Secret History of the Apocalypse

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Secret History of the Apocalypse

Sometime early in the 20th century, Earth civilization came to the attention of an advanced alien species with bases located 100 light years away. This alien species, which we shall call the ‘Sreelath’, evolved in the vicinity of the ‘Rigel Concourse’, a sequence of planet-bearing stars in the Rigel Sector about 800 light years from earth. The Sreelath are part of a loose interstellar ‘Continuum’ including 23 other star-faring civilizations. The Sreelath Empire is located on the far fringes of the Continuum, with Sol even farther away and still undiscovered by other Continuum member states.

As a member of the Continuum, the Sreelathans are bound to uphold the provisions of the Continuum Charter or risk significant penalties. Among these provisions is a well-known prohibition against conquest or enslavement of other star-faring or ‘Stellar’ species. For practical purposes, a ‘Stellar’ species is one which has managed to transport at least 1 living species representative into orbit around the planet of another star (virtually all stars have 1 or more planets of some type and size). Initial contact with a heretofore undiscovered civilization is supposed to be submitted to the Continuum to assess ‘Stellar’ status. In the rare case of a new civilization discovered while in transit to a star for the first time, the ‘Proto-Stellar’ civilization is given a special ‘protected’ status for a period of 50 or 100 years until the outcome of the current effort can be evaluated. Over many thousands of years of Continuum history the Sreelaths spent much time and effort attempting to get around this provision as it conflicts with fundamental Sreelath motivations and survival strategies.

The Sreelaths specialize in destroying more primitive alien civilizations by covertly inducing the species to self-destruct or at least seriously weaken itself so as to present no meaningful opposition to subsequent exploitation. This is achieved through a carefully engineered series of discreet and undetectable interventions often spanning centuries. Once the alien civilization is destroyed or sufficiently weakened, the Sreelaths move in to exploit the local resources. A 99.8% reduction in native population and productive capacity is typically considered satisfactory. The practice of covert subversion and induced self-destruction of pre-stellar species has been refined to a high art over the millennia, with 49 successful operations documented in Sreelath history. At any given time subversion operations are underway against 2-3 pre-stellar or novo-stellar civilizations. Each subversion operation typically requires one to three centuries to complete, depending on various factors such as population, technological level and overall resiliency of the target species.

This peculiar strategy has a number of advantages:

1. Cost: Covert subversion to engineer the self-destruction of a pre-stellar civilization can be undertaken at 1/20th the cost of full-scale invasion and conquest, by a small elite unit numbering less than 500 specialists supported by an additional 200-300 mercenary auxiliaries (troops and technicians). The only additional requirement is patience and persistence. A full scale invasion on the other hand requires at least 200k+ Sreelath troops and 500k+ auxiliaries for 5-20 years, plus commitment of a sizable interstellar fleet and associated support units.

2. Interference: Direct conquest of pre-stellar but otherwise advanced intelligent species often requires a lengthy counter-insurgency campaign subsequent to conclusion of initial operations. Opponents of the Sreelaths have taken advantage of such situations by covertly arming the local species.

3. Risk: Conquest and counter-insurgency operations sometimes result in the target species gaining unplanned access to data and technology, with unpredictable results. Understandably, the target species often holds a grudge once they discover what the Sreelathans are up to.

4. Good-will: Should the operation need to be abandoned for some reason, the unsuspecting target species will bear no ill-will toward the Sreelaths. This is an important consideration if the aliens are later incorporated into the Continuum.

5. State-craft: Plausible deniability is available in the event a Continuum member state independently discovers the new species, particularly in cases where the target species was on the verge of ‘stellar’ status or in fact previously launched an undetected star-ship.

The Early Years: 1935-2503

Between the Terran 20th and 23rd centuries the Sreelaths carefully observed and studied Earth, according to standard time-tested procedures (including a few abductions for research purposes and evaluation of suitability as slave labor or food source). Construction of a hidden sub-surface base and operational headquarters on the far side of Earth’s single moon was complete by the middle of the 22nd century. Due to budgetary constraints, major operations against Earth did not get underway until the 24th century. By the middle of the 25th century it was apparent that the Terrans were making unanticipated progress toward completing an interstellar project (Daedalus) and an increased tempo of operations was called for. Within 20 years antagonism was accentuated by gentle pressure in the right areas and latent conflicts were brought to a boil. By discreetly providing native high technology to the right groups, the potential for Terran self-immolation by the end of the century was greatly increased (to 89.3% according to the Sreelathan Office of Strategic Predictive Analysis).

