Friday, October 11, 2013



This footage was recovered from the wreckage of the symposium. None of the attendees survived the ambush.

Except for Sardonus Jek, who vowed to reform her forces. War Hawk and his allies returned to Earth to await her assault.

Before he left, War Hawk demanded his speaking fee.

They paid him, of course.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013



WAR HAWK: What’s going on?

MODERATOR: Sardonus Jek has arrived.

(At this moment Sardonus Jek enters the symposium hall. Jek is wearing one of her sleekest most form fitting suits of power armor.)

JEK: Yes. I’m here. I’m here. Kaeyn, darling it’s been too long.

WAR HAWK: That it has. Dramatic, as always.

JEK: Couldn’t help it. You’re right about the lack of apparent motive to conquer the terrans. But there is something on Earth that you’re missing.

WAR HAWK: Enlighten me.

JEK: Have you ever wondered why so many races have compatible proteins with the humans? The Gorgonians, the Sondrak, our race?

WAR HAWK: It is a curiosity.

JEK: It’s a legacy. Ages ago, our worlds were seeded by something ancient and powerful. On Earth, it left more than just DNA.

WAR HAWK: What did it leave?

JEK: Something big. It’s the key to conquering the whole galaxy. The Earthlings don’t even know it’s on the planet. Not directly. It’s embedded somewhere in the race memory. That’s why we need to conquer the place. That’s why we don’t need the Earthlings help or their consent. We just need to torture enough of them to reveal the location of…

WAR HAWK: Of what?

JEK: No. That information is for members only. Each one of us here has dedicated ourselves to this cause. The others have failed before, but they won’t this time.

WAR HAWK: You going to lead them?

JEK: Yes.

WAR HAWK: Need a second in command?

JEK: I don’t know. You sounded a little soft.

WAR HAWK: And you sound a little deranged. You talk about ancient gods leaving some all-powerful weapon on Earth. That is the craziest story I ever heard. I’m not surprised this lot believes it. Magic demons are about the only way they’ll ever be more than galactic bottom feeders. But you, Jek? I know you. You’re not crazy or stupid.

JEK: I’ve been shown the truth.

WAR HAWK: Want to share?

JEK: Are you offering to join us? We’re taking off after this. The last big push that will finish the Earth. Thanks for the valuable information, by the way.

WAR HAWK: I’m being compensated. But if you’re offering? Yeah. I’ll join. As long as I find out what the big weapon is.

JEK: Is that all you desire from me?

WAR HAWK: We’ll talk about private matters privately. This is business. What’s the weapon?

JEK: I’ll tell you once we’re on our way. You know, you’re lucky I’m not the jealous type. I heard about what you did while you were on the Earth.


JEK: Yes. Wasting your time with an Earth maiden. Was she a sweet distraction?

GENERAL DRONN: Is that the same lady who said you looked like a slob with a gun belt slung over your shoulder?

JEK: How would she know that…? You bastard. You really love her. Then why -

WAR HAWK: Not too late to change sides, Jek.

JEK: Get him!


JEK: He’s working for the humans! This was a trick to try and talk you out of invading.

(There’s mass confusion as the whole symposium draw their weapons on War Hawk, who stands behind his podium.)

JEK: Was she worth it Kaeyn?

WAR HAWK: Every bit. And two more things. One: I brought my own podium.

(At that exact moment the podium changes revealing that it secretly housed a very impressive cannon.)

WAR HAWK: Two: I didn’t come alone.

(Immediately behind War Hawk, several Earth soldiers de-cloak along with several of his known associates including Drac, Horn and Aiyana.)

WAR HAWK: Told you to switch sides.

(A massive blast and the video turns completely white.)



Sunday, October 6, 2013



Okay, so after all this, where are we? What’s left?

I’m as confused as when I started. Why are you doing this? Why do you keep trying to knock off this one insignificant planet?

I’m going to give you the reasons galactic wars and planetary invasions are fought. Let’s see if any of these situations apply to Earth at all.

Number one: The planet in question is the homeworld of an aggressive enemy who poses an imminent threat to your people. That sure as hell doesn’t describe Earth. They weren’t your enemy until you came down and started blowing the hell out of stuff. Before that, they didn’t even know you existed, so how can they be your enemy? Even if every human man, woman, and child was lusting for your blood of vital bodily fluids, what are they going to do about it? They don’t have a space fleet! They can barely make it to their own frigging moon! How are they in any way an imminent threat to your world?

Number two: Said planet serves as a major enemy base or is major supplier of war material for the enemy. Again, does this describe the Earth? Hell, no! They don’t have a hidden base full of Juggernaut class warships. Even if there was a warship fleet in their system, it’s a safe bet the humans know nothing about it and are in no way providing any kind of support. With their tech level, they can’t even begin to make vital war material, at least as we understand the term.

Number three: Said planet or system is a source of great wealth, either through natural resources or advanced manufacturing. Not even close. The planet’s solar system has plenty of untapped resources, but the humans can’t even reach most of them. You don’t need to waste ammo on them in order to claim their resources as a prize. And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that the nearest star systems to Earth are uninhabited, and just as loaded with resources. As for advanced manufacturing, you’re trying to make me laugh, maybe so I won’t beat the crap out of you later. The humans’ tech level is so low they couldn’t even manufacture uniforms or toilet products. They could try, but the results would be messy.

Number four: Said planet occupies an important strategic position and has the ability to defend it from outworlder forces. We’ve just been over this. Even if Earth somehow occupies important space, they don’t have a fleet to defend it. Therefore, breaking off military resources to go attack them is a waste.

Nothing. Not a single motive makes sense. War is an expensive enterprise. It doesn’t suffer fools. But even fools have their reasons. I’m asking you one last time. Why do you continue to invade the Earth?

Saturday, October 5, 2013



Here’s another fellow who made his fortune off the Earth. Not only did he not invade the place, he’d have a major issue with anyone who did.

I’m referring to Popis Feclius, Saurian impresario.

Pop does… I’m not really sure. He talks to people. They talk to him. Entertainment shows get made. He collects a large sum of money. He tried to explain it to me once, but it made no sense. So what is his interest in this planet?

The humans themselves.

How can they have value? Let’s back up a little bit.

Our cultures have all developed in our own little corners of the universe, each with our own little quirks. Some people find those differences entertaining. Pop discovered that the cultural differences on Earth are very entertaining.

Earthlings offer a fresh perspective to the galaxy. They haven’t been swamped by the mass market interstellar civilization. They aren’t bombarded daily by the giant media providers we have to put up with. When you look at a terrans’ home you see, big surprise, Earth products and brands. There are none of the big brands from the mega corporations with their chirpy sales mascots and their brain deadening jingles that make you want to run through the streets with a chain gun and -

Sorry. Sorry. Got a little off track. There is a reason why I kill people for a living.

Getting back to my point, Earth is spared all that. You go into a terran restaurant, and it’s not a Galaxo Shack. It’s something different from the monotonous galactic norm. And people would actually pay money to see something like that. And right now they are paying money to experience it. Paying it to Popis Feclius.

He has aliens disguised as humans moving around with recording devices, doing all the things that humans do. He’s even set up tour groups for disguised clients. It’s a super exotic excursion that fetches top credit. Yes, the Earth is a dangerous place for aliens, but that’s part of the attraction.

So another Earth success story. Again, this didn’t involve an invasion. And Pop is understandably going to be upset if you ruin his operations. He’s no warrior, but he is rich. He’d probably just hire Drac and have him kill your ass.

Friday, October 4, 2013



This is a good time to bring up some individuals who had a good motive for coming to Earth. But they acted a lot differently from you guys.

First up is Ag-Re-Nom, a Zogorian physician and bio chemist.

The good doctor took a big risk by coming to Earth. It wouldn’t be easy for him to escape detection, and he wasn’t combat trained. If the Earthlings discovered him, it would have gone badly for Ag-Re-Nom. So why did he do it?

Time for another lesson. This one is about science. Quit your bitching back there!

Life is complicated. No, I’m not talking about juggling your wives and mistresses. I’m talking about life: biochemical compounds that make up living things. To put it simply, they can be combined in millions of ways. Any planet with a developed biosphere is going to have an abundance of different life forms. And most of these, while similar, will be unique to the planet. Many of them will produce compounds that are unique. That can equal a lot of money. But not always. First off, there’s a huge difference between being rare, and actually being valuable. The crap from a terran lemur is rare. That doesn’t mean it’s worth anything.

But as it happens, Earth lemur poop cures Zogorian cancer, for some reason. So that meant there was something both rare and valuable on Earth.

Ag-Re-Nom, being a scientist, had no intention of harvesting whole life forms. That may sound like a logical step to you, but you’re not scientists.

Nom knew that he needed to be cautious. Had he hired a mercenary army and come in guns ablaze he would have made the lemurs crap themselves for certain. And probably would have wiped out the entire species.

Nom knew that if any part of the planet’s biosphere was valuable, the last thing he wanted was a hard military incursion. Instead, he went for a stealth incursion to collect samples, and then got the hell out.

And he really only needed a few samples. That’s because biology ain’t magic. Biological compounds, lemur poop, cobra venom, blue whale semen – none of these are magic potions. They are secreted by organisms, not brewed in a sorcerer’s pot. It’s biology. And biology is, at its basic level, chemistry. If smearing lemur crap over your face removes your tumors, it’s because there’s a chemical compound in the feces that’s reacting with your system. Once Nom isolated the compound, he didn’t need the lemur. He was able to mass produce the cancer cure in a lab.

Now Ag-Re-Nom is fabulously wealthy, all thanks to a little Earth creature. Nom got what he wanted from the Earth, and he didn’t have to invade the place.

