Mekors of War / Findler of Peace (Novella)

Making War / Finding Peace: When finished these two story lines about violence and human nature can either be read one after the other (War then Peace or Peace then War) or read together as one story according to timeline:




























Originally I wanted reading the entirely of Mekors and then the entirety of Findler to be the default reading order. But when I tried posting them that way I found it too hard to resist posting Findler too.
Happy reading.

Mekors of War / Findler of Peace   | A Net Novella 

Mekors of War | Findler of Peace - Day 1
Sunday, 24 May 2015, 10:45 am

Ram:           I am lucky if I understand English? Forgive my laughter but as it happens I came here to discuss your luck. You and all humans on Earth are about to have some very bad luck. Are you transmitting this to your superiors, yes? Good. Listen carefully.
My name is Ram, I am a Mekor. More than a hundred years ago my species classified your world-civilization as FSHV. Fimraz Sequence Havnic Variation is a tech-industrial arc driven by unsustainable violence resulting in catastrophic habitat collapse and sentience extinction. Since you are going to kill yourselves off anyway, the Mekor Hegemony tagged you for ‘resource redistribution’. From your perspective this might better be labeled ‘invasion and extermination’.
Fortunately, not all my species practices sustainable violence. The Revolution believes sentience should have every opportunity to improve no matter how slim, and to protect those opportunities the Revolution has infiltrated and disrupted hundreds of Hegemony redistribution operations.
The Revolution’s first plan is always more of a hope than a plan. Any significant deviation your planet made from FSHV would have done it; the Hegemony makes many bad laws but is very good at following laws once they are made. Yet when the fleet was ten light years away your world’s assessment was unchanged, so The Revolution enacted plan B: mutiny.
Unfortunately, on this mission The Revolution tried a new tactic and were not entirely successful. After we stormed the Ranz drive I told the Fleet Admiral, “We will feed you until you get to the target planet if you choose diplomacy once you get there. Or choose planetary war and starve.” Without the Ranz-decel drive every fleet ship I will would overshoot your planet and run out of food long before standard navigation could reverse course. But the Admiral replied, “Surrender and receive a quick death. Or starve with us.” I do not think either of us believed the other would carry out our threats. We should have believed, we are not very different. We both value something more than our own life or death.
Yet this is why the entire fleet flew right past your solar system, all except for one ship. The captain of my ship took it upon herself to decelerate by crashing through the largest gas giant in your system. You have seen what happened to the gas giant. But the Hegemony did not build ships for running into planets; imagine what they can do with weapons they have actually designed for violence.
Now only seven of a two hundred crew survived that collision. But just before we landed here the Fleet Admiral give the cannibal order. It is a rarely given order because it is not a very sustainable kind of violence. But it means exactly what you think it means. The Mekors are not going to quietly starve to death aboard their ships. Instead, in about two years the remaining revenge-hungry Mekors are going to arrive aboard two or three ships, each ship capable of destroying a quarter of your planet.
So, if you are very ‘lucky’ you’re going to put down your rather ineffective pellet weapon and wait for your superiors to take me to your United Nations where we can plan the best possible defense of your planet.
Mekors of War - Day 1
Sunday, 24 May 2015, 2:28pm


Ducel: Ambassador Ram has arrived and asks if you’ve seen its message.
Stvns: Yeah I saw the alien’s broadcast and never so much bullshit in my life. US military’s been doing “sustainable conflict” since WWII; we sure as hell aren’t going to learn anything from something that looks like a Mexican border jumping bean. Oh, don’t give me your PC crap, just show the damn thing in. Maybe we can get some decent flight tech off the fu––  


Stvns: Ambassador Ram of the Revolution Council, on behalf of the United States I’d like––
Ram:     Does Dierdre Ducel inherit your position in the event of your death?
Stvns: What? [Laughter] Cut through all these diplomatic conventions, right? Well, I’m sure she’d do a lovely job until the President appointed someone else, but your point is there’s only seven––

“Yes, right then. That’s when I knew. Ambassador Ram wasn’t trying to make a point or cut red tape. Ram was planning to kill Stevens.”
“Tell me Deirdre, is this when you decided to give the alien the idea to hurt Ambassador Stevens?”
“Delegate M’Kasa, there is no relationship between us; you may call me Ambassador or Ambassador Ducel. And no, this is when I realized Ambassador Ram had already planned to hurt Ambassador Stevens and when I decided I’d better clarify Stevens’ statement so Ambassador Ram wouldn’t view Ambassador Stevens life as an obstacle.”
“I’m very sorry, Ambassador Deirdre Ducel. And how did you know what the alien was thinking?”
“It was an educated guess at the time, but I’d like to point out Stevens is still alive.”
“So he is, Ambassador. Let’s watch how you went about removing the Stevens obstacle, shall we?”


Ducel: Actually Ambassador Ram, that’s only if he’s medically unable to carry out his duties. But I assure you he is both talented and successful at br––



“Now why, in your expert opinion, Ambassdor Deirdre Ducel, did the alien decide Ambassador Stevens was going to be, as you say, an obstacle?”
“As Ambassador Ram later pointed out, Mekors have much better hearing than humans. It overheard Stevens’ attitude towards its broadcast and guessed, quite correctly, that Stevens had no intention of helping.”
“Whereas you want to help the alien.”
“Want? All right Delegate M’Kasa, for the record: Stevens was an ignorant pompous ass who only got this job because he met the President’s fundraiser quota. But he didn’t deserve this. And frankly I deserve to be properly appointed to his recently vacated position rather than merely inherit his catastrophic interspecies misunderstanding. But this isn’t about either of us. This is about defending the seven billion people of Earth, and that is what I want. Now what the hell do you want, Delegate?”
“Well. Ambassador Dierdre Ducel, I asked to review this recording with you because I do not know what to believe. Half the Security Council, and you know which half, only believe what they see: one alien ship and some incredibly advanced technology within easy reach. And why believe this alien? Why believe in invisible invasion fleets when this alien’s first act was to hospitalize Ambassador Stevens?”
“Because we can’t afford not to. Before you detained Ambassador Ram, it said the Mekors love war but became so good at it they ran out of enemies to fight––”
“––‘So they began using only enough force in just the right place, a science of war at the slowest, most consistent victorious rate.’ Yes Ambassador Dierdre Ducel, I've already heard Ram’s little speech.”
“But did Ram tell you the last Mekor conflict should have taken a century, time dilation included, but that they instead made it last a thousand years? Waging war on Earth seems a lopsided proposition with their technology, but a couple hundred light years’ distance reduces their advantage enough to make it interesting to them.”
“Interesting? Seriously? That’s the alien motivation you’re going with?”
“Yes. Not challenging or exciting, just interesting. They want this war to last 300 years, dwarf every modern conflict combined, and end with fifteen to twenty percent of humanity enslaved in alien mining facilities.”
“So the Mekor motivation is also war for slaves.”
“Not quite; their ruling class is practically a xenophobic Mekors-only club while only their military needs slaves. Economic incentives among the poorest quintile of conquered species are quite effective at producing their much-needed rear echelon and occupying soldiers. But don’t blame the conquered species, their only alternative is death for a lost cause. In the Mekors’ previous conflict nearly a third of the enemy sentients in ended up joining the Hegemony military.
“The Mekor Military needs human slave-soldiers?”
Only planets marked for colonization get that option. Sentients on planets marked for resource redistribution get enslaved in mining facilities. That would be our planet Delegate M'Kasa.”
“Right, right of course, it all becomes clear. Tell me, what’s the percentage of non-mekor aliens among their rear echelon and occupying forces?”
“You know damn well that number is so secret the Mekors probably never write it down. But the fact you asked means you understand what this means.”
“Oh, I do?”
“Mekors have been forcing large numbers of conquered and pacified sentient beings to be a part of the very war machine that conquered them for so long that there’s a significant, possibly very large, swath of the Mekor Empire that actually hate war.”
“But you don’t know how many non-Mekor sentients might be in this Revolution.”
“No, but think about this: out of the likely hundreds of millions of sentient beings in the Revolution, Ram is the only Mekor. And Ram didn’t join the Revolution because it’s tired of fighting.”
“Despite the fac––”
“Remember didn’t hesitate to attack Stevens. Ram is an alien who loves war and doesn’t have a remotely humane sense of morality about violence. It doesn’t even particularly care about humanity or about Earth. Ram only joined the Revolution because it believes it has a philosophically superior idea about when to fight that the rest of the Mekor Hegemony won’t listen to. And now Ram and this outlier idea is the only thing between us and the extermination of seventy-five percent of Earth’s population.”
“I see Diedre… I don’t like your point, but I see it. I suppose you’re now going to tell me that despite Mekors’ love of waging war...?”
“Mekors are afraid of the Revolution the same way we’re afraid of Mekors.”
“Mmmm. It may even be a very good point.”

Findler of Peace - Day 1
Sunday, 24 May 2015, 11:37pm

“You asked for an Alpha clearance officer. I’m as high as you’re going to get.”
“Wow. You’re General Nimms. And you’re definitely Alpha clearance.”
“When you face espionage and treason, Ducel, enhanced interrogation is still on the table. So shall we––”
“But I’m not getting enhanced right now, am I? I’m sitting at a table with the US Mekor Coordinator, ostensibly because I offered this really flimsy bargain. No, I’d say you’re really here because you suspect something too.”
“I’m here because it’s my job. Now all bets and bluffs are over, tell me what you know.”
“Okay. Ram lied.”
“Ram’s a single-minded interstellar jackass; everyone with a brain assumes they’re hearing lies. Is this about getting back at Ram for hurting Stevens? Like you said, Ram just wanted Stevens out of th––”
“No, it’s more than that. Ram told me the ship would auto-destruct if we tried to take the ship’s technology, that only Ram could turn the auto-destruct off. Not ten minutes later, M’Kasa says engineers were already inside working.”
“No listen: Ram is their foremost authority on Earth –– a Mekor Civilizational Assessor. It doesn’t just speak English, it speaks American and probably a dozen other languages and speaks them perfectly. It knows everything there is to know about us. So Ram knew we would strip the ship and even said itself that our having the ship technology is in the Revolution Council’s favor, but instead Ram tried to keep us out.”
“So you went to Ambassador Joe.”
“Excuse me General, CO on scene has contact with aliens named Joe and Uri, wants to know what his order are.”
“Maintain secure lockdown. Understand the aliens on that ship are now diplomatic agents. CO is personally responsible aliens are treated as such no matter what happens. Warn Ambassador Uri I have a growing list of inquiries and security concerns, more on that in five.”
“Yes, General.”
“Five minutes, Ducel, Tell me about Ambassador Joe.”
“Joe said there were injuries from the Jupiter crash not just deaths.
“They aren’t expected to survive their injuries.”
“But Ram’s omiting and manipulating, hiding something big enough not to take the chance we might get lucky.”
“And what did Ambassador Joe want from you?”
“Whatever Ram thought was special about Earth history compared to Mekor history. I didn’t know, I sent him to Jonathan Findler.”
“That’s it?”
“Joe thinks Ram might have sold out the Revolution. If that’s true then our entire military response is skewed and––”
“Why did you leak the broadcast? Why not just tell us?”
“No evidence. Besides, aliens land—extraterrestrial aliens––and say we’re about to be invaded and the one who fast-tracks their diplomatic immunity then jumps off the tiger at the first stop? No one was going to listen to me and you know it. So, me versus everyone alive on Earth. Easy choice. This way people can hold the military accountable.”
“Did Ram say anything about the captain of the ship?”
“The ship captain? Nothing. Well, other than that she decided to turn Jupiter into a metallic hydrogen fountain.”
“All right.”
“All right what?”
“You have a unique position––”
“Not really.”
“––and I’m making a choice to trust you. I was irritated when you got the aliens diplomatic status.”
“A goodwill gesture with legal protec––”
“A gesture unintentionally resulting in Ram’s immunity from attacking Stevens, I understand. But the immunity’s still a bit of a joke because their ship doesn’t work, their Revolution Council isn’t in contact, and we can’t deport any of them for any illegal act. And I was furious when you leaked Ram's transmission to the media because it meant we couldn’t move quickly.”
“That’s kinda why I did it.”
“But earlier today Ram told me the Jupiter maneuver was its own idea.”
“You mean rather than the Captain taking it upon herself?”
“Yes. It’s not much to go on but I think Ram’s trying to keep so many balls in the air it didn’t even realize the slip-up. Right now I think the ship captain and Ram planned this together. All of it. Either they wanted to arrive ahead of the fleet for a reason they aren’t sharing or––”
“Or there really isn’t a fleet and the Jupiter crash was staged to create false credibility. I saw that angle too. Why are you telling me this? I’m a short flight away from being waterboarded, remember?”
“There’s going to be a lot of people who want peace thanks to you. But any movement to slow things down is going to need two things: a public leader and someone inside the military. Otherwise it’ll never be effective. But if I get you out of here, you can’t be that leader or I won’t be trusted and it’ll ruin my ability to function.”
“Oh my god –– you’re really serious!”
“I’m serious about slowing all this down until we find out what the aliens’ real plan is, then all bets are off. In the meantime you’re still going to be arrested.”
“That’s okay, if you can get me out I’ll have some great false credibility wherever I go.”
“Just get someone else out in front of you, someone you trust. It’s nearly midnight now. If you haven’t heard anything in nine hours you’re on your own. Otherwise don’t contact me, I contact you. And Ducel? Stay out of the spotlight.”

