2034-03-01 1800LT The Duchess Makes a Statement
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2034-03-01 1300 EST
°°Hello,°° Mycroft said with a lilt that dragged your attention to his avatar. °°The Duchess Luna needs a word. Wrap up what you're doing. You're going to need to pay attention to this.°° Everyone on Luna Alpha saw the small, fastidious man step out from somewhere nearby, carefully maintaining the illusion of physicality. If there was a corner to walk around, he would stroll into the scene. A door to open worked too. If he had to, he'd appear from beside or behind your with a careful rustling of his clothes and clearing of his throat.
For the five thousand colonists who had landed on luna that morning this was a new interaction but not startling. They had all met Mycroft before, during their orientation at the Boeing Biodome. They were so busy with emigration and immigration and 1/6G that the six hours since they'd landed had been a busy blur - but with Mycroft always there to whisper in their ears or show a helping hand.
°°Joel, you really do need to pack that up,°° Mycroft said a moment later, apparently speaking to someone the people of Alpha could not see. °°I'll keep an eye on it for you for now.°° Pause. °°No, it isn't.°° Pause. °°Yes it is.°° Pause. °°Joel? Stop talking. Stop. Stop talking. St--- Oh, sorry folks. I'm not used to having twenty five thousand conversations at once. This one bled through. Joel, would you like to meet everyone and expla... You wouldn't? No, I can't tell them you're not Joel. A bit late.°° Mycroft shook his head with a wry expression. °°There is news. Some of it is good. Much is dire. Please do grant her your undivided attention. Yes Jennifer, your attention too.°°
After a long moment giving everyone a stern but patient look, Mycroft bowed slightly and swept out his right hand. When everyone looked, the Duchess was there, sitting behind an enormous, ornate, dark-wood desk. She finished scribbling something on a paper, which immediately vanished in a little flash of light and puff of smoke.
°°Hello,°° she said, looking up. °°Mycroft would prefer I begin with the most dire news.°° She shot him a wry glance as he walked over to stand beside and behind her. °°I'll start in the middle: Earth is being invaded by aliens.°° Behind her a news feed began to play, showing the Tetras appearing all over the globe. °°So far they have not appeared here. We do not know why, and are preparing for their arrival. They appear to be harmless unless attacked.°° She cocked her head slightly for a moment, clearly being told something that was not broadcast. °°Mycroft has helpfully reminded me that I should remind you all that this means you should not attack or otherwise threaten the Tetras. Close the door behind you and lock it, or if needed print the recently published Tetra repellent system and use that.°° She paused again. °°Use that sparingly as it is not at all pleasant for humans either.°°
°°What is truly dire is the news that the Corporations have taken this invasion as an opportunity to brutally attack each other. On Earth there have been tens of thousands of assassinations of managers and executives in larger corporations, and even in governments. The largest mass killing happened an hour ago in the Boeing research facility attached to the Sudbury Biodome. Threebsmall nuclear fission bombs were planted in the biodome and associated research facilities. The biodome was preserved unharmed. Thousands died in the research base.°° She paused for a long moment, weary grief and stalwart determination playing across her face. In the end 'weary' and 'determined' won. °°I know you spent a year or more at the Sudbury Biodome. We will get you as much information as we can as fast as we can. As you might expect, the NC and other governments are in chaos as well.°°
She paused again, this time to take a long sip from a teacup that had been hidden behind one of the stacks of paper on the desk. °°Perhaps the most dire news, however, is that we have good reason to believe that the Chinese are planning to invade and take over this facility, and claim the moon as their sovereign territory. You are in no immediate danger, but we are now under martial law.°° She waited for a good half minute while the space around her lit up with flashing lights. °°I see your concerns,°° she said, gesturing at the incoming data. She leaned forward, breaking through the shimmering lights. °°Honestly, I share your fears. But here's the thing. We are all here to make humanity an interplanetary species. I came here to make sure no disaster that befalls Earth can end our race.°° She forcefully thrust herself up from her desk and began to pace around it. °°This very minute we have twenty seven thousand people in this colony. To make it self sustaining we need about one hundred thousand more. They were scheduled to arrive over the next twenty weeks, five thousand at a time. King Henry and I are doing everything in our power to make that happen much faster.°°
°°Whether you arrived today or you've been here for years, your whole life just got turned inside out. Have no doubt: we are in a fight for our lives against human conflicts, alien invasion, and Luna herself. Your freedom to communicate outside this base will be limited for a little while. The number of immigrants will ten thousand every four days, not five thousand every eight days. We are gearing up do defend ourselves from enemies within and without. We will work together to survive, or we will die.°°
°°Mycroft will communicate many logistical details to you. I am sorry your welcome here is not what any of us expected. I am grateful that you are here, with your skills, passion, and dedication to the survival of humanity. Let that be your touchstone.°°
She signed off, fading into pale blue mist.