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Thread: The Day the Earth Stood Still: My way
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:53 AM   #1
machievelli
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The Day the Earth Stood Still: My way

The Day the Earth Stood Still: My way

Author's note: I'm a purist. If the original was good, why do it again? Especially when you 'rationalize' it to fit a new audience, or at least your idea of what that audience is.

Let's go back to the original: Alien arrives, we're alarmed, he tells us to behave, then leaves. When informed ad nauseum about the political difficulties involved, he states that those others out there pretty much don't care.

Pretty much what they did in the new version, right? Go out, rent or check out both the old version and the new version, watch them back to back. Are they the same? No way in this lifetime.

You see, as much as the second is saying humans are total losers destroying their environment and these invaders were going to destroy us because of it, in the first, they didn't care. It was our ecosystem, our planet, if we want to ruin it until we can't survive, they didn't give a damn.

As much as the environmentalists want to whine, we either get it together, or we don't survive. As Ian Malcolm in the Book Jurassic Park said when accused of worrying about us destroying the planet, his paraphrased reply was 'Nothing we can do will destroy it. We'll just make it so that we can't survive'.

Depending on the conditions you ascribe to annihilation, Earth has gone through between five and 20 mass extinction events in the four odd billion years our planet has been here. Counting all of the modern and known historical or fossil species, 98% of them have become extinct before I wrote this paragraph. The last recorded was the PK event of approximately 66 million years ago when a 6 mile in diameter rock hit the planet, and ended the Cretaceous Era.

If this observing race had bothered to examine our own fossil record, (Or since they had observers assigned here for a while as the second movie shows simply used the Internet) why would they give a damn about us killing off another (about) .002 percent of the total species that has ever existed, causing the rest to evolve? Unless they are going to put a system in orbit to assure another rock doesn't do the same, all they are doing is punishing the kids for misbehaving. And their attitude is worse because Klaatu pretty much states in the new one that all they are doing is erasing man and his works. They aren't going to invade the now pristine landscape, they are going to let things start over with another dominant lifeform eventually.

Are we kids to them? Probably on the social level. We've fought wars for some of the most ridiculous reasons. Look up the Football War though if you google stupid wars, Cracked.com has their most stupid wars list, if you don't believe me. Even though blamed on the European States, wars of Imperialism are almost ancient as war itself, and treatment of the people conquered have been no better when it was Nazi Germany, Japan occupying China, Communist China or the old Soviet Union instead of those nasty greedy capitalists.

The reason, I think, for the new slant is simple. Modern environmentalists constantly complain about how we're 'destroying the planet' (See my comment above from JP) and the new writer and producer decided to lean on that. But if they aren't going to occupy the planet, why would an alien race even care? It's our house, we're not only making it a mess, but refusing to clean it up.

What are they, the local health department?

So I finally got frustrated, and decided to go back to that original movie for this...

The alien ship was spotted as soon as it reached cis-lunar space. At first, it was thought to be an unrecorded meteor, traveling at 70KPS on a slanting approach to miss the planet by several thousand kilometers, what they call a 'bullet burn'.

That is until it reached geosynchronous orbit...

--

“Aspect change on NAV2014!” A radar operator reported. Commander Stacy Repperman, Officer of the Watch for Space Surveillance System Command sighed. He stood, carrying his cup of coffee toward post eleven, where the young radarwoman sat.

“Connie, this is not one of those submarine movies you like so much, he chided. “Asteroids don't change directions.”

“Yes, sir, I know that, sir. But maybe it isn't a rock.” She replied. “NAV2014 has just decellerated and has now changed course for a closer approach.”

“Asteroids don't change course.” He repeated.

“Yes, sir. Now at three five kilometers per second, course is to come within LEO.”

He leaned over the screen. The phased Array radar of PAVE PAWS; similar to the one used in the Aegis system, showed the blip. “Run the data back for before this 'aspect change'.” He chided.

Without responding, her fingers danced across her keyboard. The blip leaped back across the screen, and the tag read 70KPS, and the course (Marked as a green cone) showed an approach no closer that 20,000 kilometers, halfway to geosynch. As he watched, the blip moved, and his eyes widened as the rate of advance (Speed) began plummeting, then it changed course sharply, too sharply.