Mekors of War - Day 2
Monday, 25 May 2015, 4:25am

“An alien ship right here in Kentucky.”
“Discharge in two days. I’d‘ve of missed it.”
“Any aliens come out?”
“Just th’ one.”
“Think our weapons’ll do ‘em?”
“Look like we might find out. Stop! Do not exit the craft!
“I will not exit the craft. However, is it possible we might have some frozen water?”
“Aliens came here for ice?”
“Perhaps your superior will be able to help, he is approaching––”
“Stand down soldiers! The aliens arriving on this vessel have been granted diplomatic status by the United States Government and you will treat them as you would an ambassador of any other Earth nation. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?”
“Good, take your troops and join the perimeter fifty meters out.”
“Good morning Ambassador Uri. I apologize if my men were a little overzealous.”
“On the contrary, I am still alive and must commend their restraint.”
“All right, then I’m also sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. General Nimms has had to deal with a security issue before she could meet you.”
“You mean the giving of Ram’s speech to your media. We’ve been monitoring planetary transmissions.”
“Ahem, yes. Well. That leak does mean our government’s willing to allow you a wider range of movement provided you agree to abide by a few security measures.”
“We will comply with your arrangements. I did not expect any movement at all and consider ourselves fortunate. I should like to thank your leaker.”
“Riiiiight. Well. As I said this wasn’t our first option and there’s little chance you’ll have any free time soon. In fact, Nimms wanted me to warn you she wants to discuss the exact parameters of FSHV and a––”
“Forgive my interruption but I can tell you now only Ram would know those parameters. Moreover, it would be a mistake to think the Mekors only wish to coerce change in your civilization. They are far too happy you have provided them with a target.”
“Considering they’re eating each other in order to get here, we aren’t really holding out for that option. No less, Nimms is required to explore it thoroughly.”
“Also Mekors consider cannibalism a kind of hyper-violence to be used only temporarily in order to return to a sustainable track of violence.”
“You mean they don’t want to come all the way out here for nothing.”
“I’m beginning to think our top brass already speak Mekor philosophy in their own way.”
“Of this Ram was certain.”
“General Nimms further requests a full accounting of all Mekor and Revolution goals, strategies, objectives, tactics, technology, and weaponry.”
“Of course, we are already well prepared to give you all of those, though it will take quite some time and you are not likely to find it very helpful.”
“Perfectly fine. She also specifically mentioned the Revolutionaries’ decision to hold the Ranz drive hostage.”
“That was Ram’s idea. The Revolution Council only narrowly choose to adopt it. They were concerned how hostage situations become terrorist situations. In retrospect, our standard fifty percent sabotage might have set the Mekors back further.”
“As I understand it, sabotaging only half their ships would’ve meant more of their invasion ships arriving here on Earth.”
“Yes, but at fifty percent loss their collective fueling remains sustainable and Mekors will abort their mission in favor of mounting another mission later.”
“If they aborted we would never have known the fleet was there.”
“Until they returned and carried out their mission.”
“Well, you can thank your Revolution Council for choosing Ram’s idea. The United States Military would rather have hostages and terrorism every day than a surprise alien attack.”
“I have no way to contact them with your thanks and many of them are dead now. You should also be aware however that any Hegemony unit returning after unsustainable losses such as seventy percent or more would be committing treason.”
“You’re telling me going home for these guys isn’t even an option.”
“Under no circumstance.”
“Well, I reckon all things considered we’re still pretty lucky.”
“That is one way to view your situation. Commander, do you have any ice?”

Findler of Peace - Day 2
Monday, 25 May 2015, 6:52am

“I have your ice?”
“Thank you. If you would please wheel it up here just inside the hatch.”
“Uh, all right. Never been inside an alien ship.”
“One wonders: once you’ve been inside an alien ship, does it cease to be alien?”
“That’s actually kinda funny, Mr. Ambassador.”
“Please call me Uri.”
“All right. Sergeant John Robert Logan, call me Robbie.”
“A pleasure to meet you.”
“Well, there’s your ice. Um. All the guys are wondering what you want it for.”
“Several purposes. I’m uncertain how many requests we will be granted and ice seems a solution to multiple problems.”
“Do you need some help with that?”
“That would be kind.”
“You just want me to chip the ice up and put it in this bin?”
“But leave it twenty-five percent empty.”
“Whoa––What are you doing with that thing?”
“Creating a cooler environment for the birthing of young.”
“You mean it’s–– she’s pregnant?”
“His name is Aadil, but yes.”
“Do these …guys always glow when they’re pregnant?”
“No, Aadil’s species only glows when severely injured.”
“Injured? Hell, lemme get a medic!”
“Please! No. There is nothing your medic can do but make him uncomfortable. The ice will lower his temperature and facilitate birth.”
“Wow. Um, okay. I’m sorry about your friend. Is the kid…”
“It is in no danger.”
“Your ship looks so good on the outside I guess I forgot only seven of you survived.”
“But of seven, two died last night and Thiago is unconscious and will not recover either.”
“Man… did you really do it on purpose? Fly into Jupiter?”
“The Mekors aboard did it with intention, yes.”
“But you didn’t? What did you do on the ship?”
“I was attached to communications but … there is no translatable word. Joe says the Mekors ‘enslaved’ us but I do not believe the word appropriate. We were never confined to the ship until we landed here for instance, and we all chose what we do because it paid well enough.”
“Know the feeling.”
“But why are you here, Robbie?”
“No one else wanted to deliver ice to an alien. I think I was volunteered to ‘help the aliens any way I can’ because my tour’s up Wednesday.”
“No, I mean why did you choose to be in your military?”
“Well, at the time it was the best job I could get for the money, same as you I expect.”
“But I do not get paid; my family gets paid for my work.”
“You mean you send it back home for them?”
“No, the Mekors pay them as long as my work is adequate.”
“Thaaa… that’s like being a hostage.”
“Yes, as if both I and my family have been ‘volunteered’ to be hostages to the Mekors. But now I am not working, my family is not getting paid, my ‘tour’ will never be up, and it is extremely unlikely I will ever go home.”
“I…I don’t know what to say.”
“I suppose we are no longer confined to the ship, the ship is being dismantled, and we are no longer…hostages.”
“And look, you have six survivors now. Congratulations man––um, Uri.”
“Thank you, but you are mistaken. Aadil has now died giving birth; we are five again until Thiago dies.”
“I’m sorry, Uri.”
“You did not do this.”
“Where are you going?”
“Communications­ interlink. I am trying to locate the fleet but the equipment has been overheating. Too much heat I think for this amount of ice but I will try again.”
“We’ve got other ways of cooling things off, why don’t you just ask our engineers?”
“I did. They informed me dismantling the ship is more important right now. I have a briefing with General Nimms later, perhaps I can make a request then.”
“Yeah… how much heat are you talking about?”
“I have no way to calibrate our different scales of temperature.”
“I have one if you can boil a pot of water.”
“That I can do.”
“Hey Uri? Sorry ‘bout pointin’ my weapon at you earlier.”
“I’m certain it was merely how you intended to get paid at the time.”
“Man, two days and I’d‘ve missed this… Hey, maybe if you’ve been on an alien planet for a while, it stops being alien.”
“That is actually rather funny, Robbie.”

Mekors of War - Day 3
Tuesday, 26 May 2015, 9:20am

“You’ll be shocked to learn it took six entire hours for a reporter to find an actual alien and interview it. But! Because they managed it, I’m going to end today’s class with this little snippet.”
Anchr: ––edibly humorous responses such as hashtag AllMilitaryAreMekors, or that small number of ‘hoaxers’ who still deny the existence of the aliens, we now deliver this exclusive interview from Matthew Comis at the Morehavey Hotel:
Comis:  Ambassador Ram! Ambassador Ram!
Ram:    Yes?
Comis:  Thank you for speaking with us. We only have a few minutes––
Ram:    Because you have circumvented security.
Comis:  Yes, before Deirdre Ducel was arrested on espionage charges for releasing your broadcast to the press––
Ram:    For releasing my broadcast to you.
Comis:  Yes, she said you have a plan to save humanity from the Hegemony invasion fleet. Can you tell us what that plan is?
Ram:    No.
Comis:    Will you tell us why you said you care about sentient life in your broadcast but Deirdre Ducel she said you don’t care about humanity? Is it true you only care about your new philosophy of violence?
Ram:    A new philosophy of violence may or may not save humanity. But it would save other species from suffering similar fates, other lives equally important because they are sentient.
Comis:  You lived in a society geared towards recreational warfare, why suddenly––
“So today we’ve discussed two possible human responses to the Mekor threat. Under ‘civilizational engineering’ we’ve seen that both radical climate change groups and international political groups are already attempting to move Earth’s collective civilization away from the FSHV classification in order to save humanity. Unfortunately it seems that classification is only a Mekor pretext to pillage any planet they come across and after a lot of work on our part they’ll probably just invade and kill us off anyway.
“Then there’s what we’re calling ‘The Greater Generation’ response: a massive two-year mobilization and unleashing of Earth’s mad scientists and mad military strategists in order to win an interplanetary war. Unfortunately the Mekors have had space flight for several hundred years and Earth’s technology is comparatively infantile. There’s no chance anything we might invent and develop in the next two years will be successful against them.
“Yet what about Ram’s new philosophy of violence? Might not a Mekor have the best idea about how to stop our…impending…genocide… Well! Those of you doubting our government’s interest in keeping the alien debacle quiet even here on our fair campus, please turn your attention to the back of the room where two folks who are clearly government agents are making their way forward. As you leave please remember Thursday’s reading assignments as, barring Mekor invasion or my own personal imprisonment, there will be another unsurprising surprise quiz.”
“Jonathan Findler, yes? Please come with us.”
“Whoa-ho! Have my body? Not a chance! But you can have my thanks, I’ve never seen my students leave so quickly.”
“Sir, a diplomat has requested your presence.”
“Yeeeah, but let me guess: you can’t tell me which diplomat or why they want to talk to me.”
“No, Sir.”
“Then No thank you to you. Excuse me.”
“But we can tell you we’re only going to the room next door and Ambassador Deirdre Ducel recommended you.”
“Not sure I believe that, but okay, tell you what: you have my interest and I’ll play. Lead the way. Though by the way, I'm pretty sure she’s not an ambassador anymore. And I’m pretty sure there’s never been a single diplomat in Ducel’s rarified atmosphere that ever needed an historian’s advic–– holy-mother-of-god.”
“Professor Findler, unfortunately my name is as unpronounceable for you as your language is for me. However, if you don’t mind the sound of this vocorder you may call me Joe.”
“I haven’t made an extensive study of Earth’s culture the way Ram has and so find myself in need of your expertise regarding human nature and history.”
“If I can help… Joe…”
“My species was philosophically opposed to all violence and offered no resistance when the Mekors conquered us.”
“How many of you survived?”
“Less than one percent. We didn’t have enough planetary resources to justify maintaining a large slave population and surrender renders the conquered ineligible for Hegemony military. My position on the Mekor ship was singular, roughly equivalent to ‘galley-monkey boy’ I’m told.
“I’m s––
“It’s not important. My point is only that you understand violence, Earth, and Earth violence much better than I and are more likely to understand how well Ram’s plan will work. Mekors measure the sustainability of their violence only in terms of economics and ecology. Ram believes they are missing an element of sustainability, that of social or political.”
“Makes a lot of sense actually.”
“It should make sense to you, Ram got the idea from studying Earth history. It is also part of my inquiry: How many political entities like the Hegemony have you had in human history?”
“How many empires? Um, an incredible lot. Persian, Roman, Islamic, Arab, Byzantine, Ottoman–– shoot, that doesn’t include our early history like the Akkadian, Egyptian, Babylonian–– or even more recent industrial attempts by France, Germany, Russia, and the United States.”
“Perhaps it helped Ram to see so many empires; the Mekors have only had one. But all these Earth empires, they all grew exponentially by conquering, controlling, and incorporating other cultures?”
“Well, specifically ecumenic empires, whether essentially colonial or imperial –or for that matter religious or ideological– yes, they’ve been a staple of Earth history since Alexander the Great.”
“And how have these empires managed to fall peacefully?”
“Um, they didn’t.”
“I don’t understand. Please explain.”
“Their interior stresses mounted until either they fractured from within or were conquered piecemeal by outside forces. Either way it’s always violent. Some consider the fall of Soviet Russia without major violence, largely due to the Cold War it had with the United States. They were both able to completely obliterate the other with such ease that for fifty years they just aimed every weapon they had at each other and stared. But even without open warfare there were a number of very hot proxy wars between their satellite states and even today Russo-American relations are incredibly difficult.”
“I see…”
“Um. Ambassador Joe? May I ask a question?”
“Even if Ram has an idea other Mekors haven’t thought of, how exactly does it plan to use that idea to stop the Mekors from invading Earth?”
“The idea the Mekors never thought of is to calculate the stability of their own society.”
“Oh, because with only one society they’ve never had a scale for comparison.”
“Precisely. Their philosophers only consider Mekor society as a whole and only rate various historical epochs by the intensity and duration of violence produced.”
 “But when Ram used a stability scale derived from human history I’m guessing it wasn’t a very good result.”
“A catastrophic result predicting the Hegemony will only last another five hundred years at most. But Ram was secretive about the plan to make the Hegemony fall more quickly and only ever explained enough to get the Revolution to cooperate. Our six remaining crew members have pieced together this much: The plan is to use Earth to instigate what you call a ‘cold war’ with the Hegemony that will disrupt the way the Hegemony military depends on conquered and non-Mekor military personnel. Thank you for your help today, Professor Findler.”
“Whoa wait a minute, there’s no way Earth has anything close to the ability to wipe out the Mekor Hegemony let alone equal them in a cold war. We barely put a man on the moon! Ram can’t seriously think we have the ability to––”
“I assure you Ram thinks otherwise. Indeed, an Earth coalition has already begun doing what you call ‘reverse engineer’ the Mekor ship we arrived in.”
“Oh. Oh sweet Jesus.”

