The Ship


A few scant years in the future

"It looks like they can fight after all," concluded the Head of Joint Chiefs of Staff, looking up at the sky symbolically.

"Did you ever seriously doubt that?" responded the Secretary of State.

It is said that anyone who is old enough will remember what they were doing on the day President Kennedy died. The same is true, even more so, for the day the alien star ship arrived. There was never any precursor. Suddenly it was there. In high stationary orbit above New York, _, London, Moscow, Paris, Berlin, Rome, _ you name it.

We all thought that it was a large fleet until someone worked out it was only a single star ship. Though nobody quite worked out how it was done. Yet every inhabitant of the Earth could see the ship or some form of optical and radar reflection of it. No matter where they were upon Earth.

The ship made no attempt to contact us. Nor was there any obvious overt interference in our lives.

Except,_from the moment of its arrival_ things just started getting sort of _ better.

Some hold vivid memories of the ships arrival. Like Jenny Gardner, Chief of Surgery, of the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Australia. She had been performing seemingly impossible heart surgery in a desperate effort to save the life of a young baby. As all seemed lost, as the heart monitor flat lined and as a young life started to slip quietly away the impossible became reality _. The surgery was a success and a precious young life was saved. When Jenny saw the star ship something deep inside of her soul told her there was a connection. Between the ship and the child's survival.

Pamela Peckham of Southampton, England recalled awakening after the most magnificent dream. A dream that brought back the very fondest memories of her deceased mother. She awoke with a feeling of well being she had not known for a long time. A feeling that did not leave her later that day or the next. On going outside to pick up a newspaper she saw the colossal star ship. For some reason this awe inspiring sight did not seem threatening to her. Not at all. At some unconscious level she knew that all was aright.

Stories that were repeated right across the globe.

Not everyone immediately linked the fortuitous events to the visitors. At least, not straightaway.

It was several days before world health authorities worked out that nobody had died. Leastways not through acts of terrorism, violent crime, cancer, and a myriad of other diseases. Though people did continue to die natural deaths through the normal process of ageing.

Some of the other changes were subtler taking longer to reveal themselves. The emergence of sustained prosperous economic times, of low unemployment, of certain beneficial technological breakthroughs, of no new wars and the cessation of old ones, even of a reversal of unfavourable climate change.

"It was the thing we feared most," said the President "no one, almost no one surely, could begrudge what they had done for us, how could anyone? but there was an uneasy feeling that it was too good to be true. 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.

The mighty Tergathh then sought the answer from the minds of all living people old enough to understand his request. The response being an overwhelming agreement to his request.

As Tergathh of the Brell watched from outside the United Nations building the great ship moved on remote out of orbit and to a slightly greater distance from Earth. It then began to glow hot through incandescence to briefly resemble a small star before it was no more.

Of the energies released only our Earth benefited. That day something of the goodness and of the greatness of the greatest race that ever strode the stars came upon us. Seeping into our bodies, our minds, and our souls.

We were never quite the same again.

No one of 21st century Earth can tell you as to what became of the entity known as Tergathh of the Brell. Yet our descendants can.

Imbued with something of the greatness of those who were cremated at the edge of our world the people of the Earth and the worlds they colonized eventually became what the Brell had once been.

Finally Tergathh of the Brell, came to see them again upon the Earth.

This time as equals