Translation:Storyline Final/en

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[intro_sentence1] It is the year 2084. Earth, never the most stable of places, enjoys a time of relative peace. The violent beginnings of the 21st century are far away now; distant memories, but not so distant that they've been forgotten. To most of Earth's people, the Second Cold War is a dark shadow from the past, much like the World Wars were to the children of the late 20th.

[intro_sentence2] Conflicts have gotten rarer near the end of the century as new technology and universal health-care finally became available to the third world. Even the fires of terrorism have cooled in the wake of the Second Cold War, with its horrors and inhumanities still fresh in the minds of the people, from the old United States to the ravaged Indian subcontinent. Class struggles are ascending to the political battlefield now that every nation is guaranteed fair representation in the UN, and the global standard of living is slowly on the rise down to the most impoverished corners of the planet. Countries have solidified, stabilised around a restructured United Nations that successfully polices the world governments. Fragmented clumps of smaller nations, frightened at first by the vast power blocks accumulating around China and the European Union, have banded together into powerful political leagues of their own -- then found themselves with no neighbours they could safely fight. For the first time in the history of mankind, there is law and order across more than three quarters of the world.

[intro_sentence3] To many people on Earth, it seems like things are going all right.

[intro_sentence4] The first attack hits the city of Mumbai on the 3rd of March, 2084. Six small UFOs appear out of nowhere and come screaming down from orbit, undetected by the vast radar installations covering the skies over Mumbai, and set down in the single most densely-populated city on Earth. They offer no warning, no explanation. Twenty thousand innocent civilians and three battalions of elite troops are massacred over the course of twelve brutal hours before massed Commonwealth soldiers manage to bring the aliens' advance to a standstill. Then, as suddenly as they appeared, they retreat to their craft and vanish back into orbit, leaving only the ravaged streets of Mumbai as evidence.

[intro_sentence5] An emergency meeting of the UN provides no conclusive direction. The incursions continue faster, larger and more savage than before, this time in Bonn, Johannesburg and Bangkok. Some nations attempt diplomacy, sending messages in a thousand different languages to the aliens ravaging across the countryside. Their words are ignored. Within hours, all three cities are emptied of human life. The attack is over by the time the various militaries are given permission to strike back. The aliens leave nothing behind them but concrete and blood. All the UFOs disappear without a trace -- but no one doubts they'll be back.

[intro_sentence6] Eighty-seven hours after the initial attack on Mumbai, Earth declares war. For two weeks, the armies of humanity each try to fend off the mysterious alien attackers to the best of their ability. They score precious few successes.

[intro_sentence7] Left with only one alternative, the UN takes action. Ancient equipment is dusted off, some of it more than a century old, and the long-defunct anti-extraterrestrial agency of the former United States -- PHALANX -- is resurrected under a new UN banner. Its sworn duty is to combat the alien threat, and to ensure the survival of the human race at all costs.

[intro_sentence8] Funded by all eight of the political powers, and drawing its soldiers from the elite of their armies, PHALANX is the best of the best. It is Earth's first and only line of defence. It can't afford to fail; because if it does, humanity doesn't stand a chance.

(See intro for translations.)

Ufopedia entries

"Political Situation Before The Invasion"

In the year 2084, Earth is in better shape than it has been for more than a century. Perhaps for the first time, peace and cooperation are the norm rather than the exception. The current state of affairs, however, can only be explained through the brutal history of the 21st century.

In the first decade of the 21st, the Middle-East was the greatest concern of nations around the world. Tensions increased when Iran, Syria, Jordan and Afghanistan formed the Middle-Eastern alliance, a political body to unite the Islamic world. Soon after, democratic elections in Iraq caused the United States to lose control of the country, and Iraq joined the Middle-Eastern Alliance along with Pakistan and Lebanon later that year. In a panic, Israel threw in its lot with the expanding European Union, thus forcing itself to abide by increasingly strict EU laws on human rights and warfare. Its military presence in the region was significantly reduced over the years as a result.

