Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer

I’m not one to fight against futile odds, no matter what current bravado, ancestral habit or bloody-minded tradition dictates. That creed has taken me from police constable to Colonel in the British Resistance – after we split from the Anti-Alien Battalions. I loved their determination, but uncompromising fanaticism contrary to all evidence became intolerable.
Today I think there might be hope. I’m standing in a car park high on a hill somewhere in Sussex. Behind me is the helicopter gunship that brought me here. In front of me is a green-skinned biped with huge grey eyes stood in front of a silver teardrop the size of a double-decker bus.
My earpiece clicks.
“Well, you were right. Now what?”
Captain Molton, recently ex-AAB, sounds equal parts angry and enthused. He’s still reconciling bigotry with facts, so it’s not surprising.
An F-22 bursts from the low cloud and hurtles down. I swear under my breath. All this effort for an AAB kamikaze in a super-stealth converted Raptor to kill the lot of us before we can even start.
A pale amber beam shoots from the top of the teardrop. A humming fills the air. The F-22 explodes. I duck back towards the gunship, then stop in awe as flaming debris bounce and slide off an invisible dome that shields the car park.
“I do hope he wasn’t a colleague.”
The voice is high-pitched, and has a Texan drawl.
I glance towards the alien, then stand up.
“A former colleague demonstrating why I left the AAB to join BritRes.”
The alien chuckles.
“A wise move for all of us. Your AAB are intractable.”
“They think you should all be killed, along with the sizeable portion of the population who think fighting to the death is a bloody silly idea.”
“Will the population who think otherwise cause trouble?”
“Initially, yes. Depends entirely on what you want, to be honest.”
We’ve been fighting them openly for eight months, and by all accounts a secret war went on for decades before that. In all that time, nobody even tried to ask why.
My earpiece clicks.
“Ask him, her, it, whoever what that amber beam is.”
The alien nods. They can eavesdrop!
“Easier if you call me Adro. As for the beam, I’m surprised you didn’t recognise it. It’s the latest version of a Teleforce projector. Obviously decades of development have allowed us to refine it, but the heart of it still obeys the core principles set down by your visionary Tesla.”
No fucking way!
“A Tesla death ray?”
“It can do more than that. The effect ranges from shutting down a vehicle right up to what you just saw. Bigger installations can exceed his original design capacity of destroying 10,000 targets at 400 kilometres.”
“We bought his work via subterfuge. In 1935, after being dismissed by the US and UK governments, he thought he was entering a contract with Russia via the Amtorg Trading Corporation.”
“You’ve been around for that long?”
“We live about 300 Earth years. This operation is still being run by those who instigated it.”
“To what ends?”
Here it comes.
“Wheatgrass, hemp, and bamboo. Having lost our equivalents long ago, we’ve been looking to replace them. We’d have raided, but we also require human horticultural expertise to adapt them, as such things are long-dead sciences for us.”
Fear, secrecy, and the limitations of men. So much hatred and death could have been avoided.
“First we stop the fighting. Then we get you growing.”
Adro pauses, then nods.
“A good plan. Entirely acceptable.”
The AAB are going to hate this.