It wasn't the frantic racing around you usually see in the movies. While 35 kilometer per second is wicked fast on Earth, it's still only 126,000 kilometers per hour in an environment where it would take almost six months to reach Mars at that speed. There was almost 20 minutes before it would reach Low Earth Orbit. He picked up the phone, tapping the speed dial button. “Admiral? Sorry to disturb you at home. NAV2014 has changed course and is making a closer approach than anticipated... Yes sir, I know asteroids don't maneuver. I think we have an alien space probe of some kind here.” He leaned closer. “Speed dropped initially from 70KPS to 35. Now dropping to ten KPS.” He stood away from the screen.

“Yes, sir. I'll have all data ready when he arrives.” He hung up. “Make digital copies, and burn it. A courier is enroute.”

“But sir,” Connie Detweiler looked up. “We have a direct fiber optic feed to wherever they need it.”

“And any landline can be hacked.” He tapped the blip. “We have proof of a possible alien spacecraft approaching. How long do you think it would take a reporter to blow that across the air? This is so secret, that the Joint Chiefs won't even tell their wives.”

--

There was some frantic reactions. SPASURV had to notify SDOC (Space Defense Operations Center, run by the Air Force) and they had just been brought up to speed as the object came across the 300 mile (483 KM) perimeter above Earth. There were no frantic radio messages; everything was via fiber optics or dedicated low level microwave transmission. As it came into LEO, passing the International Space station, it slowed further, and finally just came to rest almost directly above Denver Colorado.

Several scientists were literally dragged out of bed in some cases because nothing in LEO (from 160 KM to 2000) should be stationary; a satellite in that orbit should have an orbital period of between 88 and 127 minutes. It had violated several physical laws as humans understood the term; it had decellerated several times as G forces quite beyond anyone who didn't know the science. It had changed course without drifing along it's original course for any discernable distance in violation of the laws of motion, and now, was maintaining an exact position in violation of orbital mechanics.

Any attempt to keep it secret was already gone. The seven people on the space station not only saw it approach, but filmed it. Representing four nations, they had already transmitted their data to their respective governments. Since the station was supposed to be as nonmilitary as possible, only one of those reports; the one sent to Beijing, was encrypted. That meant a radio message was broadcast that reached half of the planet within minutes.

New reports, television and radio shows were interrupted by emergency reports. There was some panic; a small radio station in Botswana reported that the ship had deployed some kind of weapon, and the locals frantically hid, sure that yet another Imperial Power was coming to take over yet again. A flight of F14 Tomcats, the last still flying in Iran had taken off because of a garbled report that the ship had come down near Qom, one of the Holy Cities of Islaam.

If it had decided to come in to land during the next week, anywhere in the world, it would have faced all of mankind's weapons in the hands of whatever local authorities there were. In Van Horn Texas, the local National Guard unit and every Texan who had a gun were standing ready to repel the invader. In fact the Guard unit was outnumbered by the eager beaver civilians, and almost outgunned.

Yet if the occupants of that ship knew about the hot reception it would be facing, it didn't seem to worry. It orbited blythly over the increasingly nervous planet like a Sword of Damocles.

But nerves can't remain stretched forever. Panic gives way, if not to rational thought, at least to fatigue. Cooler heads eventually prevailed. The Space Shuttle Endeavor, which had been readied for a milk run to the ISS had her launch scrubbed minutes after it arrived, but then was rescheduled for three days later. The science packages it was supposed to carry replaced with every sensor device known to man, and launched so that it would pass within a hundred kilometers of the still quiescent alien ship.

That close approach was anti-climactic. The ship ignored them as the astronauts, some of whom had been designated as such merely because they could operate the systems recorded data that would take months to analyze. They rendevoused with the station, adding for US Marines who would, if it came to that, be the first combat troops ever officially in space to try to protect the station from an assault.

Then, almost exactly ten days after achieving orbit, it headed downward toward the American East Coast. Again it violated every known law of physics. There was no plume of superheated air as there was with the shuttle missions, it merely came in until now orbiting directly above Washington DC, and began to drop with all of the speed you'd expect from a feather.

At 50,000 feet it gained an escort. F35s from Langley Virginia found it, though they had to do it visually; something about the ship on approach had blocked every known radar frequency. The pilots, used to being able to reach out and touch someone at 180kms with the Amraam AIM120C5 missiles were forced to close to less than 15 km just to see it. With no radar signature, and almost no infrared signature, they would have had to go to guns to shoot it down.

And still it ignored them. The finest aerial weapons system known to man wasn't worth bothering with.

