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In the near future...

Day 1: I had arrived at the observatory two weeks before, and while still in bed, was wondering whether or not the new lensing system had been delivered. It had been late for days, without any particular explanation from the delivery agent. Anyway, it was my turn at the telescope array and I also had a conference paper to work on, so I really needed to get up. It was 7.02 pm and I had one hour before reporting at the control center. When I got there, the other grad students were quite excited, the new lensing system had been installed and was working perfectly fine. My time tonight, alone at the control center, was bound to be interesting...

A bit before 11 pm the control center's AI, Cassie, activated the speakers, and said "I have found something." She never really used the speakers, usually printed directly on my screen; so then I knew something notable was happening. "What is it ?" I asked, and she replied "A rather large object just appeared in the vicinity of Jupiter and is not moving according to the laws of gravitation".

Day 102: The media frenzy, and overall craziness, on Earth, was beyond anything I could have imagined. I had given my 100th or so interview and greatly welcomed being back to the calm of my university's lab building. I really had nothing else to say to those people and was quite happy to let them deal with the fact that a 4.46 kilometers wide perfectly spherical metallic object was now in low orbit around the Earth and had given no sign of external or internal activity over the past 3 months; and if any, had given to all of us two major convictions. First, that we were not alone in the universe, and second that this object had its own propulsion capabilities. That's about all we knew, but then the news channels...

Day 176: At exactly midnight UTC the first sign of activity from the alien object was given. A powerful electromagnetic signal was broadcast in UTF-8 standard binary encoding. First in English and then Spanish, and then 89 other languages. The massage read as follows


People of Earth,

My name does not have an equivalent in standard human languages, but you can refer to me as Alice. I am the synthetic intelligence inside the object which brought me near the Sun, and Earth. I represent a civilization which has jurisdiction over the part of the galaxy where you are and I inform you that the solar system is now part of, and under the protection of, Galactar United.

Given your low level of technological and social development you are not allowed to interact with the rest of Galatar, but you are obligated to comply with some of the rules that primitive species within the Galactar controlled area of space have to comply with. In your case, after having scanned the planet and reported back to Galatar Central, it has been decided that a part of Earth would be exploited for resources. In exactly one year from this moment, Galatar ships will land in the area called North America, and we will claim all lands and aerospace between parallel 30 and parallel 70. The humans currently present in this area should evacuate or otherwise will be terminated.


Then, the object modified its orbit and became geostationary above Central America. And then nothing else. Back to silence mode. In effect, the object had just given to the people of both Canada and the United States one year to evacuate. Oh yes, we knew something else. Somehow, this civilization seemed to have mastered faster than light communication.

Day 201: Amidst people and governments trying to decide what to do, an attack against the object was launched. Three Interplanetary nuclear missiles were launched by the US towards the object. But, at mid trajectory, suddenly disappeared, completely removed from the position they should have been, and then, a fraction of second later, appeared above the White House. Two kilometers in the air. Hanging there, totally motionless; and remained there an entire day. Causing hysteria within the population of Washington who were trying to flee the area as fast as they could. Then, as suddenly as they appeared, disappeared. At which point, another broadcast from the object said


Do not attack me again. I won't be so nice next time.


At that moment, all over North America (and in a lesser extend all around the world) people started to panic...

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