Thursday, October 3, 2013



I’m dreading this next question. Str’ee Collective, I’ve avoided talking about you. There really isn’t much to say. First, you tipped off your landing sites by making weird symbols in their crops.

Your first wave was against isolated farming communities with no military value.

You attacked naked.

And you were defeated because you were allergic to water, a substance that covers seventy-five percent of the planet’s surface.

So what was your reason for coming to this deathtrap of a planet in the first place?

STR’EE: This system is close to our enemies. From there, we can launch attacks directed at their home worlds.

WAR HAWK: I must say I’m shocked. I had no idea that the race behind the worst of the large scale invasions, worse the Vuralans or the Tritonians, that you would be the ones to come with a legitimate rational for invading the Earth.

Or is it?

I don’t believe you. Not just because you invaded a planet full of a substance that’s lethal to you without wearing any clothes. But if strategic position had been your goal, there were better ways to go about it.

Let’s review. Strategic position. What is it?

It’s the idea that the planet itself isn’t important, but that it occupies space that’s valuable in military terms. This assumes you’re already at war with another spacefaring entity.

As you may or may not know, starships use up a lot of energy. It’s not easy to bend time and space and reach a distant star that’s light years away. There are drawbacks.

When are there not?

Ships can only jump so far head at one time. That jump uses a tremendous amount of energy. That depletes your anti-matter fuel. Therefore, you need to make a certain number of pit stops along the way to refuel. Also, to reload on things like food, and air out the old heap. Most people don’t realize how badly those things stink after just a couple of days.

That brings us back to Earth. Now maybe that stupid frigging little rock just might be in the perfect position for your next major assault. Maybe it’s exactly halfway between your main base and your target, like the Str’ee claim. It might be the best staging area for your big operation.

This makes sense.

Don’t congratulate yourselves yet, Str’ee. There’s a pretty big “But” here.

But it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to invade the planet. You’re here for one fight, and you’re starting another, totally unrelated war?

Why open a secondary campaign that will take up tons of resources when the real enemy is still light years away? Why invest all that manpower when your primary enemy is still at his home base? Remember, he actually has energy shields and a space fleet that you have to overcome. His planetary defense network probably stretches all the way to the outer edge of his system, if not further. How are you going to quickly conquer a planet of six billion and still have enough soldiers and resources to take on an opponent who isn’t two centuries behind you? Worse yet, if you become too entangled in a fight on Earth, your enemy will show up sooner or later, and then you’ll really be in a jam.

If the Str’ee collective was telling the truth, then their failure on Earth would have had catastrophic consequences for the rest of their race. The loss of the Earth invasion force might have tilted the balance in favor of their enemies.

That’s why I say there’s no reason to invade. In this scenario, we’re not actually focusing on the planet, at all. We’re talking about its entire solar system. If you want to be really specific, we’re talking about Earth’s sun. A solar system’s position in the cosmos is determined by its largest objects: the sun or suns and, to a lesser extent, the large gas giants.

You don’t need to control Earth to refuel. We’ve already been over how there are plenty of resources elsewhere in the solar system, and how the planet doesn’t have the space fleet to protect them, or even claim them. And we’ve talked about setting up space habs and bases prior to an invasion. Compared to creating a new home for billions of colonists, or creating bases for millions of invasion troops, setting up a refueling station is as easy as falling down a flight of stairs. For those of you who don’t know how easy that is, meet me by the stairwell after the lecture and I’ll show you.

You could set up shop and never even tip your hand that you’re there. In fact, you and your opponent could wage numerous battles in the solar system and never even touch the Earth.

So nice effort, Str’ee. You came a lot closer than any of these other nitwits. But I don’t buy your excuse, either. That’s not why you came to Earth.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013



The Tritonian incursion ended before it really began. The details are sketchy. But the rumor is their first attack was an attempt to impregnate some human females. Is this true? Is this way you came vast interstellar distances? To get it on with Earth girls?

TRIRONIAN: Can you prove otherwise?

WAR HAWK: “Prove” is a strong word. But I can make a case against it.

Leave aside for the moment that none of your subjects survived the breeding attempt. Suppose you were successful with your crossbreeding. What then? A handful of half human infant hybrids; what will that get you? That isn’t an invading army. That’s a paternity suit.

And why? Did you find Earthlings that attractive?

Before we go any further, we need to have the talk. Let me just say that sex and war often go together. In ancient times, warrior cultures had strong sexual connotations. Domination is domination. In modern times, when these societies were “rediscovered,” part of the thrill was about new ways to get your dick (or whatever) hard (or whatever). Often when a culture is rediscovering its “glorious” past, it’s after they’ve been emasculated in some way. They reach back for a time when men were men, women were women, hermaphrodites were both and asexuals were neither.

This is nothing new. Sexual prowess and the warrior go hand in hand. A kid who survives training camp feels like he can do anything. And by “do anything” I mean he feels like he could screw the brains out of the town slut. And as soon as they get their first liberty pass that’s what a lot of them try to do. There’s nothing really wrong with any of that, as long as it’s handled responsibly and it doesn’t get out of control. A soldier needs to have balls of iron, but also have enough brains to know when to keep them inside his pants. That’s why discipline must be maintained.

Just as your soldiers can’t get too frisky, a commander needs to take a cold shower every now and then. Military operations often get conflated with sex. This can have disastrous effects on a campaign. A leader who is listening to his member instead of his brain in the war room will order something ludicrous like, “No retreats!” If the guy on the ground needs to fall back, you damn well better let him. If he’s any good at all, he’s not requesting a withdrawal because he left something burning in the oven! It gets even worse when the population gets in on the act. They start to see anything less than “Total Victory” as a national castration. In that case, they better get ready for the penis shears, because there’s a fine line between “Total Victory” and “Permanent War.” A population that has a penis-driven agenda will keep pushing and pushing until the whole thing blows up in everyone’s faces.

Who’s chuckling?

All right, that’s the talk about sex and the military. It’s always underneath the surface. But what happens when sex isn’t the subtext but the text? What about invasions motivated entirely by sex?

Does it make any sense for you to travel millions of light years to Earth just so you could stick your slimeys in terran orifices? Is it responsible to stage a planetary invasion just so you can impregnate human women or human men with your spawn?

No. It isn’t.

I’ll just make this one comparison. My race has much more in common with a primate called a bugbatler than with most other galactic species. On my home world, attempting to have sex with a bugbalter usually results in jail sentences and/or mandatory mental treatment. What the hell is wrong with you?

Everything we said about eating humans applies to screwing them, too. If their proteins don’t match yours, it’s impossible for Earthlings to bear the spawn of your loins. And if they are compatible, you’ve probably exposed yourself to a number of nasty bugs. Human orifices are crawling with critters. Most of them are completely harmless to other humans, but that doesn’t mean they won’t screw you up if you try to screw them.

Even if you’re like me and the Earthlings are similar enough to your species to find attractive, mounting an entire invasion based on your libido is beyond insane. Hell there was this guy on Theta Seven who carved a mountain sized sculpture of his twig and berries. And even he looks rational compared to you if you’re planning an entire invasion just to get your rocks off.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013



Next the Vuralans. So you guys ate a bunch of Earthlings right?


WAR HAWK: Did they taste good?


WAR HAWK: Pleasure speaking with you.

Yes, the Vuralans landed on Earth solely to eat humans. I have no problem believing this.

The Vuralans landed near an isolated vacation camp near a lake.

Once there, they proceeded to do nothing but chase humans around, and finally eat them. As mentioned before, they did all this naked.

This went on until they were shot and killed.

I believe the Vuralans wanted nothing more than a meal because this was one of the dumbest operations in Earth’s history. It only makes sense that it has as its motive something equally stupid.

Yes, the Vuralans are that dumb. I’m still shocked they can fly a spacecraft. But the rest of you are not. And using humans as a food source is suicidal idiocy.

Let’s talk about proteins. They come in a wide variety of strains. The proteins from one planet are highly unlikely to be compatible with proteins that developed on a completely different planet. And when a digestive system tries to break down non-compatible proteins, the results aren’t pleasant. Your digestive system is a complex chemical factory. Throwing stuff in that it isn’t designed to deal with throws it completely out of whack. Want to know what will happen?

Your body doesn’t digest the human proteins. Meaning chewed up human passes through your digestive tract in a large mass. At this point, several things can happen, and they’re all bad. Just because your body isn’t digesting the human meat doesn’t mean it isn’t going to react to it. Your body will probably decide this stuff is poisonous and try to flush it out of your system as quickly as possible. Whether you want it to or not. And there might be something in undigested Earthling that really is poisonous to your system. If that happened, you can experience tissue and organ failure all up and down your digestive tract. Finally, there are probably some terran microbes that tagged along for the ride through your stomach. They can digest human carcass, and you’ve introduced them to a nice warm environment and given them plenty to eat. This means they will multiply and push out the bacteria that’s already in your intestinal tract; bacteria that you need in order for your guts to function properly.

It’s safer to eat your gun, which at least is mostly made of nonreactive metals that just pass through the body. Allegedly. I once heard of a guy who ate his gun. He died. He ate the poison tipped ammo.

Ironically, this is the same thing that keeps most of you safe from Earth’s diseases. The protein difference means all the nasty germs and flu bugs down there won’t infect your system. But there’s a huge difference between shrugging off a few microbes and jamming several kilograms into your intestines or whatever turns your lunch into your poo.

Let me put it like this:


…plus lunch…

…equals death on the toilet.

What happens if your proteins are compatible? Then you are in even bigger trouble. Just ask the Gorgonians and the Sondrak. Their entire invasion force was wiped out when a few humans sneezed on them. Now imagine how much worse it would have been if they had ingested human flesh.