On the ground every reporter worthy of the name was already there to see it, some of them had come from a thousand miles away, and hundreds more were still enroute, cursing the fact that the one plane that might have gotten them there quicker, the Concorde, had been taken out of service.

The fighters finally had to pull back as it passed half a kilometer above Washington. Now they orbited furiously and watched. The ship dropped, and even though no one knew exactly where it would come down, hundreds of thousands of the citizens had gathered around the Mall, the large swale surrounded by the famous monuments to dead presidents. Finally, it came to rest less than a mile from the White House. One moment moving, the next sitting on the ground as if it had always been there. Troops sent from Fort Myer literally had to ram their way through the gridlock created by the observers, and several hundred millions of dollars would be spent replacing the estimated 4,000 vehicles either rammed aside or flattened by the M1A6 tanks that led that procession. Humvees with loudspeakers ordered people out of the way, and armed soldiers who were not even remotely polite showed that violence was definitely an option.

They were in position, a full battalion of the 3rd Infantry (The Old Guard) in their Bradleys and the four tanks long before the ship finally opened.

machievelli has requested a fanfic review for this thread.

'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:33 AM   #2
machievelli
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Assassination!

Like everything else the ship had done, this was also anticlimactic. A section of the hull began to extend, extrude toward the officer in charge of the operation. Behind him, his men crouched, their M16s coming up. A section of the small dome of the 15 meter disc opened, and a form, obviously human stepped into view.

“I come in peace, with no animosity for your people!” The man shouted. He stood there, on so many cameras that he was seen across the globe. He wore a suit of some odd fabric, and a helmet that obscured his face from view. He took an object from his belt, and began to walk down that impossible ramp. On video feed across the planet he walked down the ramp toward the Colonel in charge, holding out the device. “From the United World-”

It was then that the bullet struck. In every video feed it was shown. One moment, standing tal and proud, in the next there was spurt of blood, and the alien fell.

On the American and International feeds, they were able to see what happened next. Frantic soldiers capturing the lunatic that had fired that round; a man who had supposedly been abducted a decade before. That raving lunatic dragged away blaming this now dead alien for all of his suffering. Then the hell that briefly reigned.

Of course there were records other than those the citizens saw...

--

Colonel Danial Cole was both ecstatic and worried as he reached out. Ecstatic because he would be recorded as the first human to welcome an alien visitor, worried because of his orders; because this one would disappear-

The shot alarmed him. He saw the alien fall back, a spot of blood in his chest, and he automatically worked out the trajectory, and spun. “That tree!” He shouted. As a squad charged it, he spun back. He'd seen men die from snipers in his time, and fell to his knees screaming for a medic beside the man more for form than anything else. There was no way he could be ali-

The man's hand snapped up, catching his. He stared down. Christ! Hit right in the heart, he was trying to survive! That was when the crowd screamed. He looked up, and went pale. As the man had come down the ramp, something else had exited the ship.

Picture the tallest basketball player you have ever seen, with the build of Shaquiel O'Neal, in the form of a solid metal warrior. The head of the apparition turned, then it moved down the ramp as smoothly as anything human. As it approached, Cole and the medic that had come at his call retreated rapidly. The form paused, looking down at the fallen visitor, then moved between him and the humans. If someone hadn't overreated, it would have probably ended there. But one of the men fired a burst at the metallic form. His attempt had as much effect as you might expect from firing a rifle at the side of a battleship.

There was a long pause, the figure's head turning toward the man that had fired as if looking to see who was really that effing stupid. Then it's hand came up. Along the line of that hand, for a range of 200 meters everything metal or plastic ceased to exist. The soldier stood there, stunned. The grenades he had in holders, his fighting knife, his rifle, and as much as he blushed, his clothes vanished.

After all, polyester is a plastic.

Others panicked, and in the next thirty seconds four rounds of 120mm depleted uranium, 50 rounds of 25mm, and almost a thousand rounds of 5.56mm were fired. If the metallic nemesis had merely allowed all of that to richochet, it would have been a bloodbath of collateral damage. But every round seemed to be absorbed or merely done away with as it turned in a lazy circle

As much as the press later tried to make it a bloodbath, there were exactly seven casualties. four were civilians who were tackled by nude men who demanded that they give up their clothes right effing now; two were men stupid enough to whistle when female troopers ended up in the all together, and were punched or kneed, and one was a soldier trying to both run and cover his groin rather than paying attention, who ran into a tree head on and knocked himself out. In less than five seconds, all of the weapons, vehicles, and most of the clothes were gone within that circle.

