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Anticipation | Kestrel's Aerie

Anticipation | Kestrel's Aerie

Anticipation

Anticipation. Interesting word, that. Not quite an emotion, but anticipation can certainly give rise to conflicting emotions. Take the period between the global announcement from the Aliens, four hours after the USA won the 2010 World Cup (a miracle in itself, according to most of the world, including most of the USA), to their actual appearance two weeks later.
They told us they were coming to pay a friendly visit. It was broadcast on every radio, television, Internet stream, throughout the world. They said they were going to fix that hole in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico that was going to destroy the world if it weren’t plugged, and then they were going to leave. Forever. Before they left, they said they were going to visit the White House and Tiananmen Square, and invited all world leaders to visit one capital or the other.
Anticipation. Yeah, it generated a lot of emotion alright. Fear, hope, despair, anger (frankly, I could never understand why people got pissed off, unless it really screwed up their world view)—and that was just the major reactions.
Of course there were the nutcases—“The world will end!” “The Aliens will enslave us!”—and some folks did go off the deep end.
For once, though, most world leaders (political and otherwise) were pretty reasonable. The common thesis (excluding extremist views on both ends of the political and religious spectrums) was that clearly, whoever the Aliens were, the fact they could accomplish what they already had done (and it was pretty well established that every single closed-circuit broadcast IN THE WORLD had been usurped for their announcement), made it obvious that show of military force and that sort of tripe would, at best, amuse them.
Anticipation. Yeah, I was full of it. Anticipation, that is. Mine manifested itself mostly in hope. I figured if they wanted to turn the Earth into a smoking cinder in a remote corner of the Milky Way, there was no point getting excited about it. On the other hand, if they were going to give us the secret to interstellar travel…well that would be pretty damned cool.
I think it would be safe to say that after two weeks of unimaginable buildup, the reality was…well, a letdown.
Sure, they plugged that hole in the bottom of the Gulf. And gave us the technology for when it happened again. But they also cautioned us that we were damned lucky (and no, a nuke down there wouldn’t have done anything but hasten the end of the world).
Oh, what did they look like? Who the hell knows? They projected a hologram from their little spheres that landed on the South Lawn of the White House, and in the middle of Tiananmen Square. They preempted all television, radio, and Internet streams again. The hologram in D.C. appeared to be about 40, and while the fidelity was better than 3D HDTV, it was hard to tell her race. Same with the male hologram projected in Beijing. In Washington, she spoke English. In China, he spoke Mandarin. In Wales, she spoke Welsh; in Berlin, she spoke German. In Seoul, he spoke Korean; in Siberia, he spoke some Russian dialect.
The words were all the same, allowing for the idiosyncrasies of translation. “We come in peace, but you already know that. Yes, we’ve been observing you for many years. No, we won’t tell you how many. No, you have not detected us. UFOs are exactly that: unidentified. They weren’t us. Consider this broadcast, and the fact that even if you try to turn off your television, you’ll still see and hear us.”
If you ask me, they were scolding us in the manner of a patient parent. “Yours is the first world that has used nuclear weapons in war, and hasn’t gone on to destroy itself within fifty years. That by itself is remarkable. But instead of broadening that lesson to other endeavors, you have broken the bottom of the sea, and had we not intervened, the entire ecosystem of the world’s oceans would have been completely and irrevocably destroyed in two years.”
Well, of course, in the days and weeks and months that followed, that was debated by scientists and non-scientists, but as far as I’m concerned, when people who are essentially godlike, compared to homo sapiens, tell us that we almost destroyed our planet, I’d take that as a not-too-subtle hint to stop wasting time debating the issue, and finding an alternative to oil.
So then they said they had plugged the hole (not exactly in those words, but that’s what they did) and as a bonus, collected all the oil in water and gotten rid of it. We were on our own for helping the wildlife, but while we were cleaning up the rest of our mess, maybe we’d think about what got us there.
Seventy-two hours later, the British government nationalized BP, capped every single well world-wide within the next two months, recrhistened the company “Britsh Power,” (a bit of a play on words, if you ask me) and dedicated one-hundred percent of its resources to alternatives to fossil fuels. Within a week of Britain’s action, the government of the Netherlands nationalized Royal Dutch Shell.
The price of a gallon of gas in the US matched international prices by Labor Day. By Christmas, gas was five bucks a liter. Yeah…over 20 bucks a gallon.
The price of BP stock dropped to thirteen cents (US) within a week of the Aliens’ landing. Three months later, it was a dollar. Three years later, BP, MIT, and CERN announced that controlled hydrogen fusion had been achieved.
And now, anticipation has been replaced by hope.
3 Conversations about Anticipation
  1. Skuggi
    July 2, 2010 | 08:27

    Different, logical, I think I’d like a book about the rest of the story that should follow.

    Cheers,

    Skuggi , Kil’jaeden EU

    • Kestrel
      July 2, 2010 | 09:38

         Twitter: *grins* Thanks…I might like that book too… It’s a thought that’s percolated in my mind for a long time, but I’m not certain I could subordinate my normally optimistic outlook enough for the evil and darkness that would no doubt manifest itself after such a visit. I’m afraid, the longer I live and the more I see of what our society does to itself and the rest of the world, the more cynical and less optimistic I become.

  2. Skuggi
    July 3, 2010 | 08:08

    np^^

    @ Book : write it I’ll buy it ^^ even when it might be dark and gritty in places… might even like it better because no one would believe any kind of fashist/extremist movement would just roll over and and die.

    And well the longer I live and learn I see that while being cynical is ok, you also have to see that bad things are allowed to happen because no one but a stop to them (legally or otherwise)

    so no, might does not make right, but might sometimes helps ;)

    Cheers,

    btw : try Halion 10 man .. really nice as a shadow or heal priest