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Story listed as: Fiction For Adults | Theme: Science Fiction | Subject: Creatures & Monsters | Published here : 11/25/2016
The Moratorium. 
By Kevin Hughes
Born 1951, M, from Wilmington NC, United States
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The Moratorium.
(NOTE: All translations have been analyzed, and even though the wording may be slightly different do to language structure and grammar, linguists have established that the message from the Aliens, is the same message, even if the words sound different. They want a Moratorium on War, and to establish a Peace College on Earth.)

It was in the United Nations where the Alien paced before taking the podium. Humans mistook the pacing as a sign of nervousness, creeping stage fright, or the overwhelming presence of so many powerful Earthlings in one place. Never before in Human History, had every single leader of every single nation on Earth, plus tribal leaders from the areas that weren’t quite countries, or the areas where countries weren’t quite a part of a tribes daily life. Although those might seem to be valid conclusions to reach- if you are an Earthling, they were so far off the mark as to make “wrong” look like a bullseye.

The Alien was pacing because he wasn’t sure that was a single scrap of intelligence in that entire august body. To the Alien, those staid well respected (on Earth, by Earthlings) Politicos were savages. Beyond savage. In his entire life and career, spanning more than two thousand earth years, and over 75 contacts with Alien Intelligences or beings - since he knew those two words were not synonymous- intelligences need not be - being- never before had he had doubts about contact. This time, well, this time he was truly nervous.

He checked his notes one last time. Each bullet point slammed into his mind, and the Irony of Earthlings calling short important statements: bullet points- was not lost on him. Nor was the Human who told him that his speech would be a “Killer One.” It would be the “Bomb”, “The Dope,” “The Shit.” “You will bury them in Truth!” Chirped the Human Aide with glee: “ Stun them into silence.” He would slay the room with his reason and elegance. He wondered (silently) for the nth time- if Humans knew what their language, speech, and slogans meant about their attitudes, emotions, and psychology.

It was time. He remembered to pace his glide to that of a brisk, contained, human walk. One that suggested: power, confidence, control. Of those three words, confidence is the only feeling he wanted to portray- confidence. He had to be confident that his words would not only be heard, but listened to. He began :

“Earthlings. We have declared a moratorium. There will be no more war. With a technology that your Science cannot imagine, your weaponry has ceased to have any function. All planes, ships, missiles, satellites, and their attending human operatives, have been placed back in home ports, airports, or forts. No weapon of any kind, from this moment onwards, will be available to you.”

“You can’t do this! “

“Yes. We can. Because, it is already done.”

Smartphones of every make and model, lit up the room with an eerie glow. Some Leaders Spoke in Angry astonished tones. Some hammered out ham handed texts, as if the urgent pounding of the keys would change the response. Within minutes, the room quieted. It was true. Entire navies had been recalled from far away oceans, to lay in neatly stacked rows in rivers, lakes, and bays- all of which located in the home of that particular Navy. Same with planes. Missiles simply disappeared completely, as did small arms, ammunition, and bombs. Soldier, Sailors, Marines, and Air Force Personnel, found themselves milling around in great numbers in Bases, Forces, and Fleet Headquarters of their own countries.

The Alien spoke again into the now sullen, but attentive audience.

“We have removed the methods and machinery of warfare, in preparation for implementing the Education Phase of the Moratorium.”

An irate, perplexed, and emotional Leader pulled out his ceremonial Sword and brandished it with deadly intent at the Alien standing a mere twelve feet away:

“I could cut you with this. Or stab you with a knife. Or hit you with a stone, or brick. You can’t stop killing, or violence, you can only limit it to stone age tools, strategy, or tactics.”

Most of the room, while not applauding his lack of decorum, did admire the Leaders logic. It was, in their minds, rock solid logic. Mankind had been killing each other since the proverbial Cain and Abel, with technology giving birth to the ability to slaughter millions, instead of thousands. All were smug in their assertions that mankind would find a way to kill his brother, or sister.

The Alien Smiled. A calm smile. A chillingly knowing smile. The smile of someone who already knows the outcome, and is willing to let you try and change it. That smile shook the confidence of even the Leader brandishing his sword. A sword, I may remind you, that had removed the heads of Emperor’s, Shah’s, and Kings, it was a sword of both History and Destiny, and the Leader was aware of its long lineage of delivering death. He had both the will, and the rage, to prove to this Alien, that Mankind could, and would fight, and kill.

