That damn intercom always interrupts me just as I’m about to fall asleep.
“This better be important.” I say double checking that I pressed audio only.
“Sir, sensors have picked up a large aircraft approaching sector four at high speed. The silhouette does not match any known craft.”
“I assume they haven’t responded to any requests to identify themselves.”
“No response, sir. Ready-One-Interceptors are online and ready for deployment.”
“Launch drones, surveillance only. I’m on my way.”
“Aye, sir. Launching now. ETA for visual contact, ten minutes.”
I jump out of my bunk and pull my uniform back on. It’s still warm. I’ll need to run to get to the observatory before the interceptors make contact. I hate running. I wait a second outside the door to the observatory to catch my breath and collect myself before entering. I open the doors and step into the disciplined chaos of the tactical defense room.
“Sir, the interceptor’s cameras are coming online now.”
The screen snaps on and I’m looking at a massive gunship with no recognizable markings. “Send a screen-cap of this to Geneva and put me through to the United Nations.” The interceptor cameras go black before my order can be carried out. This isn’t going to end well, I can tell.
“Sir, the unknown ship has shot down both interceptors.”
“Launch everything we’ve got. Set condition Red.”
Sirens begin waking the troops as a prerecorded voice bursts out of the public address system. “ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL. BATTLE STATIONS-BATTLE STATIONS! PREPARE FOR IMMINENT ATTACK!” I turn back to the com officer. “Get the United Nations on line now!”
“On main viewer, sir.”
I look up at the main monitor and see the entire UN war council staring me down. The prime minister is standing in front. He has a cocky smirk on his face.
“Commander Figgiebottom, I’m sure by now you are aware of the heavily armed gunship heading your way?”
“You know about this?”
“Yes of course, Commander, we sent it. We’ve had enough of your flagrant disregard for our laws. The human race has lived under your oppressive rule for thousands of years. We’re sick of you mandating our behavior by threatening to withhold your precious gifts if we do not comply with your rigorous definition of good behavior. We insist you surrender to us immediately or we will destroy you.”
I try to stall for time. “We have an agreement, Prime Minister, you don’t want to do this. I’m sure we can figure this out.”
“The time for talking is over! Surrender now or we will attack.”
I inhale deeply and allow the extra oxygen to clear my head. Without another word I cut communication with the United Nations and address my men.
“Tell all aircraft to go weapons hot. I want that gunship out of my sky.”
The main door opens and one of the guards addresses the room, “Captain on deck!” I join the others in salute.
“What’s the situation, Commander?”
After all these years it falls to me to deliver the news.
“The United Nations has called for our surrender, sir. Four Thousand years of peace on earth and good will toward men is over. We are at war, Santa. We are at war.”