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.