Tiny Earth Declares War On Earch
A short story by J. T. Pearson
Maynard waited quietly for another outbreak but sacrificing the apple fritter seemed to quell the president’s anger at exiting President Holcomb for the moment.
“Should I continue?”
The president waved him on.
“You see, Mr. President, Tiny Earth is-
“That son of a bitch!” the president interrupted as he circled the room. He took another deep breath. “Okay, go ahead.”
“I’m going to continue, Mr. President.”
“I said to continue!”
“Yes, you did. Tiny Earth is nearly identical to our planet and used to revolve in the same orbit as ours. It was about the size of a full grown elephant then. It was actually a stroke of luck that an amateur star gazer spotted the little planet and reported its existence to us. We tracked it for years until one day it seemed to vanish. The inhabitants of Tiny Earth had developed technology that allowed them to resize their planet so that it was on scale so small that it would require a microscope for us to view the planet. We didn’t even know that the planet existed anymore until they made contact with us. Now their planet is located somewhere in our atmosphere, sharing our sun, our oxygen, our water, but so far we’ve had limited success locating their location. Pardon me if I seem like I’m repeating myself but I’m reviewing the facts now that your attention isn’t divided. Their planet is microscopic. And as I stated, they have a king, the man that crushed the message into your desk this morning, King Donald Johnson. He occasionally gets a bit unreasonable and threatens to destroy our planet. And, again, as I’ve already indicated, the sad fact of the matter is that we’re not really sure whether he could do it or not. Our engineers developed a tracking system that could identify their planet’s location down to a five mile radius. We employed the new technology last year when President Holcomb had received a similar threat to the one you received this morning.”
“And it failed.”
“Yes, sir, I was getting to those. When our men crept into their location they used their gravity control technology to raise all of the soldiers several inches above the ground so that their feet just swam in place and they got nowhere. All of those rows of men, their rifles in arms, their legs churning away helplessly. It was a pathetic sight. After we agreed to leave, they moved the location of their planet out of the area and then let our soldiers down on the ground again. The morale of the men was severely diminished. You should’ve seen how dejected those soldiers were. I get so angry even thinking about it. I’m telling you, Mr. President, sometimes I think that if I could just get Tiny Earth under the edge of my heel for one second I’d-”
“Okay, okay, Mr. Secretary, I hear you but please try to maintain. Do your best not to say anything that you may come to regret.” The president paced his office. Suddenly a pencil on his desk started to give off cracking noises and then the pen next to it trembled. Ink seeped from the ballpoint, staining the mahogany, and the pencil parted down the middle like the Red Sea, revealing the graphite interior. “Oh come on! I just got the place and they’re trashing it! Come on!” he yelled at the ceiling. “Can the king from Tiny Earth hear me right now?”
“We don’t believe so. But once again, Mr. President, we’re not certain.”
“I don’t care if they do hear. We’ve got to find their location! We’re not going to deal with Tiny Earth from our knees! The United States of America does not play that way! What about using our nuclear weapons?”
“We tried that too, Mr. President. We were desperate after we saw how easily they rendered our soldiers useless with antigravity so President Holcomb and I devised a more permanent way of dealing with King Johnson’s threats. After we were able to get a lock on their general location again, which happened to be somewhere in Orange County at the time, we sent a Stealth Bomber armed with a nuclear warhead into the airspace above them and dropped the bomb.”
“With all of those taxpaying voters in harm’s way?”
“They would’ve died a patriot’s death, Mr. President.”
“Still, it seems a bit much.”
“What else could President Holcomb have done?”
“A bit ruthless but, okay, I see your point. You’re saying that he felt that he had exhausted all of his resources.”
“And did it work at all?”
“No. They used their gravity technology to lock on to the bomb and pull it away from the Earth, sending it somewhere into space.”
“That was pretty reckless of them. Who knows where that bomb went?” Pierce continued to pace the office. “Also a complete waste of a perfectly good bomb. If they’re so smart why didn’t they just disarm it?”
“I don’t know, Mr. President. Perhaps they didn’t want us to have it again.”
“But disarming it and giving it back might’ve been perceived as a friendly gesture. Something that can never be overlooked when negotiating war. I think you and your so called experts may have overestimated the intelligence of these tiny beings, Maynard.”
“Perhaps, Mr. President.”
“Did you try to drop another bomb?”
“Yes, and it was met with the same fate, redirected somewhere into our Milky Way. Two perfectly good bombs, as you stated, completely wasted. There was no use wasting any more.”
“Right. Those bombs are expensive. I’m aware of that. And the American people are always whining about the budget and the national debt. It’s all that ever seems to come out of their mouths.” The president made a whiny voice. “How much did that cost? And what about that, and that?” He threw his hands up. “I’ve just gotten into office and I’m already sick of hearing it.”
“The American people do have a tendency to whine, Mr. President.”
The president fingered the cleft in his chin and thought hard. “We’re going to need to bring more people in on this, form a committee. Hell, after all is said and done, if we can’t kill them maybe we’ll just have to figure out a way to get along with Tiny Earth. Coexist. I don’t know. I just don’t know.”
“I don’t know either, Mr. President.”
“At this point we really need to explore all options. Why don’t you attempt to open up negotiations with them? Set up an interplanetary summit.”
“They’ve already demanded a meeting.”
“Alright. Tell them that I’m inviting them to Camp David. We’ll have some drinks, ride some horses, sort this whole thing out.”
“It’s not that easy to find or contact them. Satellites and the weather are involved. We need to wait for our window. I don’t think you’re getting a clear picture of just how small Tiny Earth is, Mr. President. Tiny Earth is very, very small.” Maynard held out his thumb and index finger and slowly closed them together until they were so close the distance between them was nearly imperceptible. “So very, very tiny, Mr. President. Even smaller than this distance between my fingers. Not very easy to find at all.”
“I understand that they’re very small, Mr. Secretary. But you do have the tracking machine.”
“Can you imagine how big this cigar would seem to them?” the secretary said, holding out his cigar.
“I imagine that the cigar would seem quite large, Mr. Secretary.”
“It’d probably be bigger than the sun to them.”
“I beg your pardon.”
“Relatively speaking I mean, the cigar would be bigger to them than the sun is to us.” The secretary chomped on the cigar and sucked in, creating a glowing facsimile of a sun at its tip. “Can you imagine how big our sun must seem to them?”
“Relatively speaking again?”
“No, Mr. President. Literally, this time.”
“I imagine our sun seems very, very, very large to the inhabitants of tiny earth.”
Suddenly the phone rang, causing both of them to jump. Then they stood motionless, examining it.
“Were you expecting any phone calls, Mr. President?” Secretary Maynard asked.
“No,” the president answered, shaking his head, gravely.
“You’d better let me handle this, Mr. President.”
Maynard lifted the receiver and held it to his ear. For a moment there was only silence, but suddenly, an ear-splitting horrible noise. BLAAAAAAGERRRRRAAAAA! Secretary Maynard pulled the phone away from his head and slammed it down on its crib.
“Son of a bitch, that’s painful!” Maynard said, rubbing his ear. “That was them manipulating our radio waves so that they could send you another warning.”
Post 3 is available here.
Guest Post by J. T. Pearson