Findler of Peace - Day 3
Tuesday 26 May 2015, 7:50pm

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“fDt [[€]«€}_38n@p€™>  [1] But let us use English if you don’t mind, increased fluency will help me understand the humans.”
“Indeed, instead of flying back here I asked for a car and driver in order to observe and understand them better.  These humans are so much like the Mekors and yet so different.”
“‘Only Mekors leave Mekora. On their homeworld they may be as humans here. Although I will allow Robbie of the military seems a very decent human.”
“In our case it is Ram who is not decent.”
“Yes, only a Mekor would conceive of ending violence by escalating it. Do you find any evidence at all?”
“None the humans will accept. We do not have a record of Ram’s argument with Thiago. The only human in contact with Ram at that time was Ambassador Ducel who no longer has any credibility. We are fortunate she gave me the book by Jonathan Findler. My visit with him gave us everything we have but even he called it ‘a bunch of numbers and a theory’.”
“Does Findler have any government influence?”
“None. Ducel praised him greatly but she admitted he is widely unknown and vastly underrated. Moreover when I explained as much as I could to Findler, I do not think he believed me. I fear we have as much luck with humans as with Mekors.”
“It is not all bad: When you left nothing on the ship worked, but Robbie helped me fix the interlink and soon the position and size of the fleet will be known. And though Aadil died he gave birth to a healthy child named Dil. Come, I will show you.”
“Aadil’s child! That is good news, perhaps the eye in this human storm. So small! Is it growing correctly?”
“Yes, it is in no danger.”
“I am not sure you can say that. I wonder what the humans will do once they know where and how big the fleet is. Our trust in Ram’s lies has left us the choice of culling humanity or culling the Hegemony. Placing our trust in humans will only make that choice for us.”
“I am not as certain Earth will succeed in creating a long term standoff.”
“We may have thought Ram’s plan was only to disrupt a resource operation, but Ram assessed more than thirty planets before choosing this one. We can be certain that Ram at least believes Earth will succeed.”
“But there must be more choices than the destruction of the Earth and these people we have come to know or the destruction of our home planets and our familes.”
“Yet no matter what we choose, we must accept we are aliens on this planet; they will not trust us. We do not have the knowledge to manipulate them as Ram does. The Mekors will not let us go home, and if the humans do not kill us, they are not likely to let us live here either. I do not know what to do next.”
“Perhaps what we do not know is not as important as what we do know. We know we have lost our families, our homes, and ourselves because we did nothing to stop the Mekors. We know more people will lose lives, homes and families unless we stop the Mekors. We know we must do something and we will do something. Perhaps that is enough for the moment.”
 “And trust the right course of action will appear by magic? I wish I had as much faith in eventual good fortune as you do.”
“You have said on many occasions you have no faith in any–– Robbie! I would not have believed you capable of being so stealthy, Robbie. How much of this conversation have you heard?”
“Almost all of it, Uri, almost all of it.”
“I see.”
“Hello Robbie. You may call me Joe. What are you going to do?”
“Well, I just discovered that once I’m out of the Army I can get paid by the US Government to help you guys as ‘a full-time member of your diplomatic entourage.’ It’s a good thing too because I don’t think they were going to tell you you’re allowed to have a paid staff.”
“I am sure Joe will think this is a stroke of good fortune, however I do not think this is a very good choice for you.”
“Maybe, but this way I get to hang out with Dil and I’ve nothing else to do. Doesn’t matter ‘cause I’m pre-officially your personal assistant, media rep, and portable office starting of end of day tomorrow. And as such my first pre-suggestion towards saving several billion lives is to use the interlink to call up the Mekors and tell them what Ram is up to. You probably won’t need much evidence, just the numbers should make them think twice about risking their entire empire by attacking Earth.”
“I thought of this too. Unfortunately MTEC took the interlink this morning after we fixed it. Also there is a good chance once the Mekors know Ram’s plan they will merely make the subjugation of your planet a priority rather than leave you alone.”
“Mmm, drat. Well, I’ll have something else after your next meeting.”
“I am unaware of any more meetings this evening.”
“Oh yeah, that’s why I came up. M’kasa’s people just called. Sorry, everyone knows I’m pre-official now so they’re calling me. Anyway he and some Generals are going to be here in a few minutes with an important update about the fleet size.”
“Uri, what is MTEC, and who is M’Kasa?”
“Yeah right, sorry. They just formed this thing and M’Kasa is the new Director. It’s called MTEC, the Mekor Technology and Engineering Coalition.”
“I understand… They would not come to us if the fleet size was smaller than expected, would they?”

[1]  Translation:
“Have you found anything?”
“Ram plans to bolster Earth’s defense and technology until the Mekors must remain at high alert but not risk open warfare. The tension will cause the entire Hegemony to collapse.”
“It is worse than we suspected.”

Findler of Peace - Day 5
Thursday, 28 May 2015, 11:21am

“Oh for god’s sake, Mom. Richards and I went for coffee once and it was entirely professional. Now let me call you back, I’m really busy. …Yeah, bye.”
“Dating tips from your mother?”
“Jees! You scared the––Ducel! What the hell are you doing here?
“Same thing you are, Findler: trying to get to Ram.”
“Okay, I know what you look like because your picture’s all over the news. But––”
“Hold this.”
“But why do you know who I am?”
“Bio pic from your book.
“You read my book?”
“Oh no, I re-gifted it. But yours was the only name that came to mind when Joe––Duck.
“You’re not very good at this are you?”
“Maybe not, but why does a former US ambassador know how to sneak into hotels?”
“Question sort of answers itself if you think about it.”
“Actually why do you want to talk to Ram? And how are you not in prison?”
“Finally he asks the obvious. I, um… I sorta know someone.”
“Yeah, I think the world knows there’s a conspiracy, the question is who with and why.”
“Tell you what, I’ll––oh hell. Okay, we are leaving right now. Stand up… a slow walk like we’re together and having fun… that’s it… right out the front door… smiling and talking… nope, NOT looking back… And this is my ride, get in.”
What the hell was that all about?”
“That was about Ram having a secret service detail. Against hotel security we might get lucky; against the secret service there is no luck. Eh, getting to Ram was a long shot anyway. What did Joe tell you about Ram and the Mekors?”
“A lot, Former Ambassador; you never said who you’re in a conspiracy with.”
“Findler, all human conspiracies at this point are on behalf of humanity. What we don’t know is who Ram is really working for, what Ram is trying to do, or whether there really is an invasion fleet.”
“Um, actually: Ambassador Joe also attests to there being an invasion fleet; Rams trying to create a Mekor-Human cold war in order to collapse the Mekor Empire; and Ram’s working alone near as Joe and I can tell. Answers in reverse order.”
“That’s completely insane. Wait, Joe told you this?”
“Well it’s a theory we sort of worked out together. Suppose the ninety-five percent non-Mekor part of the Empire only remain pacified because their economic livelihoods rely on the various Hegemony military organizations.”
“That pacification part isn’t a lot of supposition.”
“The thing is, in order to withstand a long term cold war, the ruling Mekor five percent need a militarized spaceflight support staff of ten to one. But right now their military economy only has one quarter of the necessary non-Mekor support staff.”
“They don’t have enough slaves.”
“No, and there’s no way they could acquire that support staff fast enough. The ninety-five percent majority that don’t care about the ideology of sustainable violence won’t be able to economically survive what the Mekor ruling five percent want to do.”
“Why not just a simple change of power?”
“The non-Mekor majority don’t have anywhere near enough significant political power.”
“Okay soooo… maybe a popular uprising, maybe a coup?”
“Nope. The military’s ‘sustainable violence’ is the only thing holding the Empire together. Any uprising resulting in adequate change eventually means complete Empire collapse. The Mekors just don’t know their ‘sustainable violence’ is socially unsustainable.”
“But the entire Hegemony?”
“Joe and I figure half the Empire’s sentients will die, about four-point-three trillion lives. Mekor and non-Mekor alike, most from starvation and disease. Ram’s comparing that to six-point-three trillion lives if the Hegemony dies of natural causes in five hundred years. Ram thinks he’s saving two trillion lives in the long run.”
“Really? Two trillion lives over five hundred years?”
“I think Ram’s a bit of a––”
“Number-crunching, ends-justifies-the-means asshole.”
“Yeeeah. Listen, I should mention Joe has a lot more data on all this. I really just supplied an analysis from our own history. The bottom line is avoiding a hot war that kills off all humanity or a cold war that kills off half the galaxy…  Um, Ducel, you’re clearly driving to somewhere. Where are you going?”
“Well you can save those stats. If the Mekors don’t know their violence is socially unsustainable, I’m thinking maybe we can change that. In fact, I’ll bet it’s what Joe’s trying to do already.”
“But if the Mekors have get this analysis and don’t believe it, or even just don’t care about it, then we’d just be giving away whatever little edge our planet has at defending itself.”
“Then we just need to find out if Ram ever told any Mekors about the end of their little Empire.”
“Speaking of, you never even asked why I trying to talk to Ram. And where are you going?”
“I didn’t ask because I already know you want proof to go public. Except there won’t be any proof.”
“Without proof it’s just numbers and theory.”
“Maybe, but Ram’s too good to leave proof lying around. I was only hoping for another slip up so I can figu––”
Another slip-up?”
“Findler, you’re really great for trying such a colossal bad idea back there at the hotel, but maybe your day job’s calling now?”
“Don’t have a day job anymore. After I talked to Joe I spent the rest of the day going over the numbers and then resigned. Seriously Ducel, where are you going?”
“You did? Well I must say I’m both surprised and impressed, Former Professor. In this case, I guess we can both go to Kentucky.”

