Author : Beck Dacus

“We noticed from orbit,” said the commander of the fleet form Quijote III, “that you have quite the renovation project going on here, and we have to commend you. Taking on a project of that scale is very admirable. And the foresight that involves! I think we could learn a thing or two from you.”

Earth’s emissary simply stared, slightly frightened at his own confusion. “I… well, I just… what?”

The alien commander stared back. “You know. The warming project. I think it’s very innovative.”

The chattering in the crowd behind them had stopped, the camera flashes becoming more infrequent. “I’m afraid I still don’t know what you’re talking about,” the representative said.

The commander gave what sounded like a series of low belches, the equivalent of a Quijotese chuckle. “Surely you’re aware of the carbon dioxide you’re emitting into the atmosphere, warming the climate and warding off the approaching Ice Age? You see, we don’t have the climate cycles allowing for such a catastrophic event on Quijote III, but I hope we would have come up with the same solution you did. Really remarkable move. You do know, don’t you?”

“Uh, yeah,” the now extremely nervous delegate said to the esteemed alien visitor. “I know.” He raised his communicator to his mouth, and asked his supervising officer, watching in the crowd somewhere, “What should I tell him?”

“Play along,” the officer said from the back of the crowd, sweating abundantly and tapping his foot in an anxious twitch. “Let him think we’re doing it on purpose. We can deal with the media later.”

After the emissary chuckled and subtly bragged about humanity’s little “engineering project,” the crowd roared angrily at the lie, shouting about the treachery of Earth’s government. The confused Quijotese official was led back to his space-to-surface shuttle and ushered back to his starship, sent away before it got too violent… and before he figured out what was going on.

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