However, as 2009 turned into 2010, attentions turned away from the Middle-East as the increasingly bold power grabs by China started to make waves. The People's Republic had been nibbling away at its neighbours for several years, but in December of 2010, after decades of harsh words and grim promises, Taiwan was finally conquered by a full-scale Chinese military invasion. The UN gave several sternly-worded reprimands which were summarily ignored. The international community debated the issue at length, and did nothing.

The Second Cold War between the old United States and China began when China annexed North and South Korea in 2012, after secret agents managed to disable North Korea's entire nuclear arsenal for the length of the three-day invasion. The well-trained and equipped People's Army vastly outnumbered the Korean divisions; they occupied both countries long before the Koreans could even begin to receive aid from overseas. The move drew even more ire from the UN and cooled diplomatic relations between China and Russia for decades to come.

Tensions around the world remained high during the length of the Second Cold War, with rebellions the order of the day in the newly-subjugated Chinese territories, but ultimately neither China nor the US was ready to commit to nuclear annihilation.

The war technically came to an end in 2031, as the US economy crumbled under a crushing military budget and deficit interest rates that exceeded the country's entire gross national product. Meanwhile, having become increasingly liberal during the Cold War years, China took on the mantle of world leader without knowing quite what to do with it. Its leaders perhaps became drunk with power, a little too hungry, a little too proud. Using the army to try and enforce their decision, they attempted to revert the country to the brutal Stalinist oppression of the 20th century. The people did not approve.

The ensuing civil war was like nothing Earth had ever seen. Officers often referred to it as the bastard child of Vietnam and the First World War. It saw firebombing of entire populations, mass executions of prisoners of war, and tactical nuclear strikes on several cities -- including Shanghai, Seoul and New Delhi -- on 7 June 2034. Government loyalists dropped a total of six 50-kiloton devices on heavily-defended rebel positions, including the civilian populations the rebels were protecting.

The loyalist army suffered massive desertions in the days that followed; it was the single event that eventually spelled doom for the government. More than six million lives were lost before the surrender of loyalist forces on 15 August 2036, having fought tooth and nail and employed large-scale scorched earth tactics as the rebels slowly drove them into the Indian Ocean. This is the official ending of the Second Cold War.

"After the War"

The Asian Republic

In the years that followed, the reformed Republic of China -- taking up its old, pre-Communist name -- slowly relinquished its conquered territories, including those seized in centuries past, offering them a choice between independence or a seat on the new governmental council as an equal and respected part of the new Republic. Having fought on the rebel side throughout the civil war, Taiwan was the first to merge with the new Republic, reconciling its differences with the mainland after the Communist government surrendered. Taiwan quickly became a major player in the new council and was instrumental in sending the captured government leaders off to The Hague to face a war crimes tribunal. North Korea, another rebel nation, also elected to remain in the Republic, sensing opportunities for greater economic growth and freedom from dictatorship. They would not be disappointed.
The resurgence of the Chinese economy was dubbed a miracle by contemporary historians. The first breakthroughs in nanotechnology were made by Chinese researchers, bringing in vast medical-industrial contracts from all over the world. Despite old hatreds and mistrust, other east-Asian nations slowly joined the Republic, which was soon redubbed the Asian Republic to honour its new members. Even Japan eventually joined to bolster its flagging economy and a population which had dwindled through the war years. The Republic continued mostly true to its principles with the civil war still fresh in mind. Over the years it made a reputation for dealing with all its member nations in good faith, and built enough trust and solidarity that it can now speak with a single voice for all the billions of people of south-east Asia.
Today, the Asian Republic's economy has all but recovered due to the commercialisation of nanotech and holographics. It still possesses a strong and up-to-date military, trained to a higher standard than any other country.