Mekors of War, Day 5
Thursday, 28 May 2015, 7:36pm

“Door’s open!”
“Hey Janice, smells great!”
“It does, though unfortunately a little behind schedule.”
“No problem, we can get started on the part of the meal I brought.”
“Oh good, you know where the wineglasses are.”
Manteca! Manteca!
“Whoa! What’s this music youre listening to?”
“It’s for professor Richards, I’m TA-ing one of her classes.”
“And why’s he saying Mekor, Mekor-a?”
“Ha-ha. Not funny, First Lieutenant Nimms.”
“And she still doesn’t know my first name! You know a girl your whole life––”
“Yeah, yeah, and you’ve still never been so lucky. Anyway, Richards wrote all these papers on the role of the exotic in American music and afro-cuban bop fits her bill. Though I’m pretty sure her Intro to Jazz class isn’t going to appreciate her thesis: ‘when confronted with the exotic we are either open or closed, compelled either to the erotic kiss or to kill-or-be-killed’.”
“What, no other choices? No saying ‘oh that’s interesting’ and moving on? Some middle ground like just being friends?”
“Yeah I know, her academentia definitely tends to the dramatic. Here stir this. But she wants the students to see the Mekor arrival as an invitation to the exotic.”
“Su-u-re. After all, it’s not just the end of humanity, it’s the exotic end of humanity.”
“You’re just saying that because your mother’s in the air force.”
“Oh? My being a fighter pilot doesn’t rate? And FYI, three-star-generals aren’t in the air force, they are the air force.”
“Well, has your three-star-general-mother-who-is-the-air-force said anything?”
“Nope. like she never took ‘top secret’ seriously ‘til last week.”
“You know they need to work out fifty thousand contingencies even when everything’s fine.”
“Lucky for me my dad doesn’t seem to know what a Mekor is yet.”
“Don’t be mean, I like your dad.”
“Hmmph. Hey, speaking of both ironic and boring, there can’t be anything less exotic than that history professor Richards started up with.”
“Ooooh you haven’t heard! Findler resigned on Tuesday and hasn’t been seen since.”
“Yep. Federal agents showed up in his morning class and his resignation was signed by five o’clock.”
“Wow. I didn’t know the NSA considered history such a serious offense.”
“Well, they didn’t actually arrest him or anything––”
“Cough-black site-cough.”
“––and Richards is doing her best not to show it but I can tell she’s a little freaked out.”
“Throwing herself into her work, then is she? Running you ragged?”
“Oh my god you have no idea. You better not just up and disappear like that. I’ve barely gotten used to the idea of you dying the unfriendly skies. I can’t imagine what’s she’s going through not even knowing what’s happened.”
“I have no plans to vanish, and to be fair you can’t have plans to vanish either.”
“I don’t but … taste this. Yeah?”
“…but you know what’s weird? Before the Mekors arrived there couldn’t have been anything more exotic than aliens landing. But everybody has just sort of gone on––”
“Like I said, ‘Oh that’s interesting––
“‘And moving on,’ right! But somehow a common romantic disappearing act is compelling no matter how many times it happens.”
“Do you know what that means?”
“Butter. Slang for marijuana.”
“Okay I’m not surprised, but I meant romantic disappearing acts being more compelling, not the song. Nevermind, I’m suddenly being compelled to the erotic. Mmm.”
“Hm-mmwah, yeah I think I can see that. Fortunately, it says here you should simmer twenty minutes.”
“Wasn’t this an eating optional dinner?”

Mekors of War - Day 8
Sunday, 31 May 2015, 4:20pm

“Mr. President, members of the UN Envoy, and all of you, thank you for joining us. Welcome to MTEC, the Mekor Technology & Engineering Coalition, I am Sulawesi M’Kasa, Director. As many of you know it’s taken a few days to get the Security Council on board and I know many out there are giving me the credit, but let’s face it there were a lot instrumental players, some of whom are in this room. Consider yourselves thanked because we’ve no time for parties …Have we resolved all security clearances? Yes? Then I think our first and most important information is the new intel on the Fleet’s position. Phillip?”
“Right. Phillip McCann, TwiSat Services. Using Ram’s ship interlink we’ve located the Mekor ships south of the ecliptic but the fleet is bigger and much closer than we expected, currently still seven ships down from nine. We think after cannibalizing the crews they’ve daisy chained two ship drives and are burning them out at full thrust. Continuing this strategy will cut their return time by an entire order of magnitude, sixty days instead of six hundred, and still arrive with four ships at full complement.”
“All right, all right, quiet down… Have we verified any of this with Earth technology?”
“We’re transferring coordinates now and should have verification within the hour.”
“Fifty-two more days, that’s the bad news. Liam, start us with the good.”
“Liam Tremblay, MTEC Tactical. The Mekors use a three-tiered attack protocol in order to deliver just the right amount of military power to win over the longest period of time. Since they’re only green-lit for tier one on Earth and will need to get new authorization for tier two, we’ve been focusing almost exclusively on what to expect right off the bat. Ram’s going to tell us how it stands from the Mekor perspective while I pass out some stats. Ram?”
“Thank you. The Empire is comprised of roughly a thousand colony planets and a thousand resource planets. Total Empire population is just under nine trillion with one billion military, half active, half remaining in various training facilities. I was not privy to the specific details of this attack fleet, but I do know the Hegemony averages approximately one hundred conflicts per earth year and there are only two thousand active ships. This means you initially face four ships carrying about two and a half thousand each.”
“Does this say the Mekors sent us a fleet of ten ships instead of twenty because we’re under the technology curve by half?”
“That is correct.”
“If we’re so far behind why’d you bet on humanity to make your stand?”
“The Revolution did not bet on humanity; events merely did not go according to their plans. The Revolution Council only selected Earth for disrupting Hegemonyresource redistribution. However, I have observed that humanity’s military-industrial accomplishments over the last two hundred years rival what other societies can only accomplish in a thousand years. I believe this fact was part of the Hegemony’s decision to conquer you now as in spirit you are their equal if not better. Moreover, were I were a betting sentient I would say their technological advantage is offset by your early knowledge of their existence.”
“Thank you Ram. Let’s delve to the nitty-gritty: we have Wei Li on Disruption, Amit Ben Haim on Offensive, Nadia Belinsky on Comms, and Nick Bradshaw, Fleet Readiness. But first the man everyone wants to hear from, Jagan Ardeep from Weapons.”
“Yes, hello. Jagan Ardeep, MegTech Systems. We are pursuing eleven specific Mekor weapon technologies which will give us multiple defensive capabilities. Our most promising––”
Psst, General Nimms? I’m presenting dead last in this hooligan show and you’ve already read intel reports on all of it, may I talk to you in private for a moment? It’s about your son.
Certainly, Mr. Bradshaw…  …Now what can I help you with?”
“You know what we’re developing––”
“The F-15 Mekor adaptation.”
“Then you know we’re looking for top rated fighter pilots. Your son isn’t an ace and doesn’t log the most combat or total hours. But he does have the best evasion record anywhere and is the only one on everyone’s list. Still, I had the impression nobody really wants him. So I did some digging.”
“If you’re asking about his girlfriend––”
“There was a superficial concern about Janice’s connection to Findler, Ducel, and the other aliens but your son’s cleared that. No, people don’t trust him because you let Ducel walk after she leaked Rams first broadcast. But these people, if there’s a form attached they don’t look any further. I did look. It took a bit of doing and I know you’ll deny it, but we both know the order to release Ducel came from POTUS. So I’m telling you this as a courtesy: your son’s MTEC chances are bottoming out because of the Ducel mess. Now maybe this is what you want; there’s a good chance no one’s coming back alive from any mission against the Mekors. I just figured you oughta know.”
“Mr. Bradshaw, I assure you: I want every chance for my son to succeed on his own merits and skills. Thank you for coming to me; I will take care of this. Now if you will excuse me I must get to speak with Ram while I can.”

Findler of Peace - Day 8
Sunday, 31 May 2015, 4:35pm

“Ram. Have a question for you.”
“I have an answer for you.”
“When you were talking about the Revolution you said not all your species practices sustainable violence but also said you were the only Mekor in the Revolution. Is there a group of Mekors who don’t practice sustainable violence but who aren’t a part of the Revolution?”
“I only said that because I knew the Fleet Admiral would be intercepting the broadcast. I was encouraging the Hegemony to waste time and energy looking for more defectors when there aren’t any.”
“Of course, ‘divert, disrupt, and delay the enemy’ right?”
“But I take it you do not believe that do you?”
… Honestly Ram? No, I don’t. I think you’re lying.”
“And what do you think I am lying about?”
“I think you and your Captain planned this together. I don’t think you ever expected holding the Ranz drive hostage to work. I think you lied about how long it would take the Fleet to come back. If anyone knew they would join their ship drives together you would know. I think you even lied to the Revolution Council in order to get yourself stranded here on Earth.”
“If all of this were true why would I lie about my Captain?”
“Because you intended to be the only survivor. But of course something happened. Now if your crewmates knew their own Captain wanted to kill most of them and strand the rest of them here on purpose, then they would probably have told us and ruined your plan.”
“And you are now confronting me now in hope of finding evidence you can take to your superiors?”
“No, at the moment I was hoping to catch you in a lie, maybe put you in a tight spot, get people to start seriously questioning everything you say. Until I realized the pretense wasn’t worth it.”
“I am curious how you came by your theory.”
“You don’t bother denying it and want to know where I get my intel?”
“All right then, why do you think I have made all these lies?”
“In order to create war between Earth and the Hegemony, a cold war that would bring down your own Empire.”
“But one that will save two trillion sentients.”
“Glad to see you drop some pretense too. But you’re betting seven hundred billion lives against doing nothing, and betting two-point-six trillion lives against a cold war going hot including every life on earth.”
“I am glad to see you have been fact finding.”
“It pays to do your homework. For instance your two billion lives are spread out over a five hundred years and thousand planets. That’s really less than two million and the US alone has a higher natural death rate.”
“But how would you feel about doubling your death rate? The normal death rate among Mekors is half that of humans. And I too have done some homework: someone forged the President of the United States authorization for Ducel’s release.
You put Bradshaw onto that?”
“It is only a matter of time before someone realizes the timeline of the authorization does not make sense. You see, I have known about your sympathies for some time. I thought it was time you knew I did. I am curious however, how did you first suspect a larger plan?”
“It may have been bad luck that any of your crew besides you survived the Jupiter crash, but it was a complete mistake to try keeping anyone away from the ship once you landed here on Earth.”
“Ah. I’m sure you realize Uri and Joe barely had entertainment value before the crash.”
“And I’m sure you don’t realize several things. For instance, you’re a bastard son of a bitch. For instance, I really don’t like you. And for instance, you can’t even recognize Uri and Joe’s basic worth as sentients. But the good news is you can’t hurt them anymore, you can’t even get near them.”
“You truly amuse me. But I note you haven’t yet asked why I used Earth as the measure of the Hegemony’s social sustainability: It’s not because your industrialization and societal evolution rates are higher than any other species we have ever encountered. These are only corollaries. Mekors and humans have in common an ineffable tendency to violence. Violence is who we are. Humans differ in only one significant way. Where Mekors have tamed our violence with realism, with pragmatism, you humans have not. You still placate your inner selves with ineffectual platitudes about every life you kill being sacred.”
“I’m going to stop you.”
“Actually, I should thank you for your belief that every life is worth saving. It is why you have no choice but to continue to play along. For example, the sake of your son.”
“Ha, if anything my son is the reason why I’d never play your game. You have a long way to go in understanding right and wrong. The right thing isn’t about a better philosophic idea, or about the most lives, or even about the highest quality of life for the most people. The right thing is Right regardless of all those things.
“We shall have to agree to disagree.”
“And it’s you who don’t have any choice but to play along. You can’t afford Bradshaw or anyone else to know the truth for certain. I’m the devil you know, the devil you have to keep happy, the devil you can’t touch. You cant risk that I might start talking sooner rather than later. Stay off my back Ram.”
“I am glad we had this talk… General Nimms.”

Mekors of War - Day 13
Friday, 5 June 2015, 1:20pm

“What intercept are you talking about?”
“I’ve got it queued up, Sir. We don’t know who’s calling or where from, but it’s definitely Former Sergeant John Robert Logan answering.”


