3rd Place – April 2019

The Nuclear Option

By Gary Christenson

Once upon a time, in the year 2020, an Arcturian starship emerged from faster-than-light drive outside the asteroid belt. Captain Chergyn Hostinual, a blue-skinned humanoid, announced to his crew, “We face a dangerous mission. Earth leaders ignored our warnings. They will resist our demands and may attack our ship. However, we must protect the civilizations in our galaxy.”
He planned a forceful demonstration of Arcturian capabilities. Technicians launched drones which landed on asteroids. Rocket thrusters modified asteroid orbits into elongated ellipses passing near earth.
Electromagnetic impulse engines propelled the starship into orbit around earth where billions of people observed it. After circling the earth for a day Captain Hostinual transmitted a message in twelve languages on an international emergency channel. It stated, “Greetings from the Arcturus star system. We come in peace. In twenty-four hours, we will send a second message which will explain our mission and what is necessary to protect our galaxy and the people of earth.”
Politicians panicked, militaries leaped to full alert status, and people worried. Stock markets plummeted.
Extra-terrestrials had come to earth. Official denial was impossible.
Billions listened to the second transmission. “Inter-dimensional instabilities caused by nuclear explosions damage the galactic community. Your leaders have ignored previous warnings. Earth governments are on the verge of accidental or intentional nuclear annihilation which will devastate earth and affect other beings in the galaxy. You may not understand how your nuclear explosions affect other planets, but they do. To protect the galaxy, earth must demolish every nuclear weapon within one year, and not later than July 1, 2021.
 “Your military and political leaders will resist the destruction of nuclear warheads. To demonstrate consequences, three asteroids will smash into earth during the next ten days. They will crash into Nevada, latitude forty-one degrees north, longitude one hundred eighteen degrees thirty minutes west, into Siberia at latitude seventy-one degrees north, longitude ninety degrees east, and into the South China Sea at latitude seventeen degrees north, longitude one hundred sixteen degrees east. Loss of life should not occur if people avoid those locations.
“We will defend our ship from directed energy weapons, missiles, nuclear warheads and conventional weapons. Any country that attacks us will suffer consequences.
 “Contemplate larger asteroids crashing into Washington D.C., Moscow, Beijing, and the capitals of other nuclear armed countries. Destroy your nuclear weapons by July 1, 2021, or asteroids will demolish selected cities. End of transmission.”
***
President Cornwall clenched his fists as he sat in a secure room several floors beneath the White House and wheezed. His advisors and military leaders awaited his direction. “Gentlemen, you heard the alien transmissions. I am outraged that aliens think they can dictate nuclear policy to the United States. General Custer, give us your opinion.”
The General stood, cleared his throat, and spoke in a grave voice. “The transmissions originated from a huge extra-terrestrial ship orbiting earth. Given our ignorance of their capabilities, I encourage you, Mr. President, to await further developments. Radar stations are monitoring incoming asteroids. I doubt our missiles can destroy the asteroids before they impact earth.”
President Cornwall pounded his desk and shouted, “I want daily updates on approaching asteroids, and video feeds of the Nevada impact site. Be prepared with options at tomorrow’s meeting.”
***
Days later the New York Times reported, “An asteroid crashed into the Nevada desert on July 6, 2020. The blast rattled windows fifty miles away and would have leveled buildings miles away. While the explosion was non-nuclear, it caused equivalent destruction. In Siberia, according to Russian authorities, the explosion was more powerful. The smaller South China Sea asteroid created minor damage in coastal communities many miles from the impact site.”
***
President Cornwall doubled over in pain. I have a bleeding ulcer, a killer hangover, and my ratings are crashing. He began the meeting with his advisors by stating, “You’ve seen the video of what those blasted aliens did to Nevada. I want opinions on five questions. Could the aliens level Washington D.C. with a similar attack? Should we destroy our nuclear arsenal? What will the Russians do? Can we pretend to destroy our nuclear warheads, but hide them where the aliens can’t detect them? Should we attack their starship?”
The President listened to intelligent men and women and then summarized, “An asteroid could crush Washington D.C. We should preserve our nuclear weapons because the Russians will not destroy theirs. The United States must hide warheads deep underground where the aliens cannot observe them, and we should nuke their ship.”
