Tiny Earth Declares War on Earth
A short story by J. T. Pearson
Secretary of Defense, Lance Maynard, produced a cigar from his breast pocket and held it out. “Do you mind, Mr. President? They’re kind of like a security blanket for me in times of stress.”
“Under the circumstances I think that we can overlook it. Go ahead,” said the president, with a slight hint of a smile that he was struggling to conceal. He didn’t want to spoil the fun his staff was entitled while hazing him his first day in office. Maynard was a leftover from the departing administration that the new president, Winston Westmont Pierce, had decided to keep aboard.
Maynard produced his lighter, lit the cigar, and took a couple of puffs before proceeding.
“The inhabitants of Tiny Earth don’t use bullets and bombs. They’ve developed the technology to manipulate some of Earth’s physical laws, like gravity and radio waves. They also claim that they are able to shrink whatever is in our atmosphere, reduce the mass, or compress it- we’re not real sure about what they mean - although that technology hasn’t actually been confirmed. To be clear, we aren’t really certain how much of a danger they are to our planet but they’ve exhibited a significant superiority to our scientific knowledge in the past, using it more as a warning, creating nuisance situations rather than actual harm so far.”
“Nuisance situations, mmm hmm.” The president picked a sweet roll from his desk and rolled it around in his hand while he feigned a limited amount of distress. It wouldn’t look very presidential not to appear brave and manly. He posed with his shoulders back. “I see.” He tried not to look obvious as he scanned the office for hidden cameras. He inwardly chastised himself for looking too long and directly at a potted rubber tree that sat along the eastern wall.
“Only a couple dozen people in the world, dating back to 1973 when their King first contacted us, know of the existence of Tiny Earth. Since then, each president and whoever he had felt it was necessary to confide in, have been informed that Tiny Earth has been living under the stars with us, breathing the same oxygen, sharing the same sun that we see in our sky.”
“So they have a king, hmmm, interesting.” He glanced more casually at the rubber tree this time.
The smell of Maynard’s cigar filled the Oval Office with a combination of vanilla and cherry wood. He was getting frustrated by the trouble he was having getting the new President to believe that the message from Tiny Earth that he’d found crushed into the mahogany of his desk that morning was real and needed to be taken seriously. The warning from King Donald Johnson of Tiny Earth stated that if Big Earth did not meet Tiny Earth’s demands this time then they should consider themselves at war with the planet. The King of Tiny Earth, however, hadn’t yet bothered to state what those demands were.
Back on Tiny Earth King Johnson and his top military experts watched the two men in the Oval Office through a visual portal, listening, and waiting for a reaction. After seeing the new president’s state of doubt, King Johnson realized that an additional warning was needed, a demonstration of Tiny Earth’s superior technology. The king directed his top general to increase the gravitational pull on the president’s coffee mug until it started trembling, then shaking more violently, then the area of the desk around the mug started cracking until the mug collapsed through the corner of his desk, and then through the floor, and then through the floor below, and so on, until the mug was out of sight, well below the White House. The president stood frozen staring at the gaping hole left in the floor.
Winston had loved that coffee mug even though he’d only had it for a day, a gift from the First Lady, Jenny (nicknamed Gentlebird for her generous contributions of time and money to a multitude of charities). She had presented it to Winston when he won the election with the phrase HAVE A PRESIDENTIAL DAY inscribed in bold red caps on the glossy exterior. She had been up in the air as whether to destroy the mug or give it to her gardener if her husband had lost the election. She just hated waste.
The breakfast pastry slipped from the president’s hand back to his desk with a squishy PLOP.
“How the hell did you just do that, Maynard?” The president peered down the hole and then ran his hands above the new opening, searching for invisible wires. He looked over at the rubber tree. “How’d you guys do that?” He walked over and searched the small tree and then the pot frantically. He turned and looked angrily at Maynard. “What the hell is going on?”
“I’m sorry, Mr. President. This is always very difficult for the incoming leader.”
“Maynard, come on! What the hell? You’re not serious.”
“I’m very sorry, Mr. President.”
The president ravaged the room looking for hidden cameras, upturning furniture and knocking paintings from the walls, while Maynard watched on patiently. The Color drained from the president’s face as he realized that he wasn’t being put on. He took a deep breath before bending forward and rubbing his stomach. “This is real?”
“I’m afraid so.”
“I’ve got an ulcer that acts up sometimes, Maynard. Go on with what you’ve been saying. You’ve got my full attention now.” He remained bent toward the floor.
“Do you need anything, Mr. President? Should I call for someone?”
“I need you to continue, Maynard. Are we in danger as you speak? Are they about to crush us like an ant in one of their tiny hands?”
“I don’t believe it to be the case. And besides, an ant would never fit in one of their hands. An ant is much bigger than their entire planet.”
The exiting president was of another party and had decided to go against the tradition of informing the new leader of the free world about our planet’s ongoing struggle with their microscopic nemesis.
The president straightened up. “Let us be clear. Everything that you’ve been describing, about a teeny angry planet, is real?”
“Damn that Holcomb to the deepest ring of hell! He never said a word about a technologically advanced tiny planet threatening us with war! He just waltzed right out of here and went on his merry way! That’s why the parties need to work together! Because of situations like this!”
“I understand your anger, Mr. President.”
“I would’ve told him about Tiny Earth. That would only have been the sporting thing to do.”
“Perhaps?” The president grabbed the roll that he’d dropped on his desk earlier that morning and slammed it into the waste basket. THUNK! “What can you expect from a republican?” He paced the room.
Post 2 available here
Guest Post by J. T. Pearson