“Stoplights edged the licorice street with ribbon, / neon embroidering wet sidewalks. She turned / into the driveway and leaped in the dark.” – Roberta Hill, “Leap In The Dark”
The aliens landed on the moon on Election Day. At first we thought it was some kind of last-minute publicity stunt by the ultra-right wing candidate, the darling of the “America First” party. We laughed off it off. Aliens on the moon? But when the explosions started on one of the mares – the Sea of Tranquility? – we knew it was no joke.
You’d think the planet would become more united, not less, in the face of invading aliens. At least, that’s what happens in all those B-movies when aliens invade the Earth. But no. France declared itself a barricaded state and seceded from the E.U., closed its borders and announced plans for a nuclear Maginot II line around its perimeter. Great Britain stated it had never trusted the colonial states, and put its Navy to sea in an embargo to keep out foreigners.
As for the U.S., well, the America First candidate called for an imminent launch of missiles, even though it was pointed out that the range was definitely limited to a high Earth orbit. The candidate from the progressive party hadn’t much to say other than “Talks should be scheduled, we must reach out to our galactic visitors to find out what they want.” Everyone guessed already – mining rights. It had been rumored for years that the Earth was due for an interplanetary visitation – overdue, in fact – and it was said now that the moon was a virtual gold mine of resources such as helium-3 for nuclear fusion, of which “just 25 tons could . . . power the European Union and the United States for a year,” according to one source.
Fuel. It’s all about fuel, isn’t it?
While the G10 countries continued to splinter away from alliances and the NATO pact showed signs of collapse, the results of the election put the America First candidate on top. The explosions continued on the Sea of Tranquility and began in other seas as well, with little shuttle-freight spaceships coming and going within a few weeks of the first landing on Election Day.
Contrary to speculation, however, the elected candidate, the new President of the United States, being the ultra-capitalist businesswoman that she was, proclaimed that the new future was in extra-terrestrial resource development, and announced that NASA would now begin missions to the moon of our own, that the U.S. would “grab a piece of the action before the aliens got all the good stuff.” The President was even open to making “some sort of mutually beneficial deal” for Earth’s remaining resources, if that was what it took. “After all, we can start colonizing the moon by leveraging this new technology from the aliens,” she stated in her Inaugural Speech.
Welcome to the twenty-first century, we all thought. Welcome to the decline of man.
About this post: Election Day is only 250 days away.