In the blackness of space beyond Jupiter, a burst of gamma rays signals the appearance of a ragged hole in the very fabric of the universe. A vast armada of alien ships, their shields glowing as they deflect the incredible energies unleashed by their hyperspace transit, pour out of the hole and assemble behind the gas giant. With a final spasm of radiation, the tear in space-time seals itself, forever closing access to that mysterious other-where from whence the aliens came.
The fleet assembles into a protective formation around the largest ship--the mothership. Upon the bridge of the mothership, the alien commander examines the main screen where the small blue white pearl of Earth is shown.
"Aaahhh," the commander speaks, "Finally we are here. Our future lies ahead of us."
The commander of the alien armada waves a tentacle towards the display and orders, "Dispatch scout vessels immediately. We must learn more about the inhabitants of our new home."
...a few days later at a police station
Joan: I'm telling you, officer. My husband was kidnapped by aliens!
Police Officer: Ma'am, I'm telling ya. There's no such thing as aliens. Let's go over it one more time. Tell me again what you saw.
...a few weeks later on the television
Reporter: Not much is known except they have said they come in peace and will be sending a diplomatic envoy to speak to the United Nations. This is the biggest event in the history of mankind!
...during the 26th assembly of the United Nations
The alien diplomat speaks to the assembly in perfect English, "Humans of Earth,
we are an old and noble race from a far-away system of planets." The alien presses a button on a small device and a holographic image of another star system appears above the table. The aliens pauses while the humans whisper in amazement, then continues.
"We come in peace. We are scientists and explorers, and like you, we seek to know the unknown. There is much about you and your planet that we do not know. We demand that we be given land and resources so that we might learn."
At this, whispers of consternation circled the room. Many representatives looked towards the US representative for comment. He sighed and stood, "Demand is a strong word. Perhaps your grasp of our language is not strong enough and you meant to say you request some land?"
The alien slammed the holographic projector onto the table in obvious irritation.
"My grasp of your simple language is perfect. We do not request anything.
We demand this of you. We demand this land you designate as Australia."
As it spoke, a new image of the continent in question formed above the table.
Immediately the room was in an uproar. Two Australian representatives stood up and began shouting, "This is an outrage!"
One of the European Union delegates tried to calm everyone down,
"Keep quiet! We must think! You will bring an interplanetary war upon us!"
The alien commander interjected, "We have no wish to wage war on your planet.
We just wish to conduct our research. Do not argue with our demands and there
will be no war."
The US delegate spoke again, "You must understand. Australia is inhabited by
millions of people! We can't just give it to you!"
The EU delegate added, "Maybe we could arrange for some other, less populated land.
How about Antarctica? We could also arrange to send Earth scientists to help you
with your research."
The alien shook its head in perfect mimicry of human expression,
"No. Our research is private and will not be shared. It is beyond the capacity of your human brains to understand. And the land you designate as Australia is the land we require. Furthermore, we demand that all population within the designated area remain.
Our research will require large numbers of human subjects."
The meeting broke into cries of "Human subjects!?" "Are you insane!?" "Never!"
Through it all, the alien stood patiently. Eventually, the US representative stood and
said in a shaking voice, "We need a short break while we deliberate on your requests."
The alien nodded, "Very well..."
...a few months later
A ragged page torn from a journal swirls across a twisted and broken landscape.
Writing upon the page, barely legible, reads, "We've retreated to the final bunker 2km underground beneath the base. The air is stale and the odor of blood and fear is oppressive. All of our fortifications are in place--whatever good they will do. I can hear the scraping and clicking of the aliens as they near the entrance. Soon the fighting will start again. Our blood seeps through our bandages and our bodies are drowning in pain and fever, but our minds are still whole. We won't give up. We will fight until are all dead. I know that there are other survivors out there. Somewhere. And the story of our courage in the face of death will inspire them. They will continue the fight. They will discover why the aliens brought war to our planet. They will overcome the enemy."