The Ship by David Scholes

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That a race this advanced was bound to attract trouble. The longer they were here the more chance there was of that trouble arriving. As indeed it eventually did."

* * *

It was about two years later that the other star ships came. Not nearly as impressive, not nearly as large as the visitor but there were quite a lot of them ____ thousands in fact. Coming out of some form of faster than light drive and emerging towards the edge of our star system.

The first indication that something might be amiss was when the great ship responded to the threat moving slowly away from the Earth, then gathering speed as it headed outwards towards the more remote worlds of our star system. Too fast for detection.

As the great ship slowed again out past the orbit of Uranus, NASA detected it. At the same time also detecting the invaders. A major technological breakthrough achieved in the last year (after the arrival of the great ship and probably because of it) meant that everyone on Earth had a front row real time seat for what was about to unfold.

People were indeed fearful. There had been a general perception, though they had never shown themselves, that the visitors were a gentle race. God like, beneficent but gentle. Not fighters at all. Though not everyone on Earth had been happy with the last two years. For those of a more violent disposition these were indeed most boring times. There were more than a few secretly and not so secretly hoping to see the great star ship get its ass kicked, and more.

The great star ship, in fact the greatest star ship ever built, took thousands upon thousands of volleys from energy weapons most of which would have been beyond even our theoretical understanding. Its great layered force shields flared and grew into incandescence and at times the vessel buckled and heaved and shuddered. Yet it gave just as good as it got and more. And its shields held.

When it was over, when the very last one of the thousands of invading star ships had been disintegrated and its very atoms consigned to the solar winds everyone on Earth knew. That the gods of the great ship knew how to fight. Oh yes, did they know how to fight.

The ship returned to its high stationary orbit above New York and indeed only New York. For whatever reason the visitors seemed unable to sustain the earlier illusion of omnipresence. More than this people began to die from violent crime and cancer and other things and new wars started. Yet things never got quite as bad as they had been.

Everyone in the world knew the great star ship had to have been damaged but no one knew just how much.

* * *

The General Assembly of the United Nations had never before nor was it ever again quite as full as the day on which it received its greatest ever visitor. Tergathh of the Brell, sole survivor of the great star ship and indeed the sole survivor of his once great race.

Through the General Assembly he asked all of the people of the Earth for their permission for the great ship and those dead aboard it to be cremated/incinerated/vaporised in a funeral in space in near proximity to the Earth.

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