I’m a bio-enhanced fighter. That makes me immune to any disease, from Earth or otherwise. If I didn’t have these protections I probably wouldn’t have returned from my Earth reconnaissance alive.

In the end, the humans did the Vuralans a favor by shooting them all before they died of dysentery. So I don’t believe the rest of you came down to Earth in search of food. Even if you do have a secret desire to crap out your own insides, there are cheaper ways to get that done. There are a couple of takeout joints that come to mind.

Friday, September 20, 2013



General Dronn, you brought the largest attack force ever to Earth. Why did you do that?

GENERAL DRONN: Mine is a warrior culture. I need victory in battle.

WAR HAWK: You know, I’d almost believe you, except you’re standing right here. And if I understand warrior cultures at all, then you should have disemboweled yourself after losing to such an inferior foe.

You know I can almost believe that this whole cycle of blunders is driven by honor, glory, and prestige. That you guys are trying to live up to the standards set by your ancestors.

But that is one of the dumbest frigging motives of them all. Why? Aren’t warrior cultures honorable and worthy of our praise?

Maybe as an abstract. As a set of ideals. But warrior cultures seldom work as a model for an advanced civilization.

Warrior cultures have trouble adapting. When the time comes to put away the swords or rifles and find some other less destructive ways of proving their self-worth, warrior cultures struggle.

And in all honesty, the warrior societies of the past have been overhyped for romantic reasons. Sometimes a group tries to revive this “tradition” for political purposes. They look to the past to justify their aggressions in the present. But they all overlook one important fact: these warrior societies they hold in such high regard were ultimately failures. That’s why they passed into history.

Warrior societies look cool from the outside, but inside they are deeply dysfunctional, and usually very primitive. Warrior societies tend to look down on things like trade, commerce, and free thought. Some people actually think this is a good thing, but it results in a society that never grows or advances; one that soon becomes obsolete. You don’t have to lose on the battlefield to have your entire way of life swept away. Most of the time, it isn’t even war that destroys a society. Some go out in a blaze of blaster fire, but the real culprit is time.

Warrior societies also place government decisions in the hands of the warrior class. I admit, I’m flattered, but you’d have to be bugnuts to want a guy like me in charge of your state. And I’m one of the smarter ones. I have been an area administrator before. I didn’t like it, and you couldn’t pay me enough to do it again. Power isn’t so much fun when you actually have to govern. It’s not exciting. It’s about getting the holes in the road fixed. It’s solving a factory strike. It’s attracting businesses to a place that looks like an open sewer on a good day. These mundane tasks aren’t the stuff of legendary battles, but it’s solving these little problems that leads to lasting, long term success. If you win every battle, but your home city still looks like a disaster area, you aren’t going stand the test of time.

It’s for this reason that ancient warrior societies have checkered histories.

The ancient Atras were a warrior society where only the healthy males were allowed to survive. All manual labor was done by slaves. It was glorious, but it lasted only a few centuries. The ritual slaughter of their own children ensured that their numbers were never great. Their enemies quickly figured out that, if they encouraged some slave revolts, there wouldn’t be enough Atra warriors to take the field.

The Eldarans were once ruled by armored warrior nobility, but that society was falling apart even before industrialization. Supposedly, these warrior aristocrats were loyal to their king. But this led to open civil war. On one continent, these “loyal” nobles rose up and imposed a new quasi-representative government of their king. On the other side of the planet, these warriors kept their country frozen in time for centuries, until the industrialized world literally steamed into their lives.

But once industrialization kicked in, the noble warrior was doomed. It wasn’t just that new weapons and large national armies had replaced him. The values by which he or she lived by no longer made sense. In an industrialized world, wars were expensive. They had to make sense. When one nation would “rediscover” its ancient traditions, it led to pointless wars of expansion. Wars that had no real goal other than the glory of war itself. That made their strategies flawed from the get go, and the demise of these regimes a near certainty. They pissed off their neighbors, found themselves fighting on all fronts, and were eventually crushed.

Despite my nickname, I have no use for warrior societies. Any society that undertakes war for its own sake, without a true strategic goal will face crushing defeat sooner or later. If it’s at the hands of the primitive Earthlings, that makes it even sweeter.

In fact, the only place this mentality still exists to some extent is on the fringes. Criminal gangs and societies operate under these rules. So do the warlords of undeveloped nations. Here, the warriors rule the society. They have their own codes, but few would call them honorable. In other words, they’re the scum of the galaxy. Also known as “You guys.”

Like I said, I could almost buy this as your motivation. But I’m not. I know you. None of you have honor. You don’t care what anyone else in the galaxy thinks of you. I’ve seen you turn tail and save your own worthless skins. If you had any warrior’s honor, you abandoned it a long time before you came to Earth. You wouldn’t spend a Slugaran Blimto to get increase your prestige, let alone mount a whole invasion.

Friday, September 13, 2013



Sondrak Imperials, you were the next to follow in Gorgonians’ slime trail. Why did you invade the Earth?

SONDRAK: We wanted… slaves.

WAR HAWEK: Slave labor?

Are you frigging kidding me?

No! Are you frigging kidding me?

You come all this way… for slaves?

I’m not even going to dignify that excuse. I’m going to pretend you did not say that. You want to know why?

Slaves are the most useless thing in the entire galaxy. Most civilizations gave them up before they became industrialized.

Slavery? Really?

Guess what? Slaves aren’t marching around in chains. And that’s not because it’s a fashion faux pa. Slaves have been, throughout history, a source of manual labor. Manual labor! You guys haven’t heard of a thing called automation? Robotics?

Plus: what the hell could you be manufacturing on Earth? The place is two centuries behind the rest of the galaxy. At least!

If you’re even capable of launching an attack against the planet, you must already have advanced industries. You have somebody who can manufacture warp capable ships, beam weapons, armor, fighting vehicles, plus all the advanced command and control systems needed for a military operation. Let me ask you something. Out of all those advanced industries, which ones are still using slave labor?

Sure, plenty of workers complain about being slaves to the corporations. I know I’m glad I’m in a business where I can set my own hours. And kill people. That’s a good stress relief.

But back to your factory workers. Who in their right minds decides that it’s more efficient to keep a bunch of people against their will as opposed to just paying them a crappy wage and telling them to go screw at the end of the day? And if they did use actual slaves, what the hell kind of operation would they be running? Could they turn out anything that is truly munition quality? And how long can they keep that up?

The idea of using your own people as slave labor is ludicrous enough, but using the Earthlings is another level of stupidity. Chances are they aren’t even familiar with the technologies used in your manufacturing process. Most of our tech involves materials the Earth can’t even produce yet; stable transuranic elements and advanced compounds. You’d have to train them in the science behind these materials. You’d have to familiarize them with manufacturing techniques that are centuries ahead of their own. To do that, you need to educate them. In other words you’d be quickly surrendering the one advantage you have over the Earthlings, your advanced tech.

And for what? To save a few credits on the price of a pair of boots? I promised I wouldn’t get violent, but keep treating me like an idiot and see what happens. Slaves my ass.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013



We’ve eliminated resources as a motive. Gorgonians, why did you invade?

GORGONIAN: We needed the living space.

WAR HAWK: Living space? That’s what you’re going with? I remind you that you set up a base on Mars from which you launched your attack on the Earth. Mars was uninhabited at the time. If you needed living space so badly, why didn’t you at least start with Mars?

GORGONIAN: It’s too dry.

WAR HAWK: So haul ice over from Europa. That would have made it less dry. Are you going to tell me an invasion was easier than a little hydrodynamic engineering?


All right, then. Once again, I’m not buying it. Time for another history lesson.

In ages past, living space was a reason for military invasions.

But we’re talking ages past. Displacing whole populations became harder and harder as technology improved. Part of the reason is that technology leveled off the difference between the Haves and the Have Nots. Gone were the days when the superior Haves could starve out the Have Nots, or infect them with diseases. The Have Nots soon learned how to buy canned food and seek proper medical treatment.

They figured out that advanced small arms and explosives make even a small untrained group of fighters a real threat.

Meanwhile, the Haves grew either civilized, or complacent, depending on your point of view. Sure, they still coveted a home with a view, but they were less inclined to massacre a whole tribe to get it.

And the Haves quickly lost their taste for real pioneering. The more you get used to modern plumbing, the less happy you are taking a crap in the middle of the woods.

Finally, the Haves discovered that kids suck, and postponing them, perhaps indefinitely, was the key to domestic bliss. Meanwhile, the Have Nots were screwing like crazy and pooping out little brats faster than Telerian Jackbunnies. So even if somebody did try to “colonize” their space, the Have Nots would out breed the interlopers, thus defeating the purpose of the colony.

In other words, after a certain point in your development, living space shouldn’t be something you’re willing to go to war over.

So you’re going to tell me you launched a major invasion against an entire planet for living space? How does your civilization manage to function if your people still resort to murder in their real estate transactions? That’s an attitude for guys with flint axes, not directed energy weapons.

What happens if you do conquer Earth and open it up for colonization? You honestly have people who are willing to travel light years away from home and start over again on a blasted world that stinks from all the dead bodies? What kind of life are they going to have there? What will they produce?

If you really are that hard up for living space, say from a planetary catastrophe, there are easier ways to go about it.

Remember when I talked about space habitats and your invasion force? There is your living space. In order to conquer the planet in the first place, you need to set up at least a few bases outside the planet, probably in the asteroid belt. The Gorgonians built a base on Mars instead of in the asteroid field, but it was capable of sustaining their entire force. Why not use that base or asteroid habs for your colonists instead? I know I said things would be cramped, but that was back when you were preparing for a military assault. You needed to make room for equipment, weapons, ammunition, supplies, and still have enough space for training. If your only concern is colonization, then your habs or bases become a lot less crowded.

