The visitors return! Starting negotiations with earths leaders to wage a very strange secret cold war where everybody is on the same side.
“What do you mean you want us to start a war with you!?” The captain shouted.
Obviously confused, Cap was taken aback by the presidents request. War wasn’t something ever thought about by his kind–they were explorers. Such a thing was buried in the past concerning their vocabulary of the concept as something totally unthinkable.
The president responded,”Not a real war I assure you Captain, just what we on Earth call a ‘cold war’.” as he gestured quotation marks with his fingers saying those last two words.
“Let me explain. We want peaceful relations with you, and we want to get off this God forsaken boulder we live on. We need a threat to do that.”the president paused pouring a glass of tea from his pitcher then continued,”Our kind seems to stagnate without conflict of some sort. It’s a deep part of our psychological construct to do this, but without conflict we move no where.”
The captain drew in closer to the president from the other side of the oval office desk eye to eye just a foot from his face as Secret Service personnel’s hands motioned towards their sidearms ready for anything the captain might do. Those large black eyes staring into the peoples elected leaders pupils and still slightly puzzled.
“What is a ‘cold war’ Mister President?” Cap inquired.
The president explained,”Well sometimes when two nations don’t trust each other, but are too afraid to go to real war, they have a pissing contest that lasts decades to show superiority. In that time the competing nations manage to innovate and develop technologically making their governments more powerful and/or citizens lives easier. There is no actual shooting but tons of threats.”
“So the people on both sides live in fear as their governments create a mild drawn out panic. And as a result of this your planets society prospers. You are a very strange species!” The captain responded.
The president returned,”How so? Isn’t competition the way of the universe as a part of the evolution of all species? Ours is just the only way we manage to accomplish anything–when we are under pressure to succeed.”
The captain replied,”Certainly not Mister President, it’s key in early planetary evolution of course but to cling to such a thing as advanced as your culture has shown itself to be seems utterly ridiculous. In fact we are boggled by your advances and confounded at the fact that you have done nothing more with them. You should already be efficiently exploiting the resources of your stellar neighborhood at this point. Yet here you sit doing practically nothing!”
“Well, what motivated your kind to explore the universe? There had to have been some sort of conflict or struggle right?” the president asked still believing such was a common theme among intelligent beings.
The creature before him laughed and caught its breath speaking again,”Oh no sir! We just got bored and split! You can stare at a bright blue star, deep green skies and hectares of carnivorous wild toadstools for only so long. Sure it’s pretty for a little while–maybe a few million years, but we really had to get the hell out of there and see what else there was.”
The president was even more confused questioning the captain again,”That’s it? You got bored!”
“Of course! We’re not lazy savages or teenagers.” was the captains response and he continued,”But we are becoming more so–no thanks to your kind! You creatures are sick and don’t even know it.”
Hours passed as the president and the visitor discussed the situation. The captain explained the virus and its effects on non terrestrial beings to him. The president went on about how a cold war would benefit the both of them greatly. The discussion continued eventually coming to a compromise which both Earth and the quarantined visitors would benefit from.
“So this ‘cold war’ of ours will remain a secret?” the captain inquired gesturing the quotes with his fat index fingers and continued,”How is this supposed to instill fear in the people enough to motivate them if we keep this a secret?”
The president turned in his chair,”Because captain we want it to play out like a conspiracy, it won’t really be a secret.”
“Yeesh! Wars that aren’t wars! Secrets that aren’t secrets! What in the hell is this place!? A little too confusing for me, every meaning has two or more words or terms for it on your world, how do you keep anything straight without confusing yourselves?” the captain returned.
“It’s what we call an act, or a ruse Captain. The people need something to fear to progress so we tell them without telling them that there is some sort of threat, allow things to leak and they’ll divide into their usual camps believing or dismissing whatever they read or watch. Because somehow it motivates us to get what has to be done, done.” the president explained.
The captain responded,”So…that whole thing with those towers?…”
“Yep, just a bunch of crazy Islamic extremists just as the official story states, but it made people feel better to believe other things went on that day and got a lot of people off of their asses who would have otherwise sat around doing nothing but being clinically depressed.” the president returned admitting to the captain of the leaked misinformation.
The president spoke again,”In exchange for your help in this secret cold war we will offer our services to help you find your cure and lift this quarantine. One day maybe we can travel space once we have the proper motivation too and your kind has the medical defenses against what we seem to carry.”
“It all sounds rather stupid to me sir but it is your kinds psychology, so I’ll defer to your expertise on the matter and take it under consideration. Just so you know since we are being honest, I almost gave the order to destroy your entire solar system by turning your sun inside out yesterday. I feel rather, uh what is the word?…’silly’ about all that. I suppose an apology is in order. Your kinds emotions got the better of me.” The captain said as his cheeks slightly blushed blue feeling a little humiliated.
Standing up the president had a grave concerned look on his face as he spoke again,”You mean you have a weapon of such destructive force it can kill a star!?”
In a slight panic and ready to soil itself the captain stumbled as it replied,”Weapon? No, no no! Not really a weapon! It’s, it’s an energy mining device! Well was…”
“Hold your horses captain!”said the president as he cut him off laughing hoarsely,”I am not mad, really. Actually that sounds awesome, we can leak that! Maybe you can set it to stun or whatever you do with that weapon use it for target practice shooting at asteroids when people are watching! Meanwhile we’ll continue to officially deny your existence, and the people will believe what they will want to believe. Hahahaha! You’re just hilarious with your ‘Sorry we almost blew up your Sun!’ comment there partner, don’t be frightened we don’t actually hold grudges very long maybe a few decades officially sometimes. After all the last cold war we were in ended a decade before the public figured it out! We just kept it on because my pop’s boss Ronny and his buddy old Gorby had a good thing going.”