The Revolutionary Countries

With the successive fall of both the United States and China, Socialism in South-America waxed and waned during the post-war years. The US's economic death brought on a surge of revolutionary fervor, swaying several nations away from the influence of capitalism. However, with a democratic framework already halfway in place in most countries, the ideal of rule of the people could for the first time be realised without corruption. This new wave proposed to unite the principles of democracy with true Socialist ideals.
The whole continent watched in horror at the nuking of Shanghai during the Second Cold War, televised all over the globe right up to the final second. The new wave suffered another major blow when China fell. In that, everyone could see a first-hand example of what might happen to the revolution if it went the way of dictatorship and totalitarianism. It didn't take long for the leaders to respond.
Several dictator-led countries immediately tried to turn on the thumbscrews, trying to head off a rebellion before it began, which caused a huge backlash in the larger democratic nations, particularly Cuba, Brazil and Argentina. Suddenly, the last remaining kings of South-America were left with no friends at all.
One by one, they caved to public and political pressure and were replaced by elected houses. The revolution picked up speed instead of losing it; they encouraged greater trade, closer integration, and eventually followed Europe's example of open borders. A new network of highways all over the continent strengthened economies and allowed far more efficient use of arable land. South-America's natural riches were tapped like never before, and they demanded fair prices for every bit of it.
Today, the member nations have merged so closely that they are better known as a single body: the Revolutionary Countries. One joint government represents the entire continent, and they manage an economical juggernaut surpassed only by the Greater European Union. Their military is small but has state-of-the-art equipment. Their training is not exceptional.

United America

As the US economy started to break down in the late 2020s, more and more people abandoned the country for the greener pastures of Canada and, ironically, Mexico. The value of the dollar plummeted to unprecedented depths, impoverishing millions until its price was fixed by the IMF and the international banking community. The country was then saddled with a brutal reform plan, requiring it to sell off or mothball over half of its military arsenal. To cope with the repayment on sixteen trillion dollars of debt, its interest rate was frozen and its exports shifted to technology and luxury goods. Successful restructuring of NASA, combined with a functional spaceplane prototype, also turned outer space into a money-maker for the post-collapse US. Cape Canaveral began offering the cheapest space launches anywhere on the planet, first with their prototype, later with fully-functional advanced spaceplane designs. This significantly helped the beleaguered country claw its way back towards the black.
The cooperation between North-American nations began with financial aid from Canada and Mexico, which saw their exports to the US dipping dangerously and wanted to help fix their most important trading partner. The growing number of expatriates also served to create closer ties. Then, in the most unexpected political turnaround in 2042, Mexico elected the US expatriate Esteban Villa-Lobos Garcia to the office of president.
The election was hotly contested. However, the decision held through two recounts, and the new president was inaugurated in July of 2042. Eventually, a combination of sound policies and personal charisma brought most of the country around on Garcia; and then he proposed the Tomorrow Plan.
Under the plan, Mexico, Canada and the USA would unite into one country to reawaken the North American superpower. In a number of controversial public votes, the general population in all three countries gave majority support for the Tomorrow Plan; 52% in the United States, 64% in Canada, and 71% in Mexico. The merger was eventually finalised in 2050, creating a United America out of the dominant powers of the New World. The booming space industry quickly spread throughout the new country, and despite a few stumbles along the way, North America steamed headlong towards recovery.
Today, UA's debt has decreased from sixteen trillion to two, and standards of living have nearly recovered to what they were before the crash. UA has the most advanced space industry on the planet; NASA performs almost 70% of commercial space launches around the globe. It exports vast quantities of goods to every other nation and is projected to return to solvency in less than three years. Militarily, the UA is the weakest of all the meganations. It has only a small volunteer army and a tiny defence budget as mandated by the IMF. However, what forces the UA does have are highly-trained and can turn on a dime, able to reach any place in the country within two hours.