The crowd scattered screaming as the metallic figure turned back to the now disarmed assassin, and strode toward him. He screamed as it snatched him up, a fist coming back to punch him into the next live. Only a shout stopped it.

“Gort! Deglet ovrosco!”

It paused, then dropped the man back into the hands of the soldiers (Now nude) that had grasped him, going to rest as if at attention.

Back near the center of the carnage, Cole (Blushing) signalled the medic closer. While she blushed as furiously, she opened her med kit (The only remaining plastic within the arc), and leaned over her patient. She wasn't sure she could do anything; the bullet had hit dead center of the sternum, and he should be dead right where he lay. But a hand came up catching hers. She looked at the wound as she was opening the compress. “Sir, he was hit dead center. But he's still alive!”

Later reports were confused, because while almost every visible item made of plastic or metal vanished, not all was affected. One man with a plastic knee, another with an artificial heart valve, and a man with a pacemaker were untouched.

Cover up

After the dissapearance of almost 400 tons of vehicle alone, a helicopter dropped in, and flew the injured alien out. If it had been a perfect world, he would have ended up at Walter Reed Hospital, where the United States Government said he had been taken. But the helicopter flew instead to Langley Virginia, and landed on the helipad outside of the CIA headquarters. A surgical unit was ready, though they weren't needed.

“I don't believe this.” The doctor dragooned into service from the local Military hospital commented. The bullet, a 300 Winchester Magnum had punched into the flesh, it hadn't even penetrated the sternum of it's target. He turned to look at the x rays, eyes tightening. An x ray can see through flesh as easily as air, but in the case of his only partially conscious patient, had been stopped cold. There was a mesh over the muscles on his body, and the bones looked more solid than they should. “Analysis?” The doctor snapped.

“Some kind of biomemetic metal; reads almost like armor. It looks like his sternum would take a .50 cal BMG without being penetrated.” The x ray tech commented. “On the MRI it's just as bad. Whatever it is blocks x-rays and a magnetic field.”

“It's like he's just suffering from the hydrostatic shock of the bullet.” The doctor mused. He looked at the IV bag on the tree by the bed. “I don't see any need for this. Remove the IV.”

“Not yet doctor.” A man in a three piece suit entered the room. He motioned, and a man behind him held out a small case. “We're going to use truth serum on him.”

“Sir-”

“That is an order, doctor. If need be, I will have the President give the order.”

The doctor sighed. He took the syringe, and injected it into the IV line. As he lowered the syringe, he saw the eyes of his patient open. Then in perfect Greek, he spoke. The doctor stared stunned as the alien gently added. “And what of your professional oath, Doctor? Not that it will help,” The free arm waved. “I am immune to all of the chemicals you use for such purposes.”

He dropped the syringe, backing away. “Doctor?” He spun to look at the still unnamed official. “What did he say? I don't speak Greek.”

“'In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or men, be they free or slaves'.” He repeated the phrase in English. “It's part of the Hippocratic oath. Which you and the President want me to violate.” He stormed from the room.

Interrogation.

The man walked over beside the bed. He held up the small cylinder the alien had been offering. “Mind telling me what this is?”

“I would first expect, using what your race calls common courtesy, to know to whom I am speaking.”

The man nodded, admitting the touch. “Quentin Harley. I am from what we call the State Department.”

“I am Klaatu.” He looked down. “I know your race shakes hands, but mine seems to be occupied with a rather large needle and board.”

Klaatu motioned to the device. “Your attempts to communicate beyond your world has been hampered by what you know of the physical world. You radio telescopes are fast compared to everything else in normal space, but even reaching out to your closest neighbor will take over four of your years for the message to get there, and an equal time to reply. Your Voyager probes will take a hundred years or more unless someone were to merely pass close enough to detect them.

“That device is linked to what you might call a hypernet of communications arrays scattered between the stars, and those use processes quite beyond your understanding, which can communicate to what you call Alpha Centauri as if making a telephone call to someone a few hundred meters away. It was designed using technologies you do know so that it can be replicated easily.