I mean, you already crossed light years to get to the Earth. That means the vacuum of space is no longer that big of an obstacle. And that means putting people in artificial environments and indefinitely leaving them there is not beyond your capabilities. It takes zero imagination to take that technology and apply it to living space. I’ve even heard reports that there is enough material in the Earth system’s asteroid belt to create a breathable ring.

A ring would be continuous band of fused asteroids running around the sun. It would have edges, and could hold an atmosphere. The interior would be engineered to have lakes, oceans, deserts, forests; an entire biosphere. The ring wouldn’t be that wide, but that would hardly matter. It would have the surface area of several hundred Earths. The humans would notice a construct of this size, but what are they going to do about it?

No, that’s not the reason you came to Earth. Like resources, just being able to get to the Earth means you’re past the point where living space is that big of a problem for you. Try something else.

Monday, September 9, 2013



Ah, the Xernians are finally here. Just in time. It’s ironic that the first alien invaders of the Earth should be the last to show up here. Have a seat, we need to discuss things.

To review, the Xernians landed before anyone else, even the Gorgonians. They brought a large mother ship to a place called Arizona during the Earth year 1880.

The Earthlings at the time were just beginning their industrial age. Most of the humans in the Arizona territory were agricultural workers called “cowboys.” Their main weapons were primitive slug throwers.

The Xernians sent out their air craft to kill and capture several of the locals.

That they were utterly defeated is bad enough.

But what were they doing while they were there? Mining for gold.

Let me ask you something now that you’re here. Did you really invade the Earth just for its gold?


WAR HAWK: Really? You didn’t notice the asteroid belt on your way down to the Earth’s surface? Where there’s about a hundred times more gold?


WAR HAWK: You do know that gold is only a precious commodity on Earth right? That on the galactic market it’s worthless?

XERNIAN: Yes. We did know that.

WAR HAWK: So… are you stupid?


Right. I’m going to say you’re lying. That, like everyone else, you don’t want to tell me the real reason you invaded Earth. But there’s no way you’re going to convince me that gold mining was the reason for the invasion instead of something you decided to do while you were down there. There’s no way you invaded the Earth for gold or any other natural resource. Of that I’m certain. Here’s why:

We have to start with a little bit of a history lesson.

Warfare started as a struggle over resources. For thousands of years, armed conflict was fought over rich and profitable land. But things began to change pretty quickly. As technology changed, so did the value of resources. Things that had once been worth dying for, like grain and timber, became nearly worthless. Iron and fuel became more important as worlds became industrialized.

The point of this is simple: technology changes the kind of resources that are vital to your civilization. Early on, grain and slaves are important. Later, it’s trade goods. Later on, fossil fuels. And later on, nuclear fuel. Technology also changes what resources are available to you. Our ancient ancestors, even if they knew about the stored energy of oil, would have lacked to the ability to access most of it. Space travel opened up whole new vistas of resource exploitation.

When a planet forms, it tends to draw heavier elements down into its core. Asteroids, however, don’t have this problem. The first space farers discovered that asteroids were rich in the elements that were rare on their home planets. Thus, commodities like gold and promethium are plentiful in the asteroids and around dead stars. After that, stabilized artificial elements became the new highly valued resource.

But the Earth doesn’t have the capability to manufacture and stabilize these elements. That’s a good thing. Artificial elements are the key to interstellar travel. With all the busted equipment and vehicles left on the Earth, the second they figure out transuranic chemistry, we’re going to have a lot of pissed off terrans to deal with.

But until that happens the only resources on the Earth are naturally occurring. And all of those can be found in greater quantities elsewhere in the galaxy.

If resources had truly been your motivation, you didn’t even have to land on Earth. You wouldn’t even be looking at Earth. You’d look for another star system with plenty of satellites, but no indigenous life forms to bitch about strip mining.

You’d look for the proto-stars that are literally pooping out raw materials from their cores, all the naturally occurring elements, up to uranium. On Earth, gold is still a precious metal. Out here, gold is nearly worthless. Why? Because you can stop by any proto-star and haul away a chunk of gold the size of a moon.

Even in terms of its own solar system, Earth is resource poor. It is a tiny speck that makes up a tiny fraction of the total mass of the system.

The Earth solar system is not only made up of eight additional planets with multiple moons, but also a huge asteroid belt. Hell, even if you want water, there’s more on the moon called Europa than on the Earth. And you also have what the terrans call the Oort Cloud surrounding the entire system at roughly one light year distance from the sun. The Oort Cloud is made up of resource rich debris, along with huge chunks of ice. It’s the birth place for several comets.

Any alien prospector would have to pass through the Oort Cloud, the outer planets and their satellites, and the asteroid belt, until finally reaching the comparatively tiny ball of shit that is the Earth. And all these resources are untapped because Earth currently lacks the capability to reach them. You Xernians could have strip mined the entire asteroid belt and the Earthlings would never even know about it. And if they had, there wouldn’t have been anything they could have done about it.

So there’s no way you Xernians were really on the Earth looking for gold. There’s no way the rest of you invaded Earth for resources. You guys are dumb, but you’re not that dumb.


We cannot avoid this topic any longer. I really should have started off the lecture with this point.


Why Earth?

Why this one little backwater planet?

Why do you keep trying to conquer this place?

Unless you tell me, everything we’ve discussed in meaningless.

Before any battle there is a strategy. A strategy has a goal. There is something that you want to achieve here. What that goal is determines your strategy. It determines what kind of a force you bring. It determines whether you bring any force at all because, as mentioned, some goals are best achieved without military means. But I can’t tell you the best strategy unless I know what the goal is.


I know what some of you did during your invasions. I what some of you have done in the past. I know that some people have visited the Earth for a reason and did not invade.


I’m not letting it go this time. If you don’t tell, we’ll just go through each possible motive one at a time until we find it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Regardless of your goals, if you are vulnerable or deathly allergic to anything commonly found on Earth – like water, bad pop music, or chipmunks – YOU SHOULD STAY THE HELL AWAY. And if you need me to tell you that YOU’RE A BUNCH OF IDIOTS. Str’ee Collective, I’m glaring in your direction!

Friday, September 6, 2013



Continuing with the theme of how strange Earthlings are, there are some humans down there who insist that their planet was successfully conquered. Strange, I know, but this myth insists that aliens took control years ago, and that Earth’s freedom is nothing but a carefully constructed lie. Like the Space Pharaoh group, this is an extreme fringe whose beliefs until recently were thoroughly at odds with known history. That is, until the Magelian conspiracy was uncovered. This was a shock that gave the “secret alien overlord” myth new life. And it was this myth that Kanjar Horn exploited to complete his assignment.

Horn’s another associate of mine. We’ve worked together. We respect each other. I can say this: his mind follows some very strange paths.

Horn decided to use this myth of a secret alien conspiracy not to get an Earthling to work for him, but to get an Earthling to work against him. Well, he wasn’t really working against Horn, he just thought he was. And…


Forget it. It’ll all make sense by the time I finish. I hope.

Let’s begin with the object of the operation. When the Magelians were uncovered, most of their equipment was confiscated by the authorities. I say “most,” not “all.” The remains of a combat android were discovered by a corporation called Skyna-Tek. Rather than turn it over, they decided to keep it to try and reverse engineer some of the technology. Fortunately – or unfortunately, depending on your point of view – that android didn’t originally belong to the Magelians. They had stolen it from the Ardonians and they have a strict policy about keeping their technology out of developing worlds like Earth. So they put in a call to Horn.

Horn located the android remains easy enough, but getting them out of Skyna-Tek facility was going to be tricky. That’s when he discovered John A. Smith, alias Joe B. Jones, alias Cecil Wozniak. Mr. Smith-Jones-Wozniak lived very close to the Skyna-Tek facility and dedicated his life to investigating the “world alien conspiracy.” And even better, he was convinced Skyna-Tek was one of conspiracy’s many fronts. It was just too tempting to pass up.

The stratagem Horn came up with was a reverse of Drac’s Egyptian job. Like the Egyptian job it involved a little bit of dress up.

First, Horn quietly showed up at Wozniak’s place at night. Horn made sure there were no witnesses. He arrived in a human disguise designed to make him appear tall, with pale skin and milky eyes, and wearing a black dress suit.

Horn now resembled a Man In Black. The Man In Black is the all-purpose thug/enforcer of the global alien conspiracy. The face was a problem, but that turned out to be plus. He really didn’t look human. Wozniak could clearly see he was an alien.

Horn burst into Wozniak’s house, knocked him around a little bit and threatened him. He told him to stay away from Skyna-Tek, or else. Then he knocked Wozniak out with a neuro stunner and left.

A normal human would have called the authorities and reported an alien incursion, but not Wozniak. He didn’t trust the government one bit. Instead, he immediately hacked into the systems at Skyna-Net. Here’s where things just became a self-feeding loop. Skyna-Tek was involved in something illegal and dangerous. So they tried to protect it as best they could. But hiding alien tech is one of the greatest crimes on Earth right now. They had to get people who were willing to keep their mouths shut first. Their skills at creating cyber security measures were a secondary concern. So when Wozniak broke into their system, he found plenty of suspicious material. And because the security measures were of inferior grade, Wozniak was able to hack all the way into the system and discover where the android remains were being kept.

Horn had been monitoring his progress the whole time, and that’s when he initiated the second phase. And that brings us to Aiyana Thrax, Eldaran mercenary and frequent partner in crime to Kanjar Horn. Eldarans, like my race, bear a striking resemblance to humans. Eldarans are actually closer in appearance to a mythological Earth creature called an elf, but with the right wardrobe they could easily pass for a terran.