The Greater European Union

Slowly but surely, the European Union has expanded borders further and further with every passing decade. It first moved into the Middle-East when it accepted Israel as an associate member in 2011, and then upgraded both Israel and Turkey to full membership in 2017. Several Atlantic islands were also accepted in the same resolution, making it the single greatest EU expansion of the 21st century.
Following Israel's controversial entrance as an associate member, the EU passed stricter laws on human rights, freedom of religion and separation of church and state. It was also the first Western superpower to officially recognise the Middle-Eastern Alliance, and fostered close relations with the Alliance -- despite United States protests -- in the hope of reducing culture clash and the ongoing threat of terrorism. For the most part, they were successful.
In 2028, Greenland -- having grown strong due to immigration from the United States -- formally declared its independence from Denmark. No battles were fought; the Danish government grudgingly recognised the independence due to political pressure from other European countries. In the following months, Greenland briefly considered joining the US as a protectorate, but reconsidered when the EU offered a full membership. This, along with the defection of several US island protectorates in the Atlantic, impelled the EU to rename itself the 'Greater European Union'.
In the aftermath of the Second Cold War, the GEU has always been on the forefront of political development. It was the only Western nation to second the Middle-Eastern Alliance's vote of no confidence on the old United Nations, after the UN's complete failure to act during the Chinese expansion and eventual civil war. The GEU also strongly supported the Alliance's efforts to create a new UN, providing fair representation to all the world's nations, and with enough teeth to live up to the principles under which it was first created.
Today, the GEU is the strongest economical and political force in the world. However, its vast bureaucracy and large number of members -- members who don't always see eye-to-eye -- make it slow to manoeuvre in every way. Its military is large and powerful but poorly-integrated, with each individual army sticking to the language and traditions of their country. Military cooperation is difficult to achieve and requires going through huge amounts of red tape. The GEU contributes a majority of UN troops, but they are only ever used as peacekepeers. Whether or not the GEU militaries have lost their 'edge' has been a subject of hot debate in Brussels for many years, and there appears to be no decision in sight.

The Middle-Eastern Alliance

The rise of the Middle-Eastern Alliance was a surprise to everyone, including the people involved. It was designed solely to weaken Western influence in the Middle-East. The principal designers and first members -- Iran, Syria, Jordan and Afghanistan -- never meant the Alliance to last more than a decade, by which time they expected it to fragment and disband under the weight of its own differences.
The Second Cold War changed everything. The People's Republic of China was no longer a nearby ally against the West; it became an expanding threat with an appetite, casting hungry eyes on Nepal, chunks of India, and possibly even the sovereign states on China's western border. Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan rushed into the arms of the Alliance in order to guard themselves against invasion. The Arabian subcontinent joined the Alliance not a year later, seeking to expand their political pull with the West. Without even realising it, they had formed a power block covering nearly the entire Middle-East. Their position was simply too good to allow it to crumble.
The expanded Alliance, now recognised by the European Union, stepped onto the international stage with knife in hand. They had a stranglehold on most of the world's remaining oil supplies and the will to exploit it.
The Alliance's economic power grew as outside oil reserves dwindled. Pharmaceutical manufacturers packed up in droves and moved to the Middle-East, the only place left in the world where oil was cheap and plentiful. This, along with the many other applications of crude oil, allowed the Middle-East to survive the Russian 'nuclear revolution' and the subsequent worldwide migration to nuclear power. It continued its expansion with Egypt, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and disputed chunks of Africa around the Red Sea. The entire Red Sea region was quickly pacified when the Alliance moved in its military to assist the new African members.
Today, the spread of prosperity has turned the Middle-East away from dogma and towards secular law and gender equality. It is still ruled by individuals -- Sultans, Emirs, Maliks, Presidents and Generals -- but their personal power is kept in check by the rest of the Alliance, rulers who do not want their colleagues stepping out of line. Political dissent is tolerated due to pressure from the EU and other nations, but even in 2084 few of the Alliance's member nations have a functioning democratic process.
The Alliance military is large, fast and mean. It is one of the most elite and well-equipped forces in the world, and it uses more permissive rules of engagement than either United America or the Asian Republic. Their clause for 'acceptable civilian casualties' has been the source of huge amounts of criticism from across the world, but the Alliance has stubbornly maintained this clause throughout the four decades it has been in effect.

