Author: Dylan Otto Krider
The lands of Diika and Igbo had been trying to eradicate each other for time immemorial for reasons no one remembered except for the last tat for their tit.
One day, a tiny ball bearing came down from the sky and landed on the lawn of Gand, the leader of Diika. Once it lodged in the ground, the bearing grew to a full-sized robot. The only robots Gand knew were in factories, mostly making weapons to kill the Igbo. This was obviously some alien technology, far beyond his own. He thought to himself, “I wonder if this would finally get rid of my Igbo problem once and for all,” so he ordered his scientists to study it.
The robot was easy to figure out, almost if it came with an instruction manual. They outfitted the robots with Gatling guns, and this indestructible armor made with this alloy they reverse engineered from the robot. They reversed engineered the fusion reactors, too, which were far beyond the petroleum engines made at that time.
The only thing they couldn’t replicate was the hub that controlled the microscopic machines, so they had to replicate themselves. You see, the ball bearing contained the little, tiny robots, which you could see under a microscope. Every time he built another robot, the tiny robots grabbed raw materials from the surrounding area, and built another hub, molecule by molecule. It was the only technology the Diika couldn’t reverse engineer.
No matter. Gand built an army of about a million soldiers, and Gand placed them on the border of the Igbo, ready to invade, and Gand thanked the gods for seeing fit to land that ball bearing on his lawn.
The robot army invaded Igbo. There was no resistance, and were positioned outside the Igbo capitol for the final push. Gand got so secure in his coming victory, he started planning his parade. Then, his general came in with bad news. “The Igbo army has surrounded the capitol,” he said.
“But how,” Gand said. He had the best detection technology in the world. No one could enter the country without his knowing about it. Gand went on the balcony and scanned the army marching towards him: the Igbo had an army of robots, too. Gand ordered his army to attack the Igbo; if he was going down, he would take them with them.
His army disobeyed.
As did the Igbo’s.
The capital ship was waiting just outside the solar system, and once his army gave the signal the planet was under their control, he landed and called a peace summit between Diika and Igbo.
“In our travels, we have found that when we make contact, planets without a unified government end up with nations trying to outdo each other, jockeying for position, and starts a catastrophic war.” It was an intercom doing the talking; the aliens had yet to present themselves. “Taking over the planet ourselves with a superior army doesn’t work because our defenses are geared toward our own weapons. Once, our shields were entirely geared to blocking phasers, only to find this planet was using artillery, which went through the shields. We found it is best to give them the means to build their own weapons. Who knows better than how to take over themselves, but themselves? Once we take over, we find them much more manageable and open to compromise. So far, every planet has found the promise of the ultimate weapon too great not to fall for the ruse.” The two delegates exchanged looks. “Shall we begin?”