Logan: Revolution Council Embassy, Ambassadors Uri and Joe in residence.
Callr:  This is GalacPak. We have another consignment ready.
Logan: Um. Uri doesn’t want this batch to taste weird.
Callr:  Then you’d best come pick it up within the next hour.
Logan: Or a light year. Come on! Who writes these codes?
Callr:  Is Uri there?
Logan: Nope, out workin’ on P-Day with Findler and Ducel.
Callr:  Then listen, this package is important. It’s also the last for a while because security just went full blackouts. I’ve been talking Ram, the sneaky bastard likes to play all innocent then pounce. I’ve tried not to give away anything but Ram already knew all about us. As far as I can tell it’s limited to Ram but you have to assume no one is safe. I repeat, this is red flag: Ram knows what we know.
Logan: What a coincidence, both Uri and Joe say you’re in too much danger and need to come in.
Callr: No. No matter what happens, this is too important. For everyone. Listen, You have to go back to the Comis interview, pay special attention to Ram’s answer about why it hatched this plan.


“Well, well. A traitor. And with clearance. No idea who it was?”
“Not from that, Sir. Whoever it was rerouted two dedicated satellites.”
“All right, what interview are they talking about?”
“You haven’t seen it? Well um, Sir, I don’t have the original but the reporter did a retrospective yesterday… so… yeah, we’re in luck, unedited on YouTube:

Comis:  …no take it again… ready? ... Eleven days ago wasn’t just the last Sunday in May. When Ram touched down with news of an alien invasion, it was Pentecost Sunday, the very birthday of the Church commemorating the arrival of the Holy Spirit. You might say Ram gave the Church a kind of birthday present:
Comis:  You lived in a society geared towards recreational warfare, why did you suddenly decide to try saving people instead of killing them?
Ram:   As a Civilizational Assessor it was my job to study violence. Over time I realized the problem with violence is that it is never sustainable. Violence as anything more than a short-term solution only creates more violence until no one is left to be violent or nothing left to be violent about. This is why the Hegemony problem can never be solved; it can only be reset. The Hegemony is at the reset point; a violent people must either be remade or removed if violence is to continue.
Comis:  But what do Christians make of this philosophizing alien and an alien invasion for birthday presents? We thought we’d get some Earthly religious responses on recent happenings.
Guest:  Well, it sounds like Ram thinks violence is a good idea sometimes but Jesus said “love your neighbor,” ‘turn to him the other cheek,’ and “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
Comis:  ‘An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind,’ yes?
Guest:  Yessir.
Comis:  What about the invasion fleet? What about that?
Guest:  If non-violence is good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.
Comis:  Non-violence may be great for the soul but will it stop the extinction of humanity?
Guest:  God works miracles every day. I have faith in that.
Comis:  Given the magnitude of what’s happening, you don’t think ‘I have faith’ might be a little thin?
Guest:  ‘Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief.’
Comis:  Oh good grief. Just cut it there. Let’s try the church across the street.

“Who knew I’d agree with an alien. I seem to recall there was a Sergeant Logan, Wasn’t there one on site when the ship came down?”
“Yes Sir, it’s the same person. He’s now Independent Ready Reserve and working for the alien ambassadors. We’re watching the aliens, Sir, but not him.”
“Fine, file a 20A and get eyes on Logan. I’ll be at MTEC, if anyone knows who this traitor is chances are it’s gonna to be Ram.”

Findler of Peace - Day 13
Friday, 5 June 2015, 1:15pm

Hey Joe! You know who that was on the phone?”
“I do not.”
“Yes you do. She said Ram knows what we know and she’s compromised.”
“Is she out of MTEC yet?”
“No, but she said there’s another package.”
“Leave now, get it immediately. Did she say anything else?”
“Yeah, she said what Ram said in his interview was important.
“What interview is she talking about?”
“You haven’t seen it? Well, um, I don’t have the original but the reporter did a retrospective yesterday…so… yeah, here you go, I’ll be right back.”

Comis:  You lived in a society geared towards recreational warfare, why did you suddenly decide to try saving people instead of killing them?
Ram:     As a civilizational assessor it was my job to study violence. Over time I realized the problem with violence is that it is never sustainable. Violence as anything more than a short-term solution only creates more violence until no one is left to be violent or nothing left to be violent about. This is why the Hegemony problem can never be solved; it can only be reset. The Hegemony is at the reset point; a violent people must either be remade or removed if violence is to continue.
Comis:  Well! We thought we couldn’t possibly hear a new Christian response to Ram’s philosophy and the alien invasion. And honestly, we’re still not sure if we did:

Guest:  I don’t know.
Comis:  You don’t know?
Guest:  Well I wouldn’t call my idea a ‘Christian’ response. Near as I can tell, Christianity doesn’t specifically cover alien invasions.
Comis:  We’ve heard from a lot of Christians who think differently.
Guest:  Sure you have. Christianity’s a frame for how to understand our different experiences of the divine. By the time each of us adjusts that frame to fit our personal experience, yeah, Christians’ opinions are gonna to vary.
Comis:  You don’t think the people we’ve heard from so far would together form a Christian experience?
Guest:  Dude, Christianity’s not an experience, it’s an idea! A framing idea about how to understand our experience of the divine and it’s a pretty good idea. We have similar experiences ‘cause we’re all human and even similar ideas for framing our experiences too. But we don’t actually experience ideas or frames, we try them and then we change them as we feel necessary.
Comis: Right now people are saying you don’t sound very Christian at all. All right, let’s just ask what you think we should do about Ram and the alien invasion.
Guest:  Whatever each of us thinks is Right.
Comis:  We’re facing human extinction, and you––
Guest:  We’re always facing death and human extinction whether we know it or not.
Comis:  That doesn’t seem very helpful.
Guest:  Yeah well, everyone’s got crosses to bear.

Comis:  Wow. Aaaand with that we close our series on––

“––know I’m right, Findler.”
“You didn’t even get out of the car!”
“Because someone who leaks national secrets can’t front for P-Day. You have to do it Findler.”
“But it shouldn’t have been a secret, that was the whole point!”
“I’m sorry to interrupt your argument Ambassador Ducel—
“She’s a former ambassador.”
“ —General Nimms called while you were out. I sent Robbie for the drop right away, but it seems Ram has uncovered her association with us.”
“What’d she say?”
“She believes we all may be in danger but she will not leave MTEC because only Ram knows what she is doing so far. She also asserted Ram’s response in the Comis interview explains why Ram formed its plan. But after watching it I have been unable to understand the significance.”
“I had to listen to extremist stuff all the time as a diplomat. Trust me, it never makes sense.”
“Historically speaking ––well Earth history anyway–– it’s actually a fairly common idea: restarting Eden by wiping the slate clean and killing everything. Remember what Ram said at the end of that interview? The ‘if violence is to continue’ part?”
“Right, Former Professor, so how’s that ‘make sense’ again?”
“Look, if you accept––”
“Findler, Ducel, forgive my interruption again, but does General Nimms mean it is possible to make Ram’s plan not result in wiping any sentient’s slate clean?”
“Only if… hey, guys? It’s hard to tell but I think this junk email is actually from Robbie…”
“You want us to crowd around or are you going to read it to us?”
“It only says, ‘being followed. doc dump attached. destroying package.’”
“Damn. Move out of the way.”
“Yes, Ms. Former Ambassador, Current Spy, and chair thievi—”
“Please excuse me again, but did Uri return as well?”
“No, Lord of the Chairs here has him working with P-Day volunteers then flying to MTEC.”
“If General Nimms has been found out by Ram and Robbie is being followed, then Uri might––
“Uri has a personal security team; I’m sure he’ll be fine. Although helping MTEC still demonstrates some seriously questionable ethics.”
“Uri believes defending your planet and bringing down the Hegemony remain quite different. Also, I believe MTEC will withstand a number of contrary behaviors from Uri as long as Uri finishes instructing them in the military technology they desire.”
“Yeah, but defending Earth and ending the Hegemony are the same for Ram and MTEC can’t exactly—”
“Okaaaaay! Joe, Findler, listen up. The bad news is when Robbie dumped Nimms package we lost some of it. The good news is there’s still actually a lot of MTEC stuff here, which is really great, really. But the even good-er news is Nimms started recording her conversations with Ram:

Ram:    ––nd I might have an accomplice still within the fleet.
Nimms: You’re too much of an asshole for any accomplice.
Ram:    You only say this because you are hurt by the truth of our having the same problem. Ironic is it not? No human will believe you and no Mekor believe me. Yet I will succeed in resetting the glory of the Mekor cycle of violence where you will fail to defend your pitiful planet.
Nimms: But I have people who believe me.
Ram:    Oh yes, your… team. Though you know once you are revealed as a traitor to your planet they will be apprehended. You will be removed once the evidence against you is great enough. I expect it to be—you have such a wonderful word for this—bittersweet.
Nimms: Oh yes Ram, I’m sure we’re both going to miss our lovely chats together. Isn’t it pretty to think so?


“Joe, this is the problem with returning to Eden: ideas of Eden can be vastly different.”
“Findler, I believe the one part of Ram’s interview I did understand was that for Ram the ‘Hegemony problem’ was not Mekors killing sentients but Mekors running out of people to kill.”
“Come on both of you, we already knew Ram was crazy, and we absolutely need to convince Nimms to get the hell out of there—”
“Yeah, before we’re all arrested.”
“—but you’re both missing the real point: the Mekors have no clue the end of their empire is coming! Robbie’s interlink idea is back on the table: we can use the interlink and our MTEC access to talk to the invasion fleet directly.”
“I definitely agree. And ASAP.”
Mekors of War - Day 21
Saturday, 13 June 2015, 6:35pm

“Director M’Kasa, if you would––”
“This is about comms? Nadia, no offense to your team’s very capable talents, but we have six Mekor ships bearing down on us and cannot afford––”
“Bear with me, sir. It may not be conventional, but since the interlinks use a super-quantum entanglement we could simultaneously turn every Mekor interlink device, no matter where it is in the galaxy, into a fifty megaton nuclear weapon. On the other hand, if we take the time to first map the Mekor interlink network, then we should be able to selectively detonate any of their devices, singly or multiples.”
“Anywhere in the Galaxy?”
“Correct, Sir. We could roll up the entire Mekor Hegemony in an instant.”
“Wait a minute, if we map their network then detonate just one, how long until they turn them all off or find a defense against this?”
“We’re not certain but we suspect there is no way to defend against it. Interlink devices can’t be turned off; they can only be assembled or disassembled. And if they disassemble their devices they effectively dismantle their own Empire.”
“I like that; what’s the problem?”
“Well, we know it works on the ship we have, but damage from the Jupiter maneuver made this ship an isolated system. We have to get close enough to one of their ships to hack their network.”
“Are you certain you can hack their system?”
“In a way we already have, just working on the code from the device we have. Unfortunately when Uri quit we lost our main talent and we went nowhere for a while. But we opened up a ‘new system’ competition with some good incentives, and six hours later we ended up giving immunity to a homeless man in China who turned out to be a rather infamous black hat. We have him teaming up with the ten-hour Denmark guy to find a way to hit a live system in a shorter span. At this point we think the real problem is getting close enough to a Mekor ship to deploy the hack without getting blown to bits.”
“Which is where we come in, Sir. Nick Bradshaw BlackFlight RD. Fact is they had to crash through Jupiter to slow down because their ships have such an incredible mass load. They’re great for interstellar flights but within a solar system they have little maneuverability. We’ve developed full plans for a ship using the Mekor propulsion technology but which is far smaller, more maneuverable, and can carry a three man hack team.”
“How long and how many?”
“Twenty days, three modules. We’re confident our pilots will be ready as we’re running hourly updates on Tremblay’s training simulations. In phase one our pilot’s objective will be to use Jagan’s new armament suite to nullify their first tier weapons. When the Mekors use their interlink to get second tier weapon authorization, that will open up their system for the hack team in phase two.”
“This… this is very good. We still need a complete range of contingencies, but let’s concentrate our efforts on weaponizing the interlink system. People, because of you Earth will have a fighting chance, thank you. Bradshaw, my office.”

