The Morning After: How Do We Go On?

Originally published at: https://www.novosmundos.net/547/the-morning-after-how-do-we-go-on/

Athens – As the Army demobilizes and the broadcast is re-aired almost constantly, the Athenian Federation is waking up with one burning question. How do we go on? Alien life had long been rumoured to exist but now that their existence has been confirmed and regardless of intent they have killed millions, many fear what comes next. To provide some answers the Athens Times have consulted different experts to provide some answers.

Are we at war?

Many fear that the impact was an alien declaration of war. As possible reasons individuals have mentioned that recent technological advancements may have placed Earth on the radar of an alien species and that they wish to eliminate a possible threat pre-emptively. Professor Lilach Weissmann, head of Anthropology at Theodora University said the following regarding this. “Imagine if you will an ant colony. There are millions if not billions of them on the planet and as they are so much weaker than us we simply ignore them. If tomorrow an ant colony were to develop an internal combustion engine however we would take notice. If our history is any predictor, we’d quite probably feel so threatened that we’d want to destroy that colony to avoid future advancements and a possible competitor. To whoever is behind this we are likely the technological equivalent of ants, and they want to keep it that way. There is a lot of reason to believe that for any form of intelligent life to advance as far as such a civilization would have, they would need the same xenophobia and violence as humanity does. Look what we did to the native Americans, the aborigine, Africa. How can be surprised aliens would do the same to us?”.

Other voices however are more cautious regarding the implication of the impact. Ardita Shehu, a member of the Athens Institute for Interstellar Exploration think tank represented this position by saying that “Based on the information the Empress provided, whoever launched this object was well beyond our technological capabilities. If they wanted to they could have destroyed the planet and they almost certainly would be smart enough to aim for our military and space capabilities. As tragic as the deaths are, the object impacted in an area without significant military facilities, there are no space exploration facilities, there was even very little industry. If they wanted to damage our capabilities, why didn’t they hit Heraklion Space Port? Or our government and military command in Athens? Or Earth-Sphere Defence in Ancyra? Yes, an alien species detecting our advancement could be seen as a threat and cause an attack. But it is also possible that they have advanced beyond such primitive emotions as fear and rage and simply wanted to send us a message welcoming us to the interstellar community. The object has electromagnetic activity, a metal ball designed to do damage has no real reason to have advanced machinery and power production after its hit”.

Beyond expert opinions, the official position of the Athenian Federation currently is that they cannot conclusively deduce intent and that until then they will continue operating under the assumption that it was not a declaration of war, however additional measures are being taken to protect Earth.

What can we do against future impacts?

There is a real chance that additional objects will hit Earth, for this reason the government has taken the unusual step to declassify information regarding the object to allow other governments to take any preparations to protect their own territory and assets in space. Before the impact hit the Dobrich region, the Hellenic Space Force used both missiles and railguns to attempt to destroy it but without success. As much as our technology has advanced in recent decades, weapons technology has remained mostly stagnant with much of warfare built around missiles and projectiles. There are experiments with directed energy weapons such as lasers but it is not guaranteed those will work. Some think tanks have proposed equipping our upcoming Destroyers and Cruisers with nuclear missiles, however these proposals have been ruled out by the Ministry of Defence due to fears of the possible impact of nuclear missiles being used close to Earth’s atmosphere.

The government has freed up significant funds for research into both offensive and defensive technologies that can be used against future unidentified alien objects.

How is the world responding?

To date there has been no significant response to the announcement by the Empress. Many foreign policy experts however believe that this is likely the result of crisis meetings occurring throughout the worlds to make sense of the announcement and to actually verify the data to make sure the Athenian Federation is not making it up. “I do not expect a major response from the international community until tomorrow. The first will likely come from our allies in the Byzantine League and Europe in general. Other space-faring countries such as the United African People’s Republics, France and the Free Android Republic are also likely to respond soon. Others will likely follow as the week progresses.” An anonymous source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said to this publication.

Should I do anything to protect myself?

Both experts and the government have urged people to go on with their life as usual. There is nothing anyone can do to protect themselves from an impact such as happened in Bulgaria. There are many things that can kill you. Living in constant fear is both incredibly unhealthy and counter-productive as the Athenian Federation needs everyone to form a united front and work towards a permanent solution.

Where is the object?

The object, labeled UAO-BU-0001 (the first bit for Unidentified Alien Objection, the second for the region where it was found and finally the number used to identify it), is currently held at an undisclosed location. Experts believe it will likely be held in a facility of the Hellenic Space Force within the mainland Athenian Federation temporarily. As there exist fears that the object might have explosive capabilities or otherwise have another vector of attack, it will likely be transported to a more remote facility. Options are the almost completed Antarctic research facility, a larger Hellenic Navy ship such as a Carrier or Battlecruiser, or the various outposts in space. Regardless of where it is stored, it will be under extensive security to make sure it cannot be stolen.

Has the object left any permanent effects on the environment?

While not all tests have been completed, so far the levels of radiation and other pollutants is not significantly higher than usual in the area. While there currently exists a 50km exclusion zone around the impact site, it is likely that as soon as all tests have been completed the area can be rebuilt. The Ministry of Infrastructure has however already confirmed that the area where the city of Dobrich sat will become a permanent memorial and that a suitable construction project will take place to remember all the death. Meanwhile that same Ministry has also reserved a 10-year 500 billion Drachma fund to rebuild the entire affected area up to the most modern standards and provide homes for all those displaced as well as economic opportunity to truly revive the Union of Bulgaria.