Oops! by Keith Kitchen

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SUMMARY: A fleet of mysterious ships attacks Earth with no provocation wreaking devastation. Yet, they are as surprised by the turn of events as are Earth's inhabitants.

I


There was a bright flash of ethereal light that spread out and began to bleed off as one, two, then forty ships dropped out of hyperspace back in to normal space. A few moments passed as they oriented themselves with one another, then with a solitary word transmitted from the flagship to the rest, they dropped into formation as only a tightly trained naval group could and started towards their target. The group moved almost leisurely at what was considered to be their cruising speed of .3C and began to prepare for coming battle.

The word that had been transmitted had been "Attack".

The target was a small, unassuming, mostly unaware rocky planet circling a rather unremarkable star. The planet was called "Earth" by its dominant species.


II


General Sam Adams looked up from his report to see the line from Space Command was flashing. Space Command rarely called him directly, as being the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff generally meant his secretary would have intercepted a routine call. A call coming in on this line meant that something was out of the ordinary, if not absolutely wrong.

"Adams," he said, gruffly.

"General, this is Colonel Jasper, the duty officer at Space Command and we have a potential situation."

Adams' eyebrows arched. "What exactly do you mean by a "potential situation"?"

"General, we have detected what appears to be forty objects approaching Earth. We don't know where they came from, but they're slowing down and they will likely enter orbit in under six hours."

"Are you certain they're slowing down?"

"Absolutely! When we first detected them, they were traveling at a speed of just under one third the speed of light. They are now moving at just over twenty percent the speed of light."

"Are they warships?"

"Sir, we just don't know. We've been broadcasting greetings but there is no response. Orion Seven is orbiting the Moon and they've tried contacting the incoming ships, but they're not receiving anything, either."

"Jasper, how long till your CO gets in?"

"Twenty minutes."

"All right, on my authority, I want all our missile squadrons brought on-line and I want all, and I mean all our boomers out to sea ASAP. I expect presidential authorization within the next ten minutes at most, but I want a general alert sent out now."

"What if they're peaceful?"

"Yeah? Have you ever seen ‘Independence Day'?"

Adams could hear the gulp on the other end of the phone. "I'm sending the alert."

"Good man."


III

The President looked over the Boy Scouts from Billings, Montana and smiled. It was a nice reminder of his own youth so many years ago, something he remembered with pride as he knew he was one of the youngest Eagle scouts in Boy Scout history. The Boy Scouts were also a sign of things returning to normal. The ongoing war in the Middle East was finally behind the United States and he was by God trying to push his country into the future. He knew that the previous two presidents had made their share of mistakes, but they had done their share of good as well.

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