New Africa

Born out of violence and strife, New Africa found its unification in separation. It languished onwards for three decades into the 21st century, as it had done for far too long, with its civil wars and ethnic purges and atrocities beyond measure. That is, until several central-African nations undertook a massive project in 2039 to break the notorious diamond cartels and seize their revenue for long-term national improvement.
It resulted in a military and economic bloodbath. The UN attempted various measures to stop the fighting but, even more toothless than ever before, it accomplished nothing. However, the league of nations was eventually joined by several others, tired of being pushed around by Western conglomerates, and after several years of bitter fighting they were successful in taking down the cartels one by one. This left them with some of the largest, most advanced diamond and gold mines in the world; it made their combined territory the largest single supplier of natural diamonds in the world. It also gave them a new sense of what they could accomplish together. The core of New Africa was born.
All the African nations involved in the anti-cartel war, with the exception of territories loyal to the Commonwealth of Oceania and the Middle-Eastern Alliance, began to work much more closely together, taking cues from South-America in building a dependable road network to fuel trade and communication. It also allowed a much better distribution of food. Over the next thirty years, New Africa completely eliminated famine within its borders, which it changed completely to accomodate ethnicity and a desire for independence within its territories, and brought socialised public health-care to its people at near-ruinous cost. However, it also found new exports in the commercialised, sustainable growth of tropical hardwood and exotic fruit. The new cooperation made price agreements across the continent possible for the first time; like the Revolutionary Countries, New Africa forced the rest of the world to pay fairly for all goods and services.
Today, New Africa is still the weakest of the great powers economically, but it is growing fast. It has a large, motivated standing army, but the troops are not well-equipped, armed mostly with former US antiques and even century-old Soviet equipment. They also have trouble getting to remote locations due to frequent equipment failures and the continent's difficult geography. Most of the time, the best the New Africans can do is spot UFOs as they land with one of thousands of scouts and small patrols out in the country to combat poaching and smuggling.


Russia took decades to recover from the fall of the Soviet Union and the ravages of the Soviet system on the country's economy. It festered like an open wound for the first half of the 21st century, still trying to quash the constant rebellions in Chechnya, still trying to reform after 70 years of state domination, still trying to get back its lost position as a world superpower.
Things finally started getting better for Russia when then-prime minister Yevgeny Karamazov granted complete independence to Chechnya in 2047. While the newly official Chechen Republic imploded in a storm of violence about who exactly should rule, Russia turned away and set itself to fixing its own problems, leaving Chechnya to itself -- and to the new and improved UN, which immediately took an interest in trying to stop the bloodshed. Unfortunately that wouldn't happen for a long time, and even then Chechnya could only return to Russia's sphere of influence, but for the first time it did so as a fully-recognised independent voice.
Economic salvation for Russia -- especially with oil supplies from the Middle-East dwindling -- began with drilling the country's own oil in Siberia, with new techniques and equipment able to survive the harsh winter conditions, and later with the construction of a series of new nuclear power plants. Russia invested heavily in research to make the new plants smaller, safer and -- more importantly -- sustainable. This involved a switch from enriched uranium to thorium as the main nuclear fuel for all the new Russian plants, and advanced new designs based upon the 'energy amplifier', a new type of fission reactor first test-built near Rome from 2004 to 2011. Two of the new reactors even consumed plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons and from the stored waste of older power plants.
Then, eight years after the Chechen independence, Russia's 'nuclear revolution' really came into its own with the invention of the depleted element postprocessor, which could convert 90% of an energy amplifier's waste into radiation-free elements in weeks instead of centuries. The Russians ended the age-old energy crisis almost overnight; nuclear fission became safe, relatively clean, and global thorium supplies would see the world clear into the year 3000.
Today, many of the ex-Soviet republics have rejoined Russia, following the example of the other great nations, eager to take advantage of the power generation and nuclear technology that are now Russia's main exports. The nuclear revolution continues even today with the gradual development and commercialisation of fusion power. Though its economy is still troubled, the country is now in better shape than it has been for centuries -- whether under the khans, the czars or the Soviets. Its military is somewhat antiquated but highly-trained, well-disciplined and professional, and it does not lack for manpower.