The Leader leaped across that twelve foot distance with the agility and speed he had displayed as a young athlete. While no longer in his prime, he wasn’t far removed from it. The surge of anger, adrenaline, and angst, served to propel him to a level superior to his best effort in his prime years. Trained body guards could only stare in abject disbelief, frighteningly aware that any attempt to intervene would not be quick or fast enough. So they stood, helpless paragons of duty failed.

The sword flashed in a deadly powerful stroke. A stroke fueled by a shattered ego, an ego that realized their place in the scheme of things had been erased. A moment ago, he had been the Leader of a Great and Powerful Nation. One respected and feared. Now, he - like all the other Leaders in the room, new that their power had been removed; again, in an Irony that wasn’t lost on the Alien, or the Audience- by a single stroke of power. No Armies. No Navies. No Planes, rockets, or bombs. Well, we still had swords!

The blade flashed towards the Alien, its deadly craftsman ship wielded by an equally as deadly skilled warrior. The Leader screamed in the throes of blood lust, righteous anger, and almost Homeric level heroism. He would show at least one Alien, that Men were not cowards. That we could, and would, find a way to fight.

Still the blade flashed, to quick for the eye, or wits to follow. As the Leader followed through with his stroke, he regained his balance, stared with blank incomprehension at the unharmed Alien. He looked down, dumbfounded, and dumb, at the Sword. Still whole. Unblooded. A heavy weight hanging by his side. He swung it again. This time with both hands and the intent to meld that steel with Alien flesh and bone. He swung so hard, with such unbridled anger driven technique, that he spun himself to the ground, with the sword scattering and slithering across the hard marble, only to bounce up against a stair and stick.

The Alien stood. The smile had softened a bit, as it might have if he were talking with a small child who just realized that Adults were bigger, stronger, smarter, and could enforce rules. Either by force, or implication, or (in the Alien’s case) with the calm reasonable assurance of a person who cares for you, and, about you.

“Your blades will remain sharp, to cut things that need cutting. However, if you try to stab, slice, or slaughter another human, the blade will simply not make contact. Just as your blade did not make contact with me. You (and he raised one arm to include the entire Human Race) are now unable to kill one another. Not by accident. Not by intent. Not by any means. From this moment on, you will die from one cause, and one cause only…old age. This is necessary for the implementation of the Education Phase of the Moratorium.”

The room grew quiet. The whole Earth grew Quiet. The Aliens had used some other unknown technology to make sure each and every human being both heard and saw every single action taken, or words spoken, at the Untied Nations. The implications were immediate for some, the slower folks took a bit longer. There would be no more Death. At least no more Death from War, Accident, Illness, or Disease. Every human being would be granted a full healthy life, without worry of war, famine, or tragedy. What a gift. What a price.

The Alien Spoke again:

“We are closing all of your War Colleges. You have more than Five hundred of them. Yet, (the Alien could not hide the pain or disgust, or shame in his voice) you have no PEACE COLLEGES. Not one. You do not even have a single class on the study of peace , not one, in any of your Universities. Not even a single class on Love. Sex? Yes. Love? NO! (the outrage he felt colored his speech and his face. It took a moment for the Alien to compose himself) The closest to you have to peace classes, are classes in conflict resolution. Think of that for a moment. Even seeking peaceful outcomes, is linked to conflict. Your limited knowledge of negotiation, is predicated on a winner, a loser, or necessitates a hostage situation. You profile violent offenders, but not peaceful enactors.

We shall open Peace Colleges. We shall teach love, compassion, tolerance, and empathy. We shall give you the tools of Peace, not War. You, the Leaders of the Earth, must learn to win the hearts and minds of your peoples. Not control their movements, speech, or actions. You shall be the first Students of the Peace Colleges. I am sad to inform you of one fact.
(The Alien looked like sad had assumed the form of a living being)

“You only have a limited time to make the change. If, in ten generations, or about 250 of your years, you have not learned Peace, we will return all your weapons to you. But…you will never leave Earth. Nor will anyone from any where in the Universe step on your planet again, until you have erased yourself…and you will erase yourself, if you return to your old ways. If you choose War, Peace will never be yours. It will be ours. “

The Alien left with the same measured grace it had arrived. The future lay like an unknown, heavy on his heart. He had no idea if he would have to come back in 250 years to give War back to the Humans. He could only hope, that he would come back to embrace Peace. The Alien smiled at the gentle Irony of the subtle difference of being held, versus being embraced. Would Humans hold onto the past, or embrace the future?

Only Time would tell. And Humans were running out of time.

by Kevin Hughes
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