“Hello? People of Earth!” The voices came simultaneously booming from the skies around the planet, translated into each local language.
“We come to… is this thing on?” continued Zark’s voice. “OK, yes… We have come to harvest your resources. You have two choices. Die a long and painful death when we exterminate your species, or kill yourselves now. We recommend the latter. You have 24 hours to decide.”
All the predictable chaos ensued on Earth. Zark went to take a nap.
The next morning, as Zark was slathering ointment on his tentacles, Itix oozed into the room.
“You should probably read this morning’s report,” said Itix.
“Can’t you see I’m busy? Oh, fine, let me see that,” Zark read silently for a minute. “But… this never happens. Do we even have a procedure for this? All of them, really?”
“Well, almost all. They’re still there. And it gets worse. Keep reading.”
“What’s a ‘counter-offensive strike’?” Zark made little air-quotes around the term with his pincers.
“If you just look at the monitor, you can see for yourself.”
Several thousand nuclear missiles were making their way to the mother-ship.
Zark was beginning to worry. “Uh… shields up!” he barked at the computer. The computer blinked and replied simply, “Operation not supported.”
“You idiot,” opined Itix. “You know we haven’t had working shields since the T’gornik Dynasty was a thing.”
“Well we haven’t needed them, have we? This never happens!” Zark was feeling personally insulted by this behavior. “How many of these missions have we done? Hundreds? They just politely off themselves. What is wrong with this species?” Zark sighed in exasperation. “Fine. Let’s go. Who’s next on the list?”
Tracking stations around the globe confirmed that the ship that had been hovering in a high orbit above the planet was no longer present. Opinions were divided, some believing the ship had fled, while others argued it had probably been obliterated by the simultaneous detonation of 8,732 nuclear warheads. Either way, an epic sigh of relief was heard across the globe. The people of Earth celebrated and congratulated each other. A general spirit of fellowship and good cheer embraced the planet.
Meetings were held at the highest levels in order to determine how to continue after this momentous event. After much deliberation and careful consideration, the decision was made just to forget the whole thing ever happened. It took a few days for the nations of the world to remember what they had been fighting about. The world’s leaders eventually concluded that the most reasonable course of action would be to rebuild the nuclear arsenal, and to pick up their wars right where they had left off.