The Commonwealth of Oceania

The Commonwealth of Nations, a political organisation made up of most of the countries of the old British Empire, lost a great deal of power going into the Second Cold War. First, Pakistan cut its ties to the Commonwealth when joining the Middle-Eastern Alliance. Then, as the United States crashed and burned, Britain and Canada became more and more concerned with their own parts of the world and let their participation dwindle to nothing. By 2030, they were members in name only.
The growing power of China throughout the war caused a huge expansion in military budgets for India and Australia, budgets which their economies had trouble supporting. Then, in 2035, India became one more battlefield in the Chinese civil war. Veteran government troops easily defeated the Indian military in several short but bloody engagements and seized most of the country while the rebels pursued.
Australia pledged a full-scale military intervention along with several South-African Commonwealth members. After weeks of brutal fighting, the Australian divisions managed to link up with Chinese rebel forces and the surviving regiments of the Indian army, and together they nearly annihilated the governmental army before the surrender in 2036.
The cost was high. The conquered parts of India were a wasteland, the country had no government left after the nuking of New Delhi, and famines were already starting to grip the population. It began ceding worthless parts of land to other nations and gave independence to several small regions along its border. The remaining Commonwealth nations undertook the vast task of reconstructing India, though many abandoned the project and the Commonwealth in favour of the other growing superpowers.
The reconstruction of India eventually united the Commonwealth into one great nation, taking advantage of their geographic location around the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific to charge strategic tariffs for ships passing through their waters. Commonwealth shipping, on the other hand, was free from tariffs and quickly rose to dominance in the competitive market. Later, with the breaking of the diamond cartels in Africa, the Commonwealth seized several leaderless mines inside its borders and used them to their full potential.
Today, the Commonwealth of Nations is better known as the 'Commonwealth of Oceania' or just 'Oceania'. Since its inception it has accepted several non-Commonwealth countries into its midst, notably Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Indonesia, extending its control over the Oceanian waters. While it still can't compete economically with the richer nations, it has carved out its own niche, and is quite happy to go on prospering in it.
Oceania's military consists mainly of a powerful navy. Its land army is minuscule compared to that of any nation except United America, and serves only in a defensive capacity, with average training and equipment. However, it can respond fairly quickly in emergency situations.

techtree entry

tech news_initial_political_situation
	type news
	name "_Political situation before the invasion"
	description "_news_initial_political_situation_txt"
	up_chapter news

	requires_AND { initialaaa }
	time 0

"PHALANX And The Mumbai Aftermath"

"Project PHALANX" was first conceived by the United States Department of Defense in 1955, after years of growing concern over increased numbers of UFO sightings all across the world. The possibility of an alien invasion plagued badly on the minds of politicians already unnerved by the nuclear power of the Soviet Union. The existence of hostile extraterrestrial life in the universe seemed a very remote possibility, even moreso that these hostiles might find Earth among all the vastness of space -- but could America afford to take that chance?

The project's proponents spent two years building support among the highest levels of power. Finally, in 1957, PHALANX received its first funding allocation. A significant chunk of the year's 'black budget' went to the construction of an advanced underground complex in the Nevada desert somewhere in the territory of Nellis Air Force Base. The complex was named "PHALANX Pacific Operations Command", loaded with state-of-the-art equipment, and staffed with the best and brightest to hammer out how best to combat an extraterrestrial incursion into US soil.