He scanned the room and saw nodding heads. “General Custer prepare a plan to destroy their ship. The United States government will not be held hostage to alien demands.”
***
From the Washington Post: “The American military launched a nuclear tipped ICBM at the alien ship. Russians launched their ICBM a few hours earlier. Military experts believe pulsed particle beams shot from the starship disintegrated both ICBMs when they closed within 10,000 miles.”
Captain Hostinual sent a third transmission to earth. “Russian and American missiles failed in their attacks upon our ship. Because of your actions we will obliterate a military base in each of your countries. As I stated before, Earth’s nuclear weapons are a threat to the stability of our galaxy. Their destruction is necessary. We will monitor your progress with scanning tools beyond earth’s technology.”
Global leaders convened secret meetings and sought ways to hide nuclear weapons. They ordered analyses of starship vulnerabilities and discussed directed-energy attacks from their killer satellites.
Asteroids destroyed two military bases.
***
On June 30, 2021, CNN announced, “Countries around the world moved nuclear weapons into underground locations and destroyed them. Residual radioactivity from the warheads remained underground. President Cornwall stated the U.S. eliminated its nuclear arsenal and complied with alien demands. He hoped other nuclear powers did the same. The editorial staff of CNN praised the President and other courageous politicians for their peaceful approach to nuclear disarmament.”
***
Russia, China and the United States concealed about ten percent of their nuclear weapons in underground vaults shielded with thick lead plates. They believed the shields would defeat alien scanning technology.
Captain Hostinual shocked politicians five days later. “Our instruments show Russia buried five hundred and three nuclear bombs in a Siberian tunnel several miles underground. Americans hid a similar number underground in Nevada. China concealed several hundred inside a mountain cave. Other nuclear powers hid their weapons. All countries possessing nuclear weapons will experience grave consequences unless they destroy remaining bombs.”
***
President Cornwall suffered a stress induced stroke. His doctors demanded rest. A government helicopter took him a safe distance outside Washington D.C.
The Vice President ordered American military leaders to activate “Plan B.” They moved most of the nuclear warheads into shallow caverns near the desert surface and exploded them. The military hid other bombs in much deeper tunnels beneath the debris hoping residual radioactivity would obstruct alien scans from detecting remaining warheads. The Russian and Chinese militaries performed similar operations.
The next day an American military satellite attacked the starship with a powerful laser beam. Russian and Chinese killer satellites fired particle beams at the starship.
The starship reflected the laser and particle beam attacks and vaporized the satellites.
The aliens announced, “Russians, Chinese and Americans attacked our ship. They also concealed nuclear weapons instead of destroying them. In three days, a large asteroid will crush one of your capitals. Asteroids will level other capitals within three weeks unless countries destroy remaining nuclear weapons. Earth will suffer because of the actions of your political and military leaders.
“We encourage immediate evacuation from Washington D.C., Moscow and Beijing. Politicians have failed the people in their countries. Your citizens should rise in anger and oust your leaders.”
***
An asteroid plunged toward earth and demolished a major capital city 61 hours later.
Networks televised the devastation. Captain Hostinual sent another message. “When will your leaders learn their actions have consequences? Hiding nuclear arsenals proved catastrophic to millions of people. The destruction was unnecessary. More devastation will follow if you do not change policies.”
***
Politicians adjusted their narratives as the Arcturian starship orbited the earth for five additional years.
In 2026 Captain Hostinual announced to the earth, “Our starship is leaving your solar system. Your citizens and the galaxy are safer because earth destroyed its nuclear weapons. However, a cloaked scanning drone will remain in earth orbit. It will report nuclear activity to our command center. If it observes renewed production of nuclear weapons, a fleet of starships will return. Earth will suffer consequences.”
Newly elected politicians discovered they did not need nuclear weapons and, as usual, enriched themselves while living unhappily ever after.
***
Russian, Chinese and American military technicians resumed secret nuclear warhead production in deep underground facilities following the starship’s exit from the solar system.

 

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