Aiyana showed up on Wozniak’s doorstep pretending to be a fellow conspiracy theorist. She told him she was in the same predicament. From what I was told, it was an easy sell. Wozniak was already half conditioned to believe. The other half of his brain was busy staring at Aiyana’s mammary glands. She had chosen her outfit with that in mind. He agreed with her idea of going online with their findings. But they needed the android as proof.

The rest of the operation was a snap. Horn and Aiyana are pros, after all. With Wozniak disabling the security, they were in and out of the Skyna-Tek facility without any incident. Skyna-Tek went bankrupt, and the board members all dropped out of sight. The android was returned and the mission was completed. Unlike Lila Sinclair, Wozniak didn’t get a free trip to see the galaxy. He wouldn’t have accepted one, anyway. But Horn told me something. Wozniak came away from this adventure with the certainty that he had been right all along. For someone like him, there was no greater reward.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013



I have a bit of a history with the Saurian mercenary Draconarius Naga. I can tell you he’s not a pile of crap. At least, not completely. We’re not each other’s favorite people, but I’ll admit the guy’s a pro, especially for someone who started out as a research scientist. He’s an arrogant prick, and is nowhere near as brilliant as he thinks he is. But I will allow this idea he came up is pretty genius. Just don’t tell him I said that.

You see, ol’ Drac took a job for the Eldarans. Apparently, they had a defector who hid out on Earth, posing as a human. Drac located the scumbag who had set himself up as a motivational speaker in a city called Los Angeles. The target was never alone and often had a huge crowd around him. Drac had to find a way to isolate the guy so he could quietly snatch him. The last thing he wanted to do was alert the Earth to his presence. To pull it off, he needed some human assistance, so he decided to use another popular human myth as a cover.

Thousands of Earth years ago, one of their first civilizations rose up in a place called Egypt. The rulers of this kingdom constructed huge stone pyramids to proclaim their glory. But there’s a group of Earthlings who insist to this day that the Egyptians could not have built the pyramids without extraterrestrial help.

That’s right, they believe stacking rocks could only be done with advanced technology.

I can see how they can come to that conclusion.

(War Hawk takes this opportunity to show an image of fruit stacked in a pyramid in the produce aisle of a market.)

I mean stacking things is so hard.

(He projects another image of stacked fruit in the produce aisle.)

And really, who could have figured out that you can place a small object on a wide base? That takes some really advanced thinking.

I mean, why build something out of metal alloy or carbon composite when you can move around a bunch of rocks?

All right, cut out the laughing. Let’s get back down to business.

So the story goes aliens came thousands of light years across the cosmos just to stack rocks on the banks of the River Nile. The pyramid shape itself is supposed to be special. It’s supposed to harness the energy of the universe or something. The pharaohs of Egypt were supposedly visitors from another planet, and they modeled the Egyptian society on their own. And the half animal/half human gods of the Egyptians are supposed to be other extraterrestrials.

As it happens, Los Angeles contains a high proportion of these alien pyramid believers. And many of them traveled in the same circles as Drac’s target. What he did next was pretty humiliating, but it paid off.

First, he made contact. Once he picked out his soon-tobe collaborator, an actress named Lila Sinclair, the rest was pretty easy. Like the rest of the alien Pharoah fan club, Lila didn’t fear beings from another planet. No, she was actually waiting for her great Egyptian benefactors to contact her. She often wore pyramid shaped headwear and spent hours meditating, hoping to make a mental link with the great pharaohs. All evidence to the contrary, she was convinced there were aliens that wanted to help Earth. What she got was Draconarius.

One night, Drac made his entrance. He implanted a directional microscopic speaker into Lila’s pyramid hat and waited for her to meditate. Once she had her hat on, Drac told her in a very dramatic and deep voice that she had been heard. A few holographic projectors created a “space bridge,” and out he stepped from her closet where he’d really been hiding. The Egyptian gods included one with the head of a crocodile, a being very similar to a Saurian. So all Drac had to do was dress up a little.

(War Hawk now projects an image of Draconarius wearing an Egyptian headdress and a breech cloth. It is rather silly looking.)

What can I say? Humiliating, but it worked.

Drac gave her a story about how she had been chosen out of all the billions on the planet to receive a vital message from the Space Pharaoh.

Some additional showmanship was necessary. He hid a few devices inside a small ankh. Pretty simple stuff. He used some magnets to move items around the room. Produced a bit of a light show.

Drac now had a willing accomplice. After that, it was pretty easy. Lila went to a seminar hosted by the Eldaran defector. She convinced him to follow her out into someplace dark and secluded. And then…

(War Hawk projects footages of Drac in his combat fatigues punching his Eldaran target and knocking him unconscious.)

GENERAL DRONN: So you’re saying we can trick the humans into worshipping us?

WAR HAWK: Some of the humans. The really… unique ones. Drac’s stratagem only works for small scale operations.

GENERAL DRONN: So what was the point besides showing us your friend in an embarrassing outfit?

WAR HAWK: Small scale operations have their place. Sometimes the whole invasion can hinge on them. That’s the point of reviewing all these incidents. What can be used to help recover a defector can also be used to grab a high level prisoner. A willing human accomplice is a huge asset and should never be underestimated. That is my point. That and the embarrassing outfit.

(At this point there is a noticeable growl emanating from somewhere behind War Hawk)

GENERAL DRONN: What was that?

WAR HAWK: I didn’t hear anything. Getting back to this particular caper. In the end Drac did have to explain the whole ruse to Ms. Sinclair. She took it rather well and only insisted that he take her with him to see the galaxy. I guess she personally wanted to track down the Space Pharaoh. She’s still looking, from what I gather. Didn’t I say Earth was a strange place?

Monday, September 2, 2013



With so many invasions there’s a lot of wreckage. Not all of it has been found by Earth authorities. A few years after Dronn’s attack, a crew of enterprising Voos discovered the remnants of an anti-matter reactor sitting in lake near an isolated town called Fairoaks in the area known as Kentucky. Now, the Voos weren’t stupid. The Earth Defense Force was now up and running and alert for any alien activity. So the Voos decided to hide in plain sight. They deliberately called attention to their incursion, but did it in such a way that the authorities automatically dismissed it.

It helped that Fairoaks was an out of the way hamlet that had never directly experienced an alien attack. It was also perfect because it was a long way from any real objective an attacker would want to scout. Just by the town’s location, seeds of doubt were being placed in the minds of the Earth authorities.

Next step, the Voos ambushed one Everett E. Einhorn, a resident of the town. And they weren’t subtle about it.

First, they dazzled Everett with lights in the sky. This is how this particular alien myth always starts.

That’s right, lights. Now, all aircraft have lights. They’re used mostly for ground crews operating in dark conditions.

No, I have no idea why you’d have your landing lights on when you’re trying to conduct a secret military incursion. It’s not like you need them to “see.” Even Earth’s relatively primitive aircraft can fly through a pitch-black night using low frequency energy scanning. But it comes to myth, this does make sense. So when Everett reported the lights, he instantly lost credibility.

For the next step, the Voos paralyzed him and used a tractor beam to lift him into their ship. The light was a real problem because it didn’t do anything. But humans can only see a narrow range of the energy spectrum and a major part of the myth concerns a cone of light. Had they just hit Everett with a neuro stunner he wouldn’t have seen anything, and the authorities might have been a little suspicious. The point was trying to make this encounter sound like none of previous alien invasions, and everything like this discredited myth. The light was just there for effect. Of course, the Voos didn’t want any other witnesses, and a powerful spotlight tends to attract attention. So they actually had four other craft in the immediate area, all blacked out and acting as a basically a giant light shade.

After getting him on board, the Voos took Everett to a specially prepared room. It was all white and featureless, except for a table to which they strapped Everett.

I talked to one of the Voos who carried out this operation, and he told me the white room was the part he hated the most. Space is at a premium on a spaceship, so that white room made the inside doubly cramped. Supplies were shoved under the floors and in the walls. The crew barely had any room to walk around. Meanwhile, Everett was on this table in the middle of all this empty unused area.

The Voos had to look the part. According to the myth, they had to appear to be humanoid with grey skin, long thing arms, body, and neck, a bulbous head, and large black eyes.

The Voos looked nothing like this, so they had to get creative.

After that, they disorientated Everett with even more bright lights. They gave him some good drugs to boost the effect. And then…

They stuck a rod up his butt.

I have no explanation. Anal probing is part of the legend. I have no idea why any alien would want to probe that region. It’s pretty obvious what it does. I can only guess that Earthlings fantasize about being invaded by renegade proctologists. Or maybe porn producers.

The Voos were sanitary about it. They even had their medic lance some polyps inside Everett’s colon. I guess it made them feel a little bit cleaner.

After they were done, they released Everett back into the wild. He immediately ran to tell all his friends and the local media. The authorities listened to him talk for one Earth hour, decided he was insane, and the incident was written off as a hoax. As a result, all future reports of lights in the sky around Fairoaks was also summarily dismissed. Right up until the time the Voos loaded up the reactor and blasted off.

The Voos managed to salvage the reactor for a half a million Iridium Pazuzas. Not a bad haul. It was a good strategy. Unfortunately, it’s the kind of thing you can only do once. Earth authorities won’t be that easy to fool a second time.



Talking about infiltration is a good lead-in to this next target. There have been other visitors to Earth. These guys didn’t come as invaders, though their motives weren’t entirely pure. Each was successful, and each took a very unusual tactic. None of these operations was as ambitious as trying to take over the whole planet, but that was a large part of their success. They had limited, concrete goals that they wanted to achieve and they devised a plan to get what they wanted. Their plans are going to sound a little odd though.