“With it, you can access data on a lot of subjects both scientific and social. Think of it as a cell phone with Internet access. However linking to that net from only one of your nations is not allowed.” He gave a gentle smile. “In the past five Earth millennia, we have discovered that races with a proclivity for violence should agree collectively to access our data base. It avoids wars over who can and cannot have the knowledge on their worlds.

“Allowed. By whom?”

“The United Worlds is a simple name for them. 475 solar systems, twenty trillion other beings who have joined together to assure that this portion of our galaxy lives in peace.”

“You must have come a long way.”

“I came from a star system about 50 of your light years away. The last leg of my trip was inside your solar system itself. A little over 250 million of your miles.” He gave the same gentle smile. “You might say we're neighbors.”

“You must have spent a lot of time on that.”

“The entire trip from take off to landing took three of your weeks.”

“Fifty light years...” Harley looked down, then back up again. “It is hard to think of someone from such a vast distance away as a neighbor.”

“Unfortunately for us all, your people are going to have to learn to think that way. Especially in regards to my mission here.”

“Your mission?”

“The reason I was sent.”

“Care to tell us that reason?”

“I would be glad to. However it is not a message to your nation alone. I need to meet with representatives of not only your governments, but the scientific community of those nations as well.”

Harley gave a gusting sighed. “I'm afraid that would be a little awkward. It's... it's completely without precedent. And there are practical considerations, the time involved the enormous distances some of the people will have to travel for such a meeting would make it difficult if not impossible.”

“And your people would say having you come to meet us is equally impossible.” Klaatu stated flatly. “Is not your United Nations designed so that there are representatives at least on your governmental level right now in New York?”

“You know about the United Nations?”

“We have been observing you for several centuries now, Mr. Harley. We know all of all your local attempts to live in peace. We also know how inefficient they have been in the past. Your United Nations seems at times to merely be a debating society, and wars were fought even after it was founded because not every nation agrees they have the authority to interfere. We have been not only observing from the ground, but also listening in on your radio broadcasts and more recently your television.”

“From the ground?”

“When we first discovered your race, individuals were brought to one of our worlds for study. We needed to understand not only your languages, we needed to know your physical capablities and as they began to expand, your industrial needs and wants. So the children of those first few grew to maturity, and were returned to observe and report.”

“Spies.” Harley's voice was harsh.

“If our interest had been of a military or expansionist society, I would accept the term. However frankly your society interested us more. We could not know what to trade that we can supply without knowing the people we are selling to, and how to do so without disrupting your society further.”

“How so?”

“Let us take your own nation as an example. The destruction of the local Native Americans, the 'Indians' began not with guns and force of arms. It began by selling the natives items they could not readily reproduce. Copper and iron vessels for cooking, knives and axes made of steel, even simple glass beads. All readily obtainable and cheap when made in Europe, but something the natives could not make. Killing them afterward was merely putting their society out of their misery created by a market that goes only one way.

“That is why we built the device I was delivering using your own technology rather than our own. I am not here to sell you our equivalent of glass beads. You could turn that over to a manufacturer anywhere in your technological nations, and have it being mass produced within a year.

“and you ignore the most important reason for why humans were taken out there.” He motioned toward the ceiling. “There are almost five hundred races out there, that had to be sure your race could learn to live peacefully among them, and we have proven to be able to do so. Once that had been assured, we would also need spokemen who don't look like something out of one of your Hollywood's worst nightmares of an alien invasion.”

“But if you have been listening in, you do know our world is divided. There are evil forces even today who would tear all of the others down just for the chance to be rulers themselves. For religious or political reasons. Surely, you must agree-”

“I apologize for interrupting, Mr. Harley. But this is your world, and your people live here. While we might be alarmed by the situation, it is your situation and you must correct it. Whether you destroy yourselve with weapons, or by continuing to poison your environment, it is your choice, and no other world has the right to interfere. We hold that true for the individual in our societies out there, we also hold it true for entire races if they are inclined to self destruction.

“I don't want to resort to threats, Mr. Harley. I merely say that the lives and wellbeing of every being on this planet, both sentient and non-sentient will be affected by your own actions.”

Harley nodded. “I will convey that message to the President. Is there anything else I can tell him?”

“Only that when I leave, all that is done, or not done, by your world will be reported. They will determine what action to take from that.” He raised his hand as Harley began to speak. “That is not a threat. We will not destroy your people or invade to force the decision upon you. We will merely assure that you cannot spread that disharmony to other worlds. We will also not trade the things that you honestly do need to assure that your race will survive.”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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