“Close the door, Nick. Don’t bother sitting this will just take a second. One of your top pilots just lost his mother, can he really do it?”
“Actually he got the news this morning then went out and he flew his best ever. Blew away the competition and actually broke records. There’s no one left standing, he’s definitely our pilot.”
“Sir, can we keep it quiet? I think it’s better for the planet at this point if he never finds out.”
“That his mother was leaking secrets? I’m pretty sure we can; I’ll let you know. Tell me, what do we have against the Mekor’s second tier weapon set?”
“Nothing effective at the moment, but Ram says their second tier authorization could take weeks.
“All right, I want full over/under updates. Send Cacher in.”

“Director M’Kasa, you wanted to see me?”
“Dague Cacher, I want to personally thank you for uncovering the Nimms leak; that was a great piece of work.”
“We just made the intercept; you should really be thanking Ram.”
“Of course, and I will. However, we’re in a bit of a bind here.”
“You want it kept quiet for the sake of that hotshot pilot son of hers.”
“I realize as the director of MTEC, I don’t have authority over––”
“But you’re going to speak to the President and I’ll have an order within the hour, won’t I?”
“Consider it done.”
“Thank you. How many people know about this?”
“We only got confirmation she passed intel after she died; right now five people know about it for certain: you, me, Ram, Bradshaw, and the President. But everyone knows there was a leak and in a few days anyone gamma clearance or higher will suspect it was Nimms.”
“That’s okay, I’ll take care of that. One other thing: how’d we lose Uri?”
“It’s the comm-weapon, Sir, refused to be a part of it. Just walked out the moment Nadia Belinsky discovered it.”
“Bad spot of luck.”
“Not sure it’s luck, Sir; the interlink weapon will cut off a much needed supply line to Uri’s home planet.”
“I see. Where is Uri now?”
“With the Peace Rally people.”
“Findler and Ducel?”
“I can’t prove it but they’re the ones Nimms was feeding intel. I’ll have a comprehensive report for you in about thirty minutes, but you should know one thing up front. Their global viral marketing campaign isn’t just grabbing headlines; their peace movement’s going to be huge. These two know what they’re doing.”

Findler of Peace - Day 21
Saturday, 13 June 2015, 7:05am

“Findler. Glad you’re awake.”
“Yeah. Me too.”
“What’s eating you?”
“Yesterday. We should’ve told everyone at Peace Rally what Ram’s plan really is.”
“Definitely not. Would only muddy the waters.”
“I know: stopping the war is a better media story than whether our theory is right. Fine. Hey, where’s Joe?”
“Establishing some false credibility at MTEC.”
“You know, when Uri uses the interlink to tell the Mekors what Ram is up to, it won’t matter if Joe’s creating a diversion. MTEC’s going to know right away and stop Uri because we’re all under surveillance.”
“Wow Findler, do all peace rallies always have this effect on you or was it just ours? Relax, the classic distraction always works. That’s why magicians use it.”
“Magicians? Ducel, what are you doing?”
“Oh, this is video from yesterday?”
“Wow, somebody wants video of the Peace Rally?”
“Twenty-six million somebodies and counting.”
“Since yesterday? How is that possible?”

Fndler: ––the cycle of war can only end in two ways: either with catastrophic and destructive changes to our social order far beyond our imagination; or, with our abandoning these destructive dreams and ideals before the worst happens. We therefore call upon the United Nations, MTEC, and the whole world to send Peace Envoys instead of Warships… to seek harmony instead of violence … and, perhaps above all, to receiv––

“I don’t understand it’s just me.”
“Findler my fenster, if you could look past yourself you’d see.”
“See what?”
“Right here in the background.”
“Robbie and Dil? What’re they doing?”
“Robbie’s teaching her how to play rock, paper, scissors.”
“Hey that’s great, the way she does scissors with her tentacles.”
“That’s the point. If a baby alien with tentacles can learn this system for settling differences during a rather dry and boring speech then––”
“––then we get twenty-six millions views overnight.”
“Don’t take it personally, you looked good. Dill just looked better.”
“Guess I’ll take whatever luck we can get. Why are you editing it?”
“Because I… have contacts… all around… the world. There, editing finished.”
“You mean embassy contacts?”
“Embassies deal with all sorts of non-profit, religious, and progressive groups. After a while you get to know who’s who. Dil’s little tentacle wave is exactly the sort of thing they’re already behind, they just need to know about it. And all we need to do is to get out in front, create detailed goals, specific events, and an incredible participatory feedback system. Hey Robbie.”
Yeah Deirdre?
He gets to use your first name?”
He’s not boring and stuffy. Need the new list.”
“Gimme a sec.”
“You know, instead of shouting you could just go in there and talk to him like a normal person.”
“I could but I’m busy here cutting this list down to likely States and visiting foreign dignitaries. What’s our new count?”
“Just hit six.”
“Six? Six hundred? For what?”
“Six hundred thousand. Estimated number for this Wednesday’s Peace Rally calling for a peace envoy to the Mekors. That number doesnt include dignitaries or anyone related to the USAF.
“The US Air Force?”
Oh, Robbie really doesnt like them – don’t ask, I don’t know why.
“Probably normal rivalry among the diff––”
“But this does remind me I wanted to add a piece on how quickly we’re building momentum. How many countries?
“Thirty-two and…”
“Overnight? That’s incredible!”
“Not really. We started at midnight and an alien poster child is pretty hard to beat.”
“Still, getting this much done…you guys are awesome.”
“That I am, Former Professor, that I am.”
“You know, you can call me Jonathan.”
“I could, but ‘Former Ambassador and Jonathan’? Seems a little lopsided.”
“…our new two and three spots are Denmark, Norway…”
“You could also just call Robbie on the phone.”
“Robbie’s using it.”
“He’s yelling into people’s ear like that?”
“Mute buttons don’t need PhDs.”
“…and Japan’s still number one.
“I think the Japan thing’s only because Dill’s really cute, but like you say: the luck you can get.”
“The ‘ambassador for Mekor Peace’ better clear his schedule.”
“Don’t let it go to your head; they’re only calling you that ‘cause Uri and Joe already took ‘Ambassadors for the Revolution Council’.”
“Deirdre! Slogan just went mainstream!
“What slogan?”
“Mek Peace not War.”
“That’s our slogan?”
“Yeah, people were already sloganeering everywhere; we just chose something to make official. Robbie liked ‘MekPeace’ because it sounded like ‘McPeace;’ I had to explain that wasn’t a good thing.”
“Probably for the best. Well, what can I do to help?”

“Findler, why are you just sitting in your car?”
“Well Uri, I’m supposed to be getting coffee for everyone.”
“You’re not going anywhere.”
“I’m not really, am I? … Why aren’t you at MTEC?”
“MTEC has created a weapon which can simultaneously detonate every Mekor interlink in galaxy as if they were nuclear bombs.”
“It is as Ram predicted would happen. I am sorry; I refuse to participate in such a project.”
“No, no. That’s okay, I understand.”
“We will need a new plan to contact the Mekor Fleet.”
“I don’t think the old magicians’ distraction plan was going to work anyway. Maybe this’ll be the breaking point for Nimms too and we can finally get her out of there.”
“General Nimms was found dead late last night.”
Dead? How?”
“She apparently slipped in the back stairwell at MTEC. I do not believe that is the case however.”
“Damn. Neither do I.”

Mekors of War - Day 34
Friday, 26 June 2015, 9:12pm

“How long’s it been?”
“Since Henry Nimms was in contact with Janice Logan?”
“Three days, twenty hours, Sir.”
“Where’s he now?”
“Still drinking at the bar, Sir.”
“Play it again for me.”
“Yessir. Event occurred Tuesday, June twenty-three, one-oh-six-am.”

Logan: You know how sorry I am about your mother, but it’s not the same thing.
Nimms: Because you’re not losing your half-brother; they’re just recalling him to active service.
Logan: But making Robbie re-join the very army he’s now fighting against will just kill him. They don’t even need him; they’re just trying to stop him from helping Joe and Uri.
Nimms: And Ducel-the-traitor.
Logan: Oh, just stop it. I only told you about all that because whether she was passing government secrets or whether she was ordered to quietly release Ducel by the President, doesn’t matter – your mother was brave and tried to do the right thing. So I don’t care about cover-ups or conspiracies or if the truth never comes out. Helping my brother––
Nimms: Half-brother.
Logan: ––when he’s in trouble is just the right thing.
Nimms: But you’re wrong about Peace Rally and all them, Janice.
Logan: Nimms, you always think I have to change my mind because you disagree, but I don’t have to. Now I know you leave in four days, but it’s only two months and we’ve been apart longer. Ther––
Nimms: But I’ve never been sent into space to fight aliens before. And that’s the problem: you’re organizing an alien Peace Rally for Robbie while I’m flying a kill-alien death trap for the planet!
Logan: Why are you being so childish?!? Not everything is about who is or isnt an alien! Do you think I’d rather go get my brother get out of jail than spend a last weekend with the man I love before he goes off to war? Of course not! Grow the hell up Nimms! I’m just trying to do the right thing here.
Nimms: Well so. Am. I.
Logan: Oh! Soooo it’s right to spend the weekend together instead of helping Robbie.
Nimms: It’s right to get you to stop working with Peace Rally.
Logan: Okay, one: Robbie is NOT the peace movement; he’s my BROTHER. Two: I am NOT some slave you GET to do ANYTHING; I’m a PERSON whose choices and opinions you RESPECT because they’re MY choices and opinions. If you can’t manage THAT much then––
Nimms: Okay Janice, stop.
Logan: ––we’re going to have a VERY big problem.
Nimms: No really, listen: I don’t want to argue anymore; I’m sorry.
Logan: FOR. WHAT.
Nimms: Lots of things, but I’m not sorry your mom and my mom lived next door to one another. That was an amazing piece of luck actually because I never would have stood a chance otherwise. Um, I’m not sorry I’m a pilot. Or that you’re a nerd. Because being the way you are means you’re as brilliant as you are beautiful.
Logan: That’s a lot of not sorry. now what are you actually apologizing FOR?
Nimms: Remember when we had dinner together right after the ship landed? I never told you what it means if romantic disappearing acts are more compelling than exotic encounters. I know it’s obvious but it’s still true: the strange, the weird, the crazy stuff that happens, they’re just spices in life. But love’s always the main course, and underneath it all we’re all hungry for what really matters. So another thing I’m not sorry for is that you’ll always be what matters.
Logan: Nimms… Thank you. That’s very sweet and I believe you. But are you going to let me do what I think is right without all this crap every time we disagree?
Nimms: …
Logan: Oh yep. Love’s great and always the right thing. Now Nimms? When you’re up there with the Mekors? I REALLY hope you remember THAT!
Nimms: That’s not what I––
Logan: And you ALREADY KNOW I didn’t start helping Peace Rally ‘cause I think they’re right! you KNOW I’m helping URI because he was ATTACKED by XENOPHOBIC ASSHOLES and I was the one who happened to be standi––
Nimms: It doesn’t matter anymore.
Logan: ––nding there when he wished he’d NEVER landed here and I had to remind him if he DIDN’T crash into Jupiter, he’d be freaking MEKOR FOOD right now and everyone on earth would be oblivious and as good as dead––
Nimms: It doesn’t matter, you can’t help Uri anymore!
Logan: Why the hell CAN’T I?
Nimms: I can’t tell you.
Logan: Don’t you dare pull your flybo––
Nimms: You can’t because he’s dead!
Logan: What?
Nimms: No one’s supposed to know yet.
Logan: He can’t be dead.
Nimms: They think Human Only came back to finish him off.
Logan: I just talked to him Sunday morni––
Nimms: Happened yesterday. They’re keeping it quiet since mom and Uri died so close together, just to be sure there isn’t an enemy agent or peace extremist on the loose.
Logan: Peace EXTREMIST? Is THAT what you think? Uri DIES for peace on OUR crazy-ass planet and you think PEACE is what's crazy? Like peace is some — some exotic SEASONING?
Nimms: Look, it’s all right; they say Joe’s gonna work the mission instead now, and since you’ve all been under surveillance you guys couldn’t have done anythin––
Logan: OH NO! NO! We. Are. Done. DONE! Good-BYE Nimms!

“That’s all of the recording, Sir. Nearly four days without attempted contact.”
“Yep, that’s definitely it. She’s finally left him for good. Surprised it lasted this long. Let’s go home; he leaves on the mission in the morning and he’s sure to get final clearance now.”
“Yes, Sir!”