For background, Earth is a very strange place. Its inhabitants have vivid imaginations. The mental landscape is full of urban myths and legends. Incredibly, some of these myths concern aliens. These myths endure with many people despite contact with real aliens. Like I said, it’s a very strange place. But because the Earth has been invaded, because they’ve seen you and know what you look like and how you operate, these alien myths are even more widely discredited. And that’s where each of our next three subjects found success. Earth authorities are on the lookout for aliens, sure enough, but they’re looking for real aliens. By posing as fakes, these next operations were able to remain hidden and discreet.

Friday, August 30, 2013



It’s time to introduce a real pile of crap. If you’re planning on invading the Earth, you have reason to hate this individual. I refer to the Predak of Altar Seven.

Who is this individual is, and why is he worthy of your hate? We’ll get to that. For now, let’s just talk about being sneaky. Now more than ever it’s important for alien visitors on Earth to practice stealth and infiltration. Even if you have no hostile intent, one glance at your green hide is enough to cause a panic. And if you do have hostile intent, you of course want to stay hidden.

Infiltration can be a bitch. I was pretty lucky, myself. It appears my home planet and Earth shared a meteor impact in the distant past. Don’t ask me how that works, I’ve no clue.

Even if your race isn’t a close match to the humans, plenty of you are similar in body type. The bipedal humanoid form has a lot going for it when it comes to developing tools and technology; upright stance, eyes fixed in the front of the head, one or more opposable digits. From a distance, a lot of you could pass for an Earthling if you’re covered with something like a hooded cloak. If you add a robotic human mask, you have a disguise that can fool people at a distance. Though only a small segment of the planet’s population regularly wear hooded cloaks.

Which reminds me; if you’re sending in a scout team before hostilities, there’s a way to move about freely without using a disguise. Repeat after me:


Close up disguises are a lot harder. Your best bet is a holographic suit. That’s a suit covered with dozens of small holo projectors that create a three dimensional disguise all around you. The holo projectors can mimic your immediate surroundings so, even though your outline in no way resembles an Earthling, your suit can still make you appear to be a human.

Of course, you can use the same technology to make yourself just disappear entirely. The holographic cloaks can be set to project the surrounding landscape, making it appear like you’re not even there.

With the right adjustments, you can be totally invisible to terran sensors, and even visual scanning. But sight is only one sense you have to fool. There’s sound, which you can mask with white noise. There’s scent. There’s body heat. There’s the nearly imperceptible disturbance in the air as you move through it, which some very sensitive types can feel. If you run into that rare Earthling with ESP abilities, that’s another stumbling block.

The hologram should fool sentries and others at medium to even close range. But right up in front a sentry’s nose? There are just too many factors to successfully pull that off, from a slight lag time refreshing the hologram image to windblown dust and particles swirling around the “invisible” soldier.

Unless you’re like me and can naturally pass for human, you have three options for face-to-face deception, and all of them are tricky. First is to recruit human agents. You need a certain kind of invasion to even consider this; one that somehow benefits the Earthlings – or at least some of them – as much as it does you. The second option is to use sophisticated androids. Getting these androids to resemble humans isn’t that hard. The trick is to come up with an AI sophisticated enough to interact with other Earthlings without drawing suspicion. Finally, you can surgically alter some of your own troops to resemble humans. This is limited by your own physiology, and it’s a really crappy assignment. You need top quality, motivated troops to successfully carry out this maneuver. It’s only marginally easier to train a soldier to pass for a human than it is to create an AI program to do the same. You not only have to learn the spoken language, but you have to understand the shared cultural/regional experiences of a given area. This is the real “language” of the human race, and it varies wildly from country to country, and even from town to town. Just getting an agent to the point where he can truly express herself the way a real human would can take months. Let’s not forget recovery time from the procedures themselves. That’s going to take a while, too. And yes, all of this is going to cost you.

But technology is only good if you use it correctly, and the key to that is not to overuse it.

Which brings me back to the Predak of Altar Seven and why you should hate him. This jerk possessed some of the most advanced stealth technology in the galaxy. What did he use it for? He went to Earth to go hunting.

That’s right. He crossed all those light years just to put some trophies on his wall. And he got himself killed in the process.

And his technology was salvaged by the humans.

So now the humans are in possession of the most sophisticated stealth technology in the galaxy. They’ve certainly figured out how to defeat it. They may have even figured out how to replicate it.

This means any attempt to infiltrate the Earthlings by way of stealth is now fraught with danger. Chances are, your highly trained scouts will be spotted and killed right away. And that’s the best case scenario.

Suppose you are able to sit a scout right in the room with the commanding generals and learn every detail of the terran battle plan. Guess what? It only happened because the humans allowed it. Your scout will be feeding you completely false intel.

But that’s not the worst of it. Thanks to our friend the Predak here, you now have to legitimately fear the humans’ stealth ability. The only reason I’m certain there isn’t an Earthling here in this room right now is they still don’t have Faster Than Light drives.

I’m sure you’d all like to have a few words with this guy now. Lucky for the Predak, he’s already dead.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013



We haven’t talked in depth about the Scythian Bloodlords, but now it’s time. The Bloodlords had a mix of both flying attack craft and ground forces. Their air force was defeated when the terrans figured out how to disable their controls.

But their ground force had it even worse. They were plagued by a series of failures. As I noted before in the Equipment section, a number of weapons jammed in their carrying device. The troops couldn’t make repairs in-field because they didn’t have access to spare parts, or a rear area for repairs. They ran low on energy packs. Finally, many of them keeled over from lack of food and fluids. It was a pretty pathetic way to lose.

There’s an old saying that amateurs talk about tactics, professionals talk about logistics.

The Scythian Bloodlords are a great example. They didn’t provide their force with a basic logistical network. They had plenty of guys firing big guns. They had plenty of big ships moving slowly across the landscape. What they didn’t have is what they really needed: guarded supply depots. They didn’t have a stream of supply transports heading towards the front lines. Because of this, being a Scythian foot soldier was a death sentence; and it was a slow, painful death. They had no rest. No rear area. They didn’t even break for lunch. The ground troopers were expected to keep moving and fighting until they either dropped dead, or you conquered the entire planet. Guess which happened first?

What a difference a little logistical support could have made. Had the Bloodlords simply set up a system for getting fresh troops and supplies to the frontlines, we might be having a different conversation.

But instead we’re having a very familiar conversation. Nonian Per, the autocrat of Degaton, should be an example to you all. Per thought he was a military genius, and he invaded the planet Aldiss Three. But what Nonian Per forgot was logistics, and he sent his troops in without adequate supplies. In particular, he forgot to send cold weather supplies and equipment. This was vitally important because Aldiss Three has a very strange orbit that takes the planet further out from the sun every few decades. Guess when Per decided to invade this planet? Even though he had superior numbers and troop quality, all the natives had to do was avoid destruction. Once the planet’s orbit took it away from the sun, the temperature dropped and the entire invasion force, including Nonian Per, were frozen. I understand he’s still there, inside a glacier. They have him on display as a tourist attraction. It costs thirty five blimtos for a gander which is about fifteen Catharcyan nickels too much if you ask me.

Where was I?

The only reason logistics haven’t bitten more of you in the ass before is because most of you get annihilated before it becomes an issue. But if you had somehow survived the terran counterattack, you would have found yourself in the same situation as the Scythian Bloodlords or Nonian Per.

Every army has consumables. Mostly it’s energy, but there are plenty more, like food, ammunition, and spare parts. It’s unlikely you’re going to find what you need on Earth in any great quantities.

First, there is energy. The humans still do not have high capacity energy storage units. The best they can do are batteries that can barely power a plasma gun. Yes, there’s deuterium in large quantities in Earth’s oceans. That material can be used in fusion generators. But are you going to have a fusion generator on everything? Even the hand weapons? The humans know about fusion, and are close to figuring it out. If they capture any more of your equipment, that could be the tipping point.

As for food, there is very little chance that you will find anything that your species can consume. We’ll discuss food in a little bit. For now, just know that anything you could eat on Earth is either the wrong protein or, if it’s the right one, it’s swimming in diseases against which you have no immunity. Unless your troops can eat air, they are going to need regular supplies of food and probably drinking water.

Ammunition and spare parts? You think you’re going to find a munitions grade laser focusing crystal among the planet’s ruins? Or the right power couplings for a plasma exchange system? Or sheets of iridium that you can use to repair damaged armor plating? Actually, you might. The Earthlings were pretty close to all of that stuff when I last checked. You don’t get invaded as many times as they have without learning a few things. But you still shouldn’t plan to live off the land, especially when it comes to your vehicles and equipment. Even if you take no battle damage, you still experience breakdowns. Do you have a maintenance company? Do you have a wrecker ready to haul blasted hulks back to base? Do you have a repair base?

These things don’t happen by themselves. As the Bloodlords discovered, the right equipment doesn’t magically appear out of thin air. You have to plan to have it. Then you have to plan on getting it to your troops. Then you have to turn those plans into a vast network of depots and transports which have to run with precision.

This is a lot of bother. Most of you became warriors for the glory, not the accounting. Most of you don’t have the temperament for this aspect of warfare. You’d better learn to love accounting. That’s the only way to master supply and logistics.

Friday, August 23, 2013



The Eclipse Clan is the greatest espionage organization in the galaxy. They are loyal to no one. For the right price, you can obtain their services. Just as a professional interest, they keep tabs on every planet. They have been to Earth. They’ve never invaded. The Clan was only there to gather information to keep their files up to date. I know none of you have ever engaged the services of the Eclipse Clan. Most of you can’t afford them. Some of you tried to stiff them on previous jobs. Big mistake. But that’s no excuse for not conducting your own intelligence work before an attack. You have to have a full picture of the Earth, or any planet and its defense, for before hostilities begin.