In fact the Sreelath plans progressed according to schedule, but the Daedalus program was also proceeding faster than expected with an actual colonization vehicle under construction by 2480. While there was not agreement on what had gone wrong with the carefully laid timetable and two centuries of strategic interference and manipulation, everyone agreed that direct action was necessary. If the Continuum or one of the more unpleasant member states discovered earth at this juncture there could be serious repercussions in the Continuuarch (the deliberative body of the Continuum) including imposition of troublesome economic and military sanctions. It was decided that the Daedalus project would have to be sabotaged. As part of a compromise solution with the powerful conservative wing of the ruling Sept, an updated plan was produced: one of the local earth political units, the Pan-Asian Combine, would be framed with the sabotage though in fact hired agents would perform the actual work. If all went as planned, this event would incite a final self-destructive cataclysm and neutralize the Terran interstellar effort in one fell swoop.

The Daedalus was damaged rather than destroyed, but the delay provided the time needed to precipitate the long-awaited Terran self-immolation. Initial results appeared promising after the natives destroyed 95% of their population and industry in the final year of global war. It seemed that the carefully laid plans and efforts of a generation of Sreelathans were about to bear fruit. Plans for large-scale exploitation were set in motion.

Project ‘Final Solution’: 2503-2645

However, within a few decades it became apparent that the Terrans must be placed into that special group of particularly resilient target civilizations requiring more than one apocalypse to finish off. Signs of reorganization, re-population and rapid progress in science and technology appeared within the first decades of the 26th century, particularly in Asia and North America. Plans for exploitation were delayed and new measures evaluated.

Phase I of the new plan required direct control of the isolated Terran moon-base and star-ship. Mercenary assault troops burrowing up from the secret base on the dark side of the moon quickly subjugated the Terran moon-base. The orbiting Daedalus was easily commandeered, providing access to the ample human raw material on-board. The vast influx of specimens would fuel an ambitious 20-year program of research and experimentation. This research would produce a range of deadly Terran-specific bio-weapons including biochemical mutagens and toxins, bio-engineered killer species, nanobots, and globally deployable sterility agents. Many of these new weapons would be supplied through covert channels to the most advanced Terran factions.

Phase II called for the nurturing of a charismatic local dictator in Asia who would eventually become the ignition agent for a second and final apocalypse. Into the hands of this tyrant would be placed some of the newly created bio-weapons. It was also determined that a faction in North America (the New York Protectorate) would be supplied with certain ancient ‘Omega’ weapons mothballed long ago due to their tendency to produce unpredictable chain reactions across vast areas.

Finally, Phase III specified the modification of Terran AI-controlled installations to receive direct instructions from Sreelath commanders just in case an extra ‘push’ was needed. Providing powerful technology to the natives and directly modifying alien systems was dangerous and unprecedented, but judged worth the risk at this point. The annoying canker that was humanity would soon be cleansed from the valuable sphere of heavy metals known locally as ‘Earth’.

The ‘New Combine’ faction was united under the puppet dictator near the end of the 27th century, setting the stage for a new global war. When the Combine’s positions came under attack from the rear, the dictator launched a massive thermonuclear strike, virtually eliminating all life on half the planets. Without any Sreelath manipulation, the surviving ‘Western Alliance’ defense borg networks launched a retaliatory strike against the Combine, reducing the population and industrial capacity of Asia by 99.998%.

The North American factions did not respond as expected and appeared ready to surrender or compromise with the approaching Combine forces. In order to meet the project deadlines and insure a complete success, the Omega weapons provided to the NYP faction were deployed manually through ‘back doors’ previously installed. A short wait of 2-3 decades produced the expected final results as the few surviving factions continued to battle one another, expending their last resources. By the terran year 2640, 99.98% casualties were incurred worldwide and the target species rendered effectively extinct. As a perhaps excessive precaution, drones were deployed planet-wide to dispense sterility aerosols for a period of 200 years.

Recent History of Terran Operations: 2645-2750

Starting in 2645 large scale exploitation operations finally commenced in Asia, northern Africa and the far north of the American continent. Hyperspace transmission terminals were constructed around the harvest sites for transfer of extracted materials (mostly heavy metals) up to the Sreelath moon-base. The arrival of regular cargo packets started in 2661. As per standard contingency procedures, these facilities could destabilize the planetary core and destroy the entire planet along with all traces of Sreelathan activity.

In an attempt to extract some extra value from the Terran operation, now 130% over budget, the Office of Strategic Predictive Analysis determined that the exceptionally resilient Terran race would provide an excellent training opportunity for the next generation of Sreelathan saboteurs. The training program was fully implemented by 2690, allowing experimentation with a variety of novel techniques across various operational scales in a realistic setting. This innovative new program would insure more effective and efficient operations against future target species.

To economize further on resources, destruction of the earth star-ship was deferred indefinitely. The orbiting star-ship continues to serve as a useful and convenient research lab. A remote explosive device activated from the moon-base is located on the ship in the unlikely event that emergency destruction is required. The largely automated resource recovery operation and training program is administered by less than 20 Sreelathans supported by auxiliaries numbering in the low hundreds. Projections indicate that 140 years of harvest operations (2785) will recoup the investment of prior centuries.

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Secret History of the Apocalypse

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