“You know, for someone who actually flies a fighter jet you sure do drink a lot.”
“I only drink when I’m mourning. In this case for two. Why are you sitting on my porch?”
“I’m waiting for you. You know who I am?”
“You’re Findler.”
“Good. A certain diplomat would like to speak with you.”
“I doubt it.”
“I did once too. Your house is still bugged but we can use the house next door––”
“The Millers?”
“Actually that was a cover for their surveilling you. Well ‘til they moved out about an hour ago.”
“That’s not-- how could you possibly know that?”
“Ducel is surprisingly good at this sort of thing. If it helps, before she died your mother mentioned the gummi worm thing so no one brought any.”
“Sonofabitch. Damn things still freak me out. All right, fine. I’ll meet your wormless diplomat.”
“Leave your phone here, they’re tracking it.”

Findler of Peace - Day 34
Friday, June 26, 2015 (11:38pm)

“Deirdre Ducel! Nice of you to visit! How’s Janice?”
“You know Robbie, you could have told me she was your sister.”
“Half-sister really, we didn’t even grow up together.”
“Well, she’s not good. She wants you to know she’s sorry she flipped out on you earlier and she’s really not upset with you.”
“Tell her I’m sorry too, I just never figured she’d wanna work for Peace Rally.”
“She said she normally wouldn’t but she––”
“You think she’s playing us.”
“No, I don’t. I think she really believes without the threat of violence, no one ever makes peace or makes peace last. Right now based on what she knows about MTEC through Henry –and don’t forget that’s who she’s really upset with– she thinks MTEC’s too far ahead with the threat of violence and Peace Rally needs help. But whatever happens there will stay there and––”
“And whatever happens with Peace will stay with Rally. Yeah. Still, it’s like that Nim-squid crawled in her brain and died. I’m gonna have sushi-que ‘im someday.”
“Robbie, please try to plan your next crime after you’re out of jail for your previous crime? And again, whatever crawling Henry Nimms did was closer to Janice’s heart than her head.”
“Nim-squid like him don’t crawl, they slither through the sky.”
“Wow! Okay Robbie, really sensing a lot of misplaced aggression here. Could you just…”
--Attention: visiting hours will be over in five minutes.--
--Visiting hours will be over in five minutes.--
“Could you just try to remember Janice really loves him? And perhaps otherwise leave the whole thing alone. Think about his mother instead: you know, she was a sky-squid General and turned out to be a real hero.”
“Yeah the General definitely was a hero… Do they know the General faked Ducel’s release paperwork yet?”
“No. Everyone thinks the trail leading back to the President is genuine. Or at least pretends it is. And Ram can’t say anything without risking being discovered as her murderer. That trail is actually putting some real pressure on the White House.”
“Janice know how to handle that?”
“She’s handling your old job with incredible finesse.”
“You say that like I have a new job. Or don’t have incredible finesse.”
“Robbie, considering your incredibly misplaced aggression, you were surprisingly talented at your last job. However, the only talent you have right now is incredible luck. Here recognize the dofus in this video? Turns out your new job is Peace Activist in Charge of Being Oppressed.”
“That doesn’t sound like very good luck.”
“Well it’s good luck for Peace Rally, and maybe we can make it work for you too. It took whoever these guys are a couple days to figure out who you are but that’s definitely your arrest on camera. We now have three major media outlets suggesting your Army recall was politically motivated.”
“Heeyyy, this is pretty good! Is Janice taking that to––”
“Yes, she’s on top of the Europeans.”
“They don’t always––”
“She knows, Robbie, your talent must be genetic. She’s got it. Between this and Nimms’ trail we’re looking pretty good.”
“Okay, okay. So what’s my story?”
“You really would have been much better off just ignoring the army recall.”
“Yeah yeah, I know that now.”
“Technically the Army has you on obstructing access to a military base with your vehicle. It’s serious enough to keep you here.”
“The lawyer says everything else will stay civilian no matter what.”
“Well that’s all right then!”
“He also said you should refrain from defecating in the middle of the road.”
“It kinda seemed like a good idea at the time.”
“You were kinda drunk at the time. You’re still only barely avoiding DUI. I won’t lecture, but you know what I think. After you get out of here you could still face thirty days, a suspended license, five-hundred dollar fine, and –due to ‘the offensive nature’– a month’s community service.”
“What about––”
What? Arguing the Army made you do it? No Robbie. That only works in the court of public opinion. You’re really going to be here awhile.”
“Yeah okay Dierdre, I get that. At least there’s something good for Peace Rally’s coming out of it. What about Dil?”
“Movements of diplomatic agents are legally restricted. As long as you’re in a military prison you are not going to see her.”
“Her custody thing?”
“I’ll take care of it.”
“Sorry it wasn’t you––”
“No, it’s all right. Being parented by someone who leaked national secrets won’t be good for our young extraterrestrial’s public image.”
Attention: visiting hours are now over. Visitors please proceed––
“Hey Deirdre? Do me a favor? Remind Janice about the time in fifth grade when she replaced all the people in Henry Nimms’ diorama with gummi worms right before his presentation?”
“Sure Robbie, whatever. Will do.”

“Findler, did you get my message?”
“About the gummi worms? Yeah Ducel, actually came in useful but I’ve got some––”
“Then you got to him?”
“It was hard to slip the surveillance but yes, Ambassador Joe had a very unofficial chat with a  certain Air Force pilot.”
“Henry Nimms is hesitant but I think he’s on board. There’s just––”
“Ducel, did you just kiss me?”
“Yes I did, but only a peck. I’ve decided that I’m going to start doing a really good job kissing you but… but you deserve to know the last person I may have kissed and who might have also called me Deirdre… could possibly right now… also be the head of MTEC.”
“Well that… that might explain a lot. Let me guess, those regulations against a US Ambassador kissing a UN Delegate is why you know how to sneak around hotels?”
“Something like that. Let’s just say it was wrong on a number of levels and my only defense is I was once a melancholy woman.”
“ ‘And now, ex-lovers locked in a battle of wills while trillions of lives hang in the balance.’ ”
“Way too much melodrama, Jon. I just thought you should know that I have, as they say, ‘a past’.”
“Oh everyone has pasts… Deirdre… I’m only surprised ‘cause you’ve been serving me the present pretty hard ever since we met.”
“Okay, I admit: I might have pulled on your pigtails a little hard. And I’m sorry. But as you know, it’s now eve of war and I can no longer resist the romance.”
“Wow, and you said I overdid the melodrama.”
“The best thing about you will always be that I like you. So don’t be a smart ass. Now, where’s Uri?”
“Ahhh yeah. I’ve been trying to tell you. I have some news that’s likely to put that kiss on hold.” 

Mekors of War - Day 55
Friday, 17 July 2015, 9:16am

“Close angle approach two hundred thousand K and closing.”
--Jamming within parameters.--
“At least they can’t see us yet.”
--BlackHack deploying package.… now.--
“This is Ambassador Joe confirming and switching to channel four.”
“Is that check?”
“Yes Henry, we can hear the hack team but they can no longer hear us.”
“And Earth can’t hear us either?”
“I have disabled the recording device in a manner that appears accidental.”
“Well then Joe, how does it feel to be able to finally be able to speak freely?”
“Relieving. I was not made for a life of duplicity.”
“Ha. Maybe the straight life only comes in space ships. But you know after you deleted the onboard KIL file I swear they almost cut you from the mission.”
“That truly was an accident.”
“More like Freudian slip. M’Kasa called it a ‘close encounter of the KIL kind’.”
“I do not understand––”
“I know, Joe. Trust me that only makes it funnier. But hey, here we are. You ready to tell the Mekor home office what Ram’s trying to do?”
“I am ready. However, I do not enjoy waiting to map the Mekor’s interlink network while still within proximity of the Mekor Fleet.”
“Yeah well that’s why your favorite hotshot flyboy is here. Hey, you were going to tell me who named the hack program Kollapse InterLink?”
“I believe either Jagan or Nadia.”
“The things people do for acronyms.”
“It does seem excessive.”
--Active network portal open.--
--This is BlackHack inserting KIL now… Looking good.--
“This is Ambassador Joe confirming, BlackHack. How long for KIL map?”
--Mission op changed.--
--We’re only loading KIL, we are not to map KIL.--
“What? Joe!”
“Repeat, how long?”
--Control auto-transfers to MTEC after load is complete.--
--Map takes one-point-five-nine-seven minutes.--
“Joooe, that’s not enough––”
“Ambassador Joe confirming, this is RedSnake out.”
“Joe, why the hell didn’t they tell us?”
“I suspect the hack team did not keep us informed because they believe our only job is to defend them and return to Earth. They do not expect us to remain here or covertly broadcast anything. Moreover, transferring the interlink mapping process to MTEC is a good idea as it will ensure they can use KIL even if none of our ships return.”
“Wow Joe, that’s really great for them! Now how do we get this message sent without the interlink map or the Mekor home interlink address?”
“Henry, we could still broadcast to every interlink device without waiting for the map. BlackHack has already broken through their network security. I could begin sending the broadcast as soon as you bring us within range.”
“Um yeah, I remember this was the original plan. But I also seem to remember we nixed using their carrier wave this way because the Mekor Fleet’ll know our exact location the second we start transmitting. By one-point-six minutes we’ll have been space dust for quite some time.”
“Surely that is why my favorite hotshot flyboy is here.”
“You know, aside from the fact I’ve never evaded simulated Mekor weapon fire for that long, MTEC will probably dust us themselves when they use KIL to detonate the first Mekor Fleet ship. C’mon Joe, please tell me you have another plan.”
“However, MTEC will also know immediately if we use the interlink to broadcast to every Fleet ship.”
“And what? Back to Earth we’ll be in oooo-big-trouble? Meantime, we’re dead.”
“I’m sorry Henry, I mean to say if MTEC knows we’re within KIL range because we’re broadcasting, then perhaps they won’t detonate any of the Mekor fleet ships with KIL.”
“Ooor they might blow us away anyway because they’ll know what we’re broadcasting.”
“I am certain by then it will be too late. Every interlink device in the galaxy will get the attached information packet within the first minute.”
“So we’ll be letting anyone in the Galaxy build a KIL and weaponize the interlink instead of just Mekora or Earth.”
“Yes, Henry. I realize it is not an optimal situation, but I believe this is the right thing to do.”
“Yeah… that’s exactly what she said, ‘the right freakin’ thing.’ And all I have to do is not be space dust a minute longer.
--That’s it guys, KIL is loaded.--
--Get ready to burn full throttle back to Earth.--
--Keep your eyes peeled, we’ll be lit up like Christmas trees.--
--Ready: now… now… Now!--
“And there they go. All right, Joe, I’m trying it your way. Closing to piggyback comm range.”
--Nimms, you’re not burning; do you have a malfunction?”--
“We are coming up on comm threshold now, Henry… beginning broadcast.”
“How long do you think––
--Nimms! Where’s that signal coming from?--
--Turn it off, you’re telegraphing your position! Nimms––
“Well that answers that question. Turn them off; they’re not coming back to rescue anything after a full burn.”
––you’re sitting du––
“Now we just have to wait for our Mekor friends… There! Start the clock, Joe! First volley: TAMs! Evading P4!””
“Target two on grid delta nine, firing EX-O mines.”
“Pulling minus Z twenty hard! Volley two: Hex-Rs! Putting bogey between us…”
“They hit their own ship, Henry. No visible damage.”
“Yeah, ‘cept their pride. Incoming…G-tails! Spinning up now…”
“Incoming ARCS! …Sevens! …Li-Bs! …More G-tails!”
“Holy sweet Je… sh––– remind me…not to mess…with their pride…again… Joe-short-mines-NOW!”
“Away! …Hit!”
“What do we got left? What do we got?”
“Field is clear! Henry, one-point-six and we have no damage!”
“Yesss! Brand-spanking new record! No luck, just pure talent! Rolling grid gamma––”
--7Qhechet, Hegemony level two weapons approved--
“Oh, you have got to be kidding me! Could take weeks my ass!”
“Henry, no! Come about alpha two-nine!”
“Alpha two-nine…locked. What the hell is th––?”
“Plus Z!”
“Z, 2, 3…That’s a partial hit! I’ve got nothing but a thruster up here! We’re––whoa! That –––YAAHHHHGGGRR!”
“Everything is down across the board!”
“Last thruster’s gone! …Throttle unresponsive!”
“I’m sorry, Henry; their next volley will finish us. But you did beat your best simulation by nearly two full minutes.”
“Yeah, I was pretty great, wasn’t I?”
“And MTEC delayed KIL detonation.”
“Victory all around, Joe! Been a pleasure! Mom, I am coming hom––
--7Qhechet, Hold all violence, maintain nearest orbital position--
“…Um, does that mean ‘cease fire’?”
“It does Henry. Earth is the closest orbital position but I think we’re going to live after all.”
“Well, hell. You’d better flip BlackHack back on then ‘cause we’re definitely gonna need a tow.”