What do you know about the Earth? What are the names of its leaders? Who has the biggest military? Who has the most sophisticated weapons? Who has the largest population? Among the world leaders, whose grasp on power is the strongest? Whose is the weakest? Who is willing to drop longstanding hostilities? Who is likely to break an alliance?

Do you know the answers to any of these questions? The Eclipse Clan knows all of this, and a lot more.

How did they do it? Ironically, it’s not a big secret. The Clan uses tried and proven intelligence techniques. This is work anyone can do. It’s just that they do it better than anybody.

The Clan didn’t start off by sending agents to infiltrate the highest office. All those questions I just asked? You don’t need spies to answer any of them. That’s all free intelligence.

First and foremost, the Eclipse Clan keeps its collective eyes and ears open. There are plenty of news reports, public speeches, and press conferences, and loads of information available to the public. The Clan just tuned into Earth’s communications and found the news networks. Then they let their analysts go to work. In just a few days, the Clan files were overflowing with the free information.

The Clan used a combination of AI computers and trained analysts to sift through the data. The AIs handled the volume. But analysis is as much artwork as grunt work. You can program a computer to do all the basics, but gaining the important insights takes talent, and the Clan excels in spotting talent.

Only after the analysis phase did the Clan send agents for ground observation. These agents didn’t assassinate anyone. They didn’t replace a high ranking officer with one of their own. They just posed as everyday humans and looked around. They got the sense of the place. They learned all the things the communications didn’t tell them.

I hear some of you scoffing. What good is all this? How about the traffic patterns in major cities? How about scouting proposed landing sites and main targets? Knowing the ground before a battle is vital, and that’s what the Clan did. In fact, I’d say theirs has been the only successful Earth “invasion.” They did what they came to do, and they got out of there. That’s more than I can say for you.

If you want to emulate the Eclipse Clan – and you should – be prepared to invest a lot more resources. Tapping into personal communications can be tricky, as doing so results in a mountain of data that your analysts have to sift through. That’s a lot of work even if you can afford AIs to help with the load. You need to narrow the parameters, so before you begin, you’d better know what you want to find. And it’s not going to be easy. In the past, the Earthlings didn’t know you were out there. But now it’s highly unlikely they’ll be talking about extraterrestrial defenses on their personal communicators.

How easy is it to pass off as human? I did it. The Clan did it. Several others have done it. For the most part, though, we all just hung around and observed. I didn’t have to talk with too many people. The key is to be subtle. Your agents don’t have to be chatterboxes. Many of them can just be pathfinders and scouts who check on proposed invasion sites. Having eyes on the ground immediately prior to an attack is a huge advantage.

Intelligence gathering doesn’t stop once operations start; that’s when it kicks into hyperdrive. The humans have ditched their formerly simple communications. Their new planetary defense network is designed to communicate in a variety of ways. If one method is compromised, they switch to another. You have to constantly monitor all of them to see which ones are being used by hostile forces. And then you have to break whatever code the humans are using. Even with the most advanced computers, this is a labor-intensive process, and it diverts resources that can otherwise be spent elsewhere.

Again, here’s another argument for taking prisoners. Dead prisoners can’t talk. Do you know where the enemy is located? What his morale and supply situation is like? Here’s your chance to find out. Interrogation and torture aren’t necessary. Usually, just a quick interview is required. A lot of soldiers say they will not talk, but most of them end up saying something, anyway. Just observing their physical well-being can give you vital intel about the force you face. You want them to tell you what they know. Torture, at best, gets the guy to admit something you already know, which isn’t valuable intel.

Even a prisoner’s leavings can give you clues to where he ate his last meal. Though you can leave off the anal probe. You can just wait for him to go.

But there’s a problem. All this effort may be for nothing. It’s something the Eclipse Clan will admit to if you ask. Intelligence – even top quality Eclipse Clan intelligence – is of dubious value. A spy may overhear the enemy commanders talk about a major operation. It may be one hundred percent legitimate. But the enemy can always change his mind.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013



We’re going to talk about another invasion that was foiled without any direct effort by the humans. The Kzzzz’zzzz – I hope I’m pronouncing that right – are beings of pure electricity, and they had a pretty unique strategy.

You see, the Earth may be backwards, but they have discovered the computer network. Nearly all their early warning installations, and even most weapons systems, are either computer assisted or computer controlled. The Kzzzz’zzzz were going to attack computer network itself. By their nature, they could enter computers the same way you or I enter a room.

But their problems started with faulty intelligence. They monitored Earth communications, but weren’t aware that Earthlings have these entertainments called movies. And these movies are really bad sources of information, especially about Earth’s computer systems.

The Kzzzz’zzzz believed these stories were real, and were convinced that the Earth computer network extended everywhere, to every device imaginable; that the computer network controlled every little function of every device hooked into it and, by taking over the system, they could gain total mastery of the planet. But it was all lies. The Kzzzz’zzzz never considered this because they didn’t wonder why would the humans create such a disturbing fantasy world for the purposes of entertainment. They weren’t able to understand that the Earthlings are a quirky bunch.

So when the Kzzzz’zzzz entered Earth’s computer network, they found this did not automatically hand them an easy victory. In fact, they were hard pressed to find targets of any value. The problem is most Earth computers are dedicated to porn. And the Kzzzz’zzzz, being pure electricity, found themselves in some pretty embarrassing positions.

But that was nothing when they escaped and found themselves in an even worse spot. You see, the computers not dedicated to porn are dedicated to video games. Very violent video games.

Those that survived that debacle managed to finally find a useful target – or so they thought. They spent several days locked inside the Washington, D.C. visitor website. They discovered that important material, such as nuclear launch codes and vital information about military units and weapon systems, was kept under very tight security. Ironically, they followed a human hacking attack to finally find some classified material. Only to discover that “classified” material is actually just embarrassing. Which led them back to the porn. After that, they decided they had enough and left.

And so another would-be invasion ended without the Earthlings having to do much of anything. At least, not directly.

If any of you want to follow the Kzzzz’zzzz, be aware that there are other pitfalls besides porn, first person shooters, and more porn. Cyber warfare has grown very sophisticated. In a way, Earth is less vulnerable than you might think. Attacks meant to defeat AI programs, quantum computers, and wetware are completely useless against the much simpler terran systems. Your technicians will have to think backwards in order to come up with a virus simple enough to infect the Earthling systems, yet sophisticated enough to do what you desire: disrupt vital communications, compromise weapons and defense systems, glean important data, and so on.

All this is going to take a lot of research, which can take even trained observers years to complete. Terran programming languages and architecture are nothing like what we use. I’ve had experts tell me the Earth computers are designed so that they’re difficult to program, something they found hard to fathom. You see, most humans understand how to use their information devices, but only a tiny percentage of them know how to program those devices.

Even if you do find the systems you are searching for, and manage to infect them with a virus, you might not do that much damage. Very sensibly, nothing is one hundred percent computer controlled, and all the vital systems have manual backups. So making their reactors all go into meltdown? That’ll only happen if the crew is too lazy to work the manual override.

One last thing. When choosing a master computer to coordinate your attacks, don’t get the model that blows up if it encounters a question it can’t answer or a phrase that makes no sense. It’ll crash the moment it encounters a human pop song. Don’t believe me…?

(At this point War Hawk plays a bit of Earth music. It’s easily the most excruciating part of the whole symposium. It’s about some Earth who doesn’t want Fernando or Roberto to call her name. Possibly that’s what it’s about.)

Gahh! My head’s ready to explode just listening to this crap.

Yes, cyber-warfare is something you should look into. Yes, that is going to be more time and more expense. Yes, that is adding up.

Friday, August 16, 2013



Dronn, we’ll be talking a lot about you, again. It’s not that I hate you or anything, though I do. But the reason I’m picking on you is due to the fact you brought the largest air force of any invasion. So you’re going to be an example of what not to do.

Dronn thought air-to-air combat would be a snap. After all, his ships could fly through the cosmos. The humans could barely get to their own moon.

Back up there for a second. It isn’t as simple as that. To do this the right way, you need atmospheric fighters. And most spaceships aren’t aerodynamically designed, at all. There’s no need for it outside an atmosphere, and that frees up space on the craft that you can use to put more weapons or shield generators. Sure, these ships can still fly in atmosphere – anything can fly if you give it enough thrust. They just don’t handle very gracefully.

Ships that can fly in both atmosphere and in space need to carry more fuel. They need two separate forms of propulsion. In space, you can just heat up plasma as hot as you want it then send it out your thruster. In atmosphere? One: you need to be constantly providing thrust for your vehicle. And two: you’re in an atmosphere. There is a limit to how fast you can travel, and how energetic your exhaust can be. Are you planning on sticking around this rock after you conquer it? If so, it’s probably a bad idea to irradiate large portions of its air and water vapor. Gravity manipulating craft get around this problem. But gravatic drives eat up even more fuel. So you have to store an even greater amount of antimatter. And we’re back to cost effectiveness.

Dronn’s army did include a large fighter wing. The ships were gravatic, too; they could fly in both atmosphere and in space, with no loss of handling. He gets good marks for that.

He gets failing marks for the rest of his invasion. In particular, how he used his fighter wing. It wasn’t that he didn’t use his fighters enough; he over used them. He assigned fighters to tasks that they shouldn’t be used for, for instance as a heavy assault force, instead of using tanks or infantry. They were assigned as an exploitation force, a screening force, a security picket, and for intimidating conquered areas. Dronn’s fighters were used for just about everything, and that was a gigantic mistake. Those units were vulnerable on the ground, so they had to constantly stay in the air, burning up energy. And they couldn’t make use of natural ground cover. They were easy targets. This gave the Earthlings plenty chances to attack the fighter craft. Eventually, they were able to come up with an attack that worked.