The project was a rousing success in its formative years, developing ground-breaking technologies and producing working prototypes of things the world had never seen before, all for a fraction of the costs that civilian contractors would run up. Due to its very nature, PHALANX was the subject of yearly budget battles, but its R&D successes always gave the project a reason to continue even for the most hardline practicalists.

However, the world moved on while PHALANX kept preparing for something that never happened. The Vietnam war saw a tremendous upsurge in military spending, almost none of which was allocated to PHALANX or similar projects, who saw their own budgets slashed and burned in the face of war. Despite repeated requests for more funding, the Joint Chiefs dismissed the outlandish 1950s program as 'pie-in-the-sky' spending and let it continue only because of its research efforts. Most of the remaining funding went to keep old equipment serviced and the labs running, if only barely.

PHALANX never quite recovered after the war. They would never again have the budgets they had in the '50s; the glory years were over. They supplied some new technology used in the Gulf War, and experienced brief uptick during the opening years of the 21st century due to soaring US military budgets, but after these brief spurts of creativity the project would again fade into obscurity.

The Second Cold War drained away the last life left in the project. Its commanders struggled to keep it going without even the money to keep their aircraft in the sky, but even the invention of artificial spider silk couldn't save them from the United States' crashing economy. The country's slide into ruin necked every 'non-essential' military program in the country, one by one, and PHALANX was finally stricken from the budget in 2027. It was five months away from its 70th anniversary. The staff was dismissed, the base dismantled, the unique equipment mothballed and thrown into storage. The project was quickly forgotten.

Until it was rediscovered on 9 March 2084 by an old man who remembered reading about it in a dusty file in his long-demolished office.

The horror and enormity of the events in Mumbai shocked the world. The existence of intelligent alien life in the universe was no longer a matter of faith. Not only did it exist, it had made contact in the worst way. The massacres were too large and visible for Earth's governments to keep them secret. Video evidence of the smoking, blood-stained streets aired on television sets around the world. The aliens had left no other evidence of their visit; they diligently recovered their dead and collected every scrap of dropped technology before pulling out.

Panic spread like wildfire in the wake of the Mumbai broadcasts, and things got worse as word reached the general public about the slaughter in Bonn, Johannesburg and Bangkok. The world knew it had been visited, and now it began to realise it was under attack.

The quest for solutions was frantic. The United Nations remained in session continuously for over a week. Plans were drawn up and burnt down with lightning speed. The world was completely defenceless against an alien invasion, both militarily and psychologically. No one had prepared for this. It was one of the forgotten doomsday scenarios that sat crumbling to dust in the back closet of some strategic planning office, unread and unheeded. Now, however, the public demanded answers that no one knew, action that no one could provide.

The UN could agree only on a few token gestures; at the order of the Security Council, NASA evacuated International Space Stations 1 and 2, as well as the permanent colony on the moon. The entire range of planned missions to Mars was stricken from the calendar. On all the matters that counted, the UN was deadlocked. Some nations wanted to build massive orbital defences while others insisted they should be permitted to use nuclear missiles for UFO interception. Still others had even more outlandish projects to push. The situation grew worse as the days wore on, until one aging diplomat remembered the PHALANX project.

With full access to the old US files, the UN was shocked to find plans, designs, equipment and training manuals; a fully-detailed response to an invasion scenario. They immediately decided to revive PHALANX and equip it to defend Earth from the alien threat. However, everyone who was once a part of PHALANX was either dead or dying. They were going to need a new staff.

By unanimous vote, it was decided to keep the project as secret as possible, known only to the highest-ranking politicians and military commanders in the world. The public was comforted with smokescreens and sweet lies while a hand-picked team of operatives from all over the world struggled to resurrect PHALANX and whip it back into fighting trim. Old equipment was tracked down and recovered from gutted warehouses, crumbling manuals were dusted off, and stockpiles of weapons were reassembled for use. With the secret backing of all eight great powers, the project had funding, support and the men it needed to go to war.

All it lacked was a leader.