Findler of Peace - Day 55
Friday, 17 July 2015, 9:35am

“I still need Ducel! Yesterday!”
Line three, Sir.
“I’ll settle for Ms. Ducel. How are you Director M’Ka––””
“What did your alien do to my pilot?!”
“I’m sure it’s not that bad.”
“I don’t have time for your crap. Listen:

––Hegemony Council: Earth has developed the means to destroy your empire. We wish neither your deaths nor our own. Please stop your advance. We offer food and medical aid to your fleet.
Mekor Hegemony Council: Earth has––

“You know, Director, letting me listen to that has got to be a breach of security.”
“It’s not a breach, Ms. Ducel, if you wrote it. I recognize your work: always concise, no ultimatums, you didn’t even mention the data packet attached with a complete working KIL file.”
“I don’t know what you’re––”
“Your deniability isn’t very plausible. Ten minutes ago everyone with an interlink device received that transmission.”
“…They sent it to everyone?”
Anyone in the entire galaxy can fifty megaton any interlink device!”
“Wow… Are they okay?”
“Oh no, no casualties. UNLESS you count losing the best weapon we had in this war!
“If they’re alive I'm sure they’ll talk and explain. How’d they send it to everyone without getting shot down?”
“Really? That’s your biggest worry right now? Ah well then, since you’re so concerned and simply must know: Nimms flew their pants off until the Hegemony called for a cease fire.”
“The Mekor Hegemony called for a cease fire?”
“…Wasn’t that part of your plan?”
“What did they say?”
Damn, you really don’t know. Their fleet is to orbit Earth and cease hostilities.”
“That’s it? Have they said anything since?”
“Nothing, but the Mekor fleet will be here in fourteen hours.”
“What does Ram say?”
“Blow them away.”
“Ha. I would have loved to see you trying to explain to Ram why you can’t kill them after they asked for a cease fire.”
“It was hopeless.”
“You need to watch Ram. Detonating KIL behind your back isn’t beyond––.”
“Ducel, have you forgotten that you’re the one who got me to believe Ram in the first place? You’re the reason MTEC has a UN charter at all!”
“And I’ll never forgive myself because MTEC’s charter is wrong. But I did let the evidence change my mind about Ram.”
“Last we spoke you said you’d give me evidence ‘soon’; you were waiting for this mission weren’t you?”
“The package is in the mail already.”
“Just how circumstantial is it?”
“It’s more…just keep an eye on all the Mekors.”
“According to your propaganda all Mekors aren’t aliens.”
“Using adequate metaphors isn’t propaganda, Director, it’s a skill.”
“Just when I thought I’d heard all your lines.”
“The Mekors can’t go home. If you don’t want them to invade, then you have to give them food.”
“You really are losing your––”
“They’re starving up there.”
“No, they’re eating each other which is fine by everyone here.”
“Do you think they’d rather invade Earth or eat each other?”
“Do you think they can invade after we blow them out of the sky?”
“How many people do you think the Mekors can kill before you use KIL to donate their ships?”
“In one and a half minutes? Not many.”
“So how much food are those ‘not many’ lives worth?”
“You’re a bitch, Deirdre.”
“Sticks and stones Director M’kasa, and it’s still Ms. Ducel.”
“Supplying your enemy’s combatants with food is a hard sell.”
“Never sell––”
“––offer the facts. Your quips aren’t going to cut through this mess like your last mess.”
“I’ve been exonerated.”
“The President’s polls were down; saying you spied for him just gave him some badly needed up.”
“Good thing the MTEC Director doesn’t need good polls.”
“We need something over the Mekors’ heads if we give them food.”
“I should think an actual KIL blast would be plenty.”
“…Detonate their empty burner ship. Yes. We’re running scenarios on that.”
“No you’re not. You didn’t even think of it ‘til I inferred it.”
“I don’t know what you’re talki––”
“Really? You’re gonna go with plausible deniability here? Relax, just going easy on Joe and Henry will be payment enough.”
“I can’t––”
“You have sway. Use it. They’re a part of an extremely popular peace movement; KIL works whether they told the galaxy how it works or not; if something needs selling, a war with no casualties sells itself. And you could always throw in the parade they deserve.”
“You’re supposed to tempt with honey.”
“You’re only going to look bad when this KIL leak blows––”
“Thanks for that.”
“––but fair warning: you’re going to be crucified when the media gets the evidence against Ram.”
“And wow, Ms. Ducel, thanks for the heads up on your intention to leak this to the media too.”
“You’re really going to have to take what badly needed up you can get. Everyone likes a parade.”
“I don’t like being on the wrong end of your skill.”
“…I hear you’re with Findler now.”
“Forget what you hear, pay attention only to what I say. And for you I say never again, Director.”
“Fair enough, Ms. Ducel.”
“Don’t forget the food.”
“Will he give them food?”
“Yes my Findler, he will.”
“Sounds like you had a complicated relationship.”
Relationships are complicated period, but trust me ours is much better.”
“What about Joe and Henry?”
“Taking care of them is the right move but Ram killed both Nimms and Uri on M’Kasa’s watch and M’Kasa will only take care of them because MTEC needs a public hero. Did you see Robbie this morning?”
“He’s not good. He’s serious when he talks about hurting Henry.”
“It doesn’t make sense does it? I mean we’re all angry and hurt about Uri––
“Diedre, Henry is just Robbie’s personal symbol for the war that killed Uri.”
“I think I meant that it didn’t make sense to pick out one person instead of all the others.”
“Actually people picking out one scapegoat for everything is something history is filled with, the difference is that Robbie’s talking revenge not salvation.”
“Hmmm. Or more birds, one stone: unburden the guilt of his soul by getting revenge.”
“… Diedre, as ambassador you helped Ram but you’re not responsible for what––”
“Oh yes I feel guilty, but I’m not talking about me. I realized something when Robbie was arrested: he was already scapegoating Henry because he felt his sister got a better childhood than he did. That’s why he hated the Air Force.”
“Ah, so Robbie’s just throwing a little blame more atop his goat. All right, but what do we do for him? I bet his being in jail doesn’t help.”
“No, it definitely makes it worse, but I’m not sure there is anything we can do. By the way, you know what this will mean with both Robbie and Joe being detained now.”
“Yeah…you know, earlier when Joe might have failed the mission and died out in space, I wasn’t too worried about becoming Dil’s guardian because the Mekors were just going to kill us all. Now that Joe’s in jail for succeeding too well at his mission, I sort of miss the idea of Mekors destroying the planet.”
“Bet two months ago you never imagined you’d have custody of a baby extraterrestrial alien.”
“That might be just the iceberg tip of things I didn’t imagine two months ago.”
“C’mon sweetheart. We have some serious speechwriting to do. That burner ship is going nova any minute, and in a little while everyone on Earth’s going to have a Mekor fleet ship blocking half their sky.”
“Yeah, that’s not going to have a calming effect.”

Mekors of War - Day 89
Thursday, 20 August 2015, 8:36am

“Well, Ambassador Joe, what does your Revolution Council want now?”
“Ram killed hundreds aboard our ship and is a fugitive hiding in plain sight here on Earth. We are allies. This should be quite straight forward.”
“It’s not. Ram may not have diplomatic status anymore but its help has been instrumental in getting Earth this far against the Hegemony and has made some very powerful friends.”
“This will be coming before the United Nations as well.”
“You’re free to do that though you’ll find they’re less likely to throw you a parade over there.”
“I did not care for your parade; Henry and I were your prisoners.”
“It was temporary and I didn’t have a choice. Besides, you’re quite free now.”
“I have noticed people in powerful positions on your planet rarely do things of their own volition.”
“And yet we all want power. Why are you really here, Joe?”
“Throughout the Hegemony non-Mekor personnel are refusing any order that furthers Mekor warfare. We carry out the essential functions of the Hegemony economy and government, yet we control no ships.”
“I am required to tell you at this point––”
“You do not need to repeat yourself.”
“I am required by law to repeat it every time you broach the subject. ‘If any Mekor or non-Mekor carries out an aggressive act against the people of Earth you will all likely die in a KIL blast or die when your empire collapses because we’ve blown to pieces all those ships you need to travel between your planets.’ ”
“I believe you took pleasure in modifying the exact text this time.”
“All work and no play makes a dull public servant.”
“I recently learned you made detailed schematics of our ship after it crashed here. The Revolution formally requests a copy.”
“I don’t know where you’re getting your information, but we have no such thing. You were on that ship for thirty years without understanding it; we’ve only had it for three months. There’s a difference between using technology and understanding it.”
“I have also noticed public officials on Earth are expected to lie. We are growing stronger every day. The Revolution will find a way to the truth even if Earth stands in our way. I am glad we had this talk… Director M’Kasa.”

“You heard that Cacher, what say you to Joe and the Revolution?”
“I’d recommend giving them what they want.”
“Not my decision to make but why say yes?”
“The plans are here at MTEC and the decision’s more yours than anyone else’s. And if the Revolution manages to take over and stabilize the Hegemony they’ll be doing Earth a favor.”
“So they say but what do we really know? Is your intelligence network galaxy wide yet?”
“Infiltrating aliens is harder than you think. And the Mekors are still refusing all contact.”
“Which brings to mind a couple things: first, where is Joe getting such accurate information?”
“Peace rally sympathizers are everywhere and MTEC is a sieve.”
“Hmmm. Okay, not surprised at this point. Second… these Mekor ships.”
“Their not having any is quite a bottleneck on their Revolution I’d say.”
“Yes, but why do only the Mekors have ships?”
“They never––”
“Never shared the technology, yes but they also had to prevent others from developing the technology on their own too. Even if they had a law against it––”
“They’d need a surveillance network monitoring their Empire’s technological developments.”
“Call it a theory. But if they have a network their operatives would have to use interlink technol––”
“But we haven’t heard anything over the interlink. Right. I’ll get Nadia to start looking more closely.”
“What about Ram and this ‘cold war theory’? It still fits the evidence.”
“Do you believe it?”
“As MTEC Director are you still pretending Ducel didn’t give it to you?”
“…You knew?”
“About you and Ducel? Pfft. You know I have this job in intelligence for a reason. I also know she gave you that evidence file against Ram and insisted we give the Mekors food, but none of that matters. Even if her theory is politically motivated and her evidence a little thin, well, it still really explains a lot.”
“Well, if Ram really plans to wipe everything out and ‘restart the Mekor cycle of violence’ then you have my express permission to double your full surveillance.”
“You know there are other ways of solving a problem like this.”
“Like you solved the Sergeant John Robert Logan problem by recalling him? Yeah that worked out well. No, Cacher. No black ops, no wet work, no mishandled shenanigans ‘til we know what we’re actually dealing with. Ram’s far too useful right where it is. Hold on, I want to hear this report.”
Comis:  ––nipresent ships hovering in our skies for the past twenty days. Peace Rally representatives claim the shipments of food delivered daily are why they haven’t invaded yet though others remain skeptical, and some are still calling for pre-emptive strikes. Deirdre Ducel, who has been in the Peace movement spotlight ever since the White House publicly acknowledged she was in fact an US intelligence operative––

“Hardly call that ‘new’. And I seriously don’t much like that Comis fellow.”
“He’s like anyone else in news, politics, or entertainment: he gives what people ask for. Besides––Oh Hell. Cacher get your teams in down there and seal off the area down there NOW!
Comis:  ––a small craft, couldn’t hold more than five Mekors at the most. It has a––oh my, yes it, it’s actually carrying a white flag! The craft is landing not more than fifty feet from us. We are trying to get closer now. Go! Go right there––no, just move it now! Okay we are live on site of the very first Mekor contact and the ship is opening now. There are two aliens, clearly Mekors, not ten feet from me––
Mekor: I am Fleet Admiral Rul, commander of Earth invasion forces. I will speak with your Ambassador for Mekor Peace, the one you call Findler.