Worst of all, Dronn’s fighters only fired at point blank range. Instead of staying at high altitude and striking at targets from an extreme distance, they flew low to the ground. Every ground attack was a low level strafing run.

Air combat is tricky enough to master as-is. Once it was introduced, warfare became truly three dimensional, and the rule books were completely changed. The old notions of territory and control went out the window. The size of an airbase could be tiny, which meant parcels of land that were too small to be on most maps suddenly became vitally important. Adding additional restrictions, like only using strafing attacks, makes a difficult task near impossible.

First and foremost, the job of your air force is to engage enemy aircraft, and achieve air superiority. This should be no contest. Even with the limits of atmospheric flight, your fighters will be faster. They’ll have defensive shields that make the humans’ missiles bounce off. With inertial compensators, they can pull maneuvers that will make the humans drop their jaws.

Dronn’s air force did this. But what did they do after achieving air superiority? Not much.

Close fire support: They should be used to assist attacking ground troops, but as support, not the full force. Dronn had them carry the entire offensive load themselves. That didn’t work because, as awesome as their weapons were, they had to fly back to base after every attack to refuel. They had no staying power.

Strategic bombing: Dronn had his aircraft zipping along, just skimming the surface of the planet. At that altitude and at those speeds, if the pilot makes one little error, the craft will be plowing into terran soil in less than a nanosecond. In the battles that followed, many of Dronn’s fighters just crashed because their pilots were flying too low and too fast.

Also, they couldn’t see as much when they were close to the deck, and their attack angle wasn’t very good. Had they operated higher up, they could have seen more of the landscape and fired at distant targets.

Special forces insertion and extraction: Dronn didn’t even attempt this. All that air superiority, and not once did he try to insert a commando force. Of course, fighters would be the last vehicle I’d pick for this operation. For this job the craft should be fast and quiet and piloted by special operators who understand the need for stealth. This is the one mission where it is okay to hover over a target area for a long stretch of time. And this is why special operations aircraft are the ones that get shot down the most.

Transport: Dronn did not use any of his craft for logistical purposes. His mother ships had to double as supply and refueling depots. So when they were successfully attacked, his invasion crumbled. We’ll get into this in detail in a moment, but let me stress, you have to have a system for storing and moving a lot of crap. And some of it has to get there quickly. A few air transports would have given Dronn’s forces a lot more flexibility and staying power.

Non-powered flight: Earth has an atmosphere. But Dronn decided not to make use of it for transport purposes. If he had to move a crate from one area to another, it needed to be transported in an anti-matter burning fighter craft. Is there a more efficient way? Yes, it’s called an airdrop. A parachute will slow the descent of nearly any object. It may not look fancy, but it gets the job done. And non-powered flight has other uses. Gliders and parachutes can be made of translucent, radar absorbing material, providing a nearly silent and invisible means of insertion for special forces operators. Provided you remembered to bring special forces in the first place, of course.

Surveillance and reconnaissance: Dronn’s biggest failing was in not using his aircraft to provide up-to-date intelligence on enemy movement. He didn’t have high altitude craft looking over the landscape. He didn’t send aircraft in flyover missions. Reconnaissance aircraft can gather all kinds of vital information on the enemy’s position and disposition. But Dronn kept his own force blind. He might have been able to see that the Earthlings were getting ready for a counterstrike if he had just sent out a few scout craft.

Drones: This is something Dronn has in common with the Gorgonians, the Sondrak, and the Scythian Bloodlords; every time a vehicle was destroyed it resulted in a casualty. Why? Unmanned drones are part of the modern warfare landscape. Whether they are commanded remotely, or by an on board AI; whether they fly, swim, or roll along the ground, they have an important part to play. Of course, I can see why they are underrepresented in your invasions. A drone’s primary function is to reduce the number of casualties your army suffers. It’s no surprise that none of you developed drone warfare capabilities, since none of you care about your own casualties. This is one of the many disadvantages to being a heartless dictator; you don’t even think about stuff like this.

Speaking of casualties, let’s get off Dronn for a second and talk about the Xernians, who were the first invaders, and who lost to a bunch of cattle wranglers. They had aircraft. But what happened was the Earthlings rolled an explosive packet into their ship. It was a lucky shot, but it took out the pilots’ barracks on the Xernian mother ship. So the Xernians weren’t able to launch any aircraft after that. They had ships, but no one to fly them. And that’s the point. Losing aircraft isn’t always that big of a loss. What’s bad is when you lose pilots or aircrews. These are some of the most highly trained members of your force. Those aircraft are some of the most sophisticated machines you have. Operating them and getting them ready for battle takes real skill and training. Replacing even complex and expensive machines is easy; just put in an order at the factory. Replacing troops with the necessary skills to use those machines? Not so easy.

Control of Earth’s skies means nothing if you don’t take full advantage of it. As Dronn learned, combat sorties are just part one of a wide range of operations you should be undertaking. Like everything else we’ve gone over, if you’re not doing this, it’s like handing the Earthlings a victory. If you’re too lazy to conduct a reconnaissance flight, the end result is no different than if the humans seized control of that airspace from you. Which they may be able to do now, anyway.

You can thank your buddy Dronn, here. Because of his failure, the Earthlings captured a large number of his fighter craft. There won’t be any more easy victories in the skies.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013



Like the Gryphonians, the Yabaran planned to invade the Earth, but had to cancel when a gigantic asteroid crashed into their planet. Why did they let an asteroid crash into their planet? Instead of doing the smart thing and just using one of their ships to nudge it off course, they tried drilling to the roid’s center and detonating a bomb. They were about a fraction past the surface when the thing crashed into the home world.

In any event, the Yabaran were, unlike the Gryphonians, preparing for direct conflict. Their main force was going to be aquatic. They were going to land deep in the oceans and deploy from there. Though they never materialized, their plans provide a unique opportunity to discuss fighting on Earth’s oceans and waterways.

First off, should you even bother with a sea fleet?

Tough question, but I’m going to recommend it. Keep in mind, the Earthlings have hundreds of subsurface craft, both military and civilian. The military vessels represent some of the most sophisticated weapons systems in the terran arsenal. These ships pack a major punch. They have to be taken out, sooner or later. If you can catch them while they’re in port, then you can destroy them with air or even land forces. But the odds are a large portion of these assets will escape to the open ocean.

You could leave your orbital assets to track and destroy the surface fleet. But that might command too much of their attention, making them unavailable for land targets. And it’s difficult to track a subsurface craft from orbit. The ocean is great at dispersing heat signatures. Wakes can be confused with biologics. The way to corral or eliminate the subsurface vessels is to go into the seas after them.

Another good reason to include a sea fleet in any invasion attempt is several major targets lie next to a shoreline or by a river. It would be useful to have an amphibious landing capability.

As a strategy, it isn’t bad. But what kind of aqua-attack craft should one bring? That’s a good question, and it’s one where the Yabarn made a huge mistake.

Putting together a surface or subsurface fleet is a big chore. Hydrofoils are fast, but they can’t handle rough surf. Same goes for hovercraft. The Yabarn made the worst decision possible. They were going to bring ships that were basically aircraft; they just hovered several meters above the surface of the ocean. If they can fly, keep them at higher altitudes; they can spot more targets from up there. It takes energy to hover above the surface of the water. To float, all a craft has to do is displace more water than it weighs.

I’ll say it until you get tired of hearing it. Hovering craft are easy targets, and they use up energy just standing in one place, energy that could be used for attack or defense. It may seem primitive to use a surface sea fleet, but get over it. Flotation works. So does the wheel.

A large part of the proposed Yabarn invasion fleet was designed to fly, float, dive, and were capable of spaceflight. As much as I applaud the engineering that went into these ships, they were the furthest thing from practical. The open ocean makes a lousy runway. The same choppy surf that makes hovercraft and hydrofoils impractical also makes landing and taking off from water tricky. As for dive capabilities, it’s not the hull integrity or even the shape of the craft that’s a problem. The challenge is that it requires a totally different type of propulsion below the water than when the craft is flying through the atmosphere. Designing a ship that has a drive system that can do both, and still have enough room for shields, weapons, equipment, and – oh, yeah, pilots – is a hassle. And from the plans, I saw these craft could go just about anywhere, but they had so few weapons and such a small crew there wasn’t much they could do once they got there. To top it off, the cost of constructing these craft was way out of proportion to their use on the battlefield. War isn’t about buying fancy toys.

To do it right, you want subsurface craft that resemble their terran counterparts in a lot of ways. They should basically be mechanical fish that rise or sink depending on manipulating their buoyancy. The advantage you’ll have is in better propulsion, handling, and sensors.

Weapons, however, will be very similar. Directed sonic attacks are a possibility. Electricity can be generated in large quantities. The problem is, when you’re submerged, there’s no way to get the charge to go where you want; it’s going to go everywhere at once. Because of water’s distorting effects on directed energy, both sides will be mostly using projectiles or torpedoes.

Surface combat will be at a distance. Even Earth has realized this. Most of their naval encounters now take place beyond the horizon, using long-range missiles and fighter/bombers launched from carrier vessels. The main advantages we have come in the form of shields that render these attacks harmless. The Yabaran realized this, too, and were one of the few invasion forces that planned to use long distance weapons. Though for some reason these weapons packed less punch than the ballistic missiles Earth was using at the time.

You will be involved in some form of naval action on the planet whether you like it or not. The important thing is to treat this like any other battle. The object is to win, not impress the enemy with hovering spacecraft or submarines that fly. If you want to impress your enemy, beat them. A victory always gets attention.

I hear a lot of groans. I know, you have already blown your budgets. You need millions of ground troops, and now you have to worry about a sea fleet. Planetary invasions aren’t cheap. If this is a problem, you might want to try something less taxing.