursts out beyond the orbit of Neptune, one for each of their massive ships. Each was so bright, it took hours to tell that this wasn't a cometary prospector testing homebrew nukes in deep space, but the classic flash of FTL arrival, scaled up to monstrous size.

Once space traffic control was asking the military if these giant ships were theirs, it was a little late to get ready. Within a day, all flights out of the solar system had been booked a month deep. Religious leaders mostly urged calm, but more than a few sects decided the world was coming to its end.

Amid the rising panic, someone finally called my department.

"Strategic Assets, Lt. Whitmore." Caller ID already had me nervous.

"This is the Secretary of Defense. Activate plan ELECTRIC RAVEN."

"Yes, sir. Just a moment."

I opened the contingency binder, already on the desk, and found the code pointed only to a forgotten document safe.


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Comments (3 so far!)

Robert Quick

Robert Quick

I like science-fiction and repelling alien invasions, so I'm on board. I like that there was a protocol for this but that it's old (outdated?). The admittedly minor criticism is in telling the SoD 'just a moment'. Something about the wording to a presumably superior officer seems off. In my head the response from the SoD is 'We don't have a moment, son!" And it's unclear at the end whether they are still on the phone at the end. That being said, I can tell there is at least on sequel so maybe some of my criticisms are answered there. Also, I'd like to know whether you find this kind of response helpful. If not, I can stop. It's hard to tell if people want constructive criticism.

  • #3097 Posted 4 years ago
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I would perhaps have worded it as "Stand by", but "One moment" is fairly reasonable (if a little British).

  • #3098 Posted 4 years ago
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I very much do want constructive criticism, thank you! :D

  • #3101 Posted 4 years ago
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