After calming it down and checking the captains seat for streaks the visitor responded,”Whew! So glad you aren’t mad. That expression on your face was a misdirect at my expense for humor I assume?”
“Exactly Cap! Which is just what we are going to do with the people of Earth for a while–one big joke. Long enough to get them off their asses again. Now tell me more about this wonderful weapon of yours.” the president said.
The captain frowned and responded,”I guess I am sorry to tell you this but we have disabled it, dismantled it, and jettisoned it’s parts into Jupiter burning it to cinders in its thick gaseous atmosphere. It wasn’t really a weapon but a very destructive tool we use for mining star matter, not normally used in systems with inhabited worlds. I couldn’t withstand the um..there is a word for it right..in some of your religious books?”
“Temptation. I believe that’s the word you’re looking for–I am familiar with my Bible.” corrected the president, now feeling a little disappointed no longer imagining a huge honking space gun he could ask to play around with for fun like a boy in the sand box with a friends set of Tonka trucks–Oh well.
“Why yes! Thank you, that’s the word sir. I am really very sorry to disappoint you.” the captain said in condolence.
“Well! That’s okay friend! We’ll just leak it that you are warlike and armed to the teeth to the usual conspiracy groups–they don’t have to know the weapon is gone, just know you had one.” the president said as he perked up again.
He spoke again overjoyed,”Over the coming weeks I’d like to introduce you to a few others in the loop on this, starting with my buddy Vlad, he’s just outside I’ll tell him to come on in to meet you!”
The door opened, in walked a slim gentlemen wearing a red lapel pin sandy brown hair parted on the left combed over his balding scalp he walked up to the captain holding out his hand to shake and spoke,”och-en pree-yat-na” which translates to “Pleased to meet you” when pronounced in Russian (as written~Очень приятно).
The captain understood his greeting and gesture and returned greetings in its own language consisting of rapid successions of clicks and squeaks–similar in some ways to computer binary or Morse code in its structure. The captains species communicated in clicks and squeaks for efficiency’s sake but still had incredible vocal range. The binary short hand form of it’s kinds language was a fairly modern development useful for productive living developed over the past 5000 years, and a few still existed who spoke native languages with broader vocal ranges like the ranges of the voices of the people of earth. Then translating for himself and his contacts on hand speaking two languages simultaneously–both English and Russian,”The pleasure is all mine President Vlad” translating so George didn’t feel left out.
The discussions continued through the night. For the sake of his friend George, Vlad continued in English respecting his western counterparts handicap with the language. And the Captain continued to speak dual languages while conversing so neither George or Vlad had any trouble communicating with it. It was an amazing ability the captain demonstrated. Both men in the room could hear two languages being spoken as they chattered at the same time but the language native to each of them was loudest to them and the other they were only aware of as a background. The captain had apparently superior control of his vocal organs and both the presidents were thoroughly impressed. At first they believed it might have been some sort of psychic projection, but the captain explained that it was all simple muscle control and an ability to target sound waves which made this possible–George even commented that its kind would make superior ventriloquists.
They continued discussions concerning future cold wars as the presidents broke out the bourbon and cigars. The captain waving off the tightly rolled brown tobacco stick Vlad offered him, instead pulling a briar pipe and loading it from a can of Prince Albert inside a satchel beneath his seat.
Smoking was a habit it had already taken up in the time since arrival, but cigars weren’t to the captains liking–they broke apart too easily. Cap tended to chew the ends while puffing so a pipe was nice and durable against its grinding teeth. Also waving off the bourbon, it had seen what liquor was doing to the ships pilot–instead captain settled for the liquid black caffeine. George pulled out a little mirror at some point early in the morning with something powdery on it as everyone discussed the plan.
Vlad waved it away as did the captain then George said,”Meh! Some drugs aren’t for everyone I guess.” before doing a small line of it and putting it back in his desk.
Before breakfast time George, Vlad and the captain said their goodbyes accompanying Cap to his cloaked shuttle on the South lawn of the White House still under cover of darkness. The two world leaders waved as the ship lifted from the ground to say a farewell.
Vlad turned to George and said,”That Captain such a nice guy?…uh girl?…wait second, what in hell is it?”
“Don’t know either Vlad, don’t think it has such parts or maybe it’s got both, at least it’s friendly. In Texas we us got a name for human type he/she’s but it’s meant as an insult–not a real nice word to use.” George returned.
“Nearly blows up sun George, don’t know if friendly or PMS…maybe girl” Vlad responded.
George spoke again,”Nahh, just frightened as hell I think. Took us millions of years to learn to be human and we are still learning–they are getting the crash course, those poor bastards.”
“Da, I guess so, Say where’s your uncle Dick today?” Vlad asked.
“On a hunting trip” George answered.
Vlad looking a little surprised and laughing talked back,”At his age? He’s half blind and senile. Might shoot someone in face if he’s not careful!”
Both Laughing now George asks Vlad,”You up to go out for some breakfast?”
“Sure but it’s still too early, nothing will be open.”Vlad returned.
George responded,”Oh nonsense Vlad ol’ buddy, we’ve had a 24 hour Hooters right next door since Bill was running things.”
Vlad,” Okay, I guess I could go for some wings.”
The still existing sun began to rise and they walked across the south lawn with their respective security forces in tow counting their blessings.