Alien Newsletter #21: On the Market
In which our alien witnesses one war, puzzles through many stories and comes to no discernible conclusion
Network Note: As we have detected over the past year of observation, it is not the habit of our alien to revisit the same topic twice. However, the ongoing hostilities in between Russia and the Ukraine, now in their third week without any signs of stopping, have apparently inspired it to take a second look. From what its transmissions to its home species indicates, the alien apparently sees as much confusion and uncertainty on the ground as we humans do. But apparently, our alien also appears to have developed a unique if somewhat derivative plan for the region that may end up benefiting one group of long-suffering entities, showing once again that one race’s misery can end up being another’s advantage.
The world that I have been thrust into has no shortage of fights, conflicts and competitions, some which are spoken about in hushed tones, others which are greatly and joyously anticipated and yet others which apparently the Greatest Apes go to great lengths to avoid altogether, though they may creep underneath the surface of their daily activity, ready to erupt at a moment’s notice. As for the latter, they apparently seize all the attention of the Greatest Apes, for better or for worse. It is as if a switch has flipped inside of them, and all of a sudden, they are posting flags as their digital avatars, sending large sums of money to strangers they have never met and aligning themselves in ad hoc communities to adjust to the brand new reality such conflicts engender. Prior to this moment, it was the ongoing pandemic. However, it is now the Russia-Ukraine War, which directly lands atop a terrain of land which has not seen coordinated destruction on this scale since the middle of the last century.
Since the last time I communicated with you, I have learned a bit more about the basis behind the current hostilities than before. And I can assure you that Big Ban P is no longer mashing grapes on the borders of Central Eastern Kleptocratic Plate 1. The destruction and the attendant misery has been immense, and just like the pandemic, no group of people have been entirely spared from its repercussions. Since the beginnings of the hostilities on February 24th, a massive refugee crisis has hit the countries immediately bordering the Ukraine as displaced people search for safety. In the meantime, those who have stayed have armed themselves against the other side, holding on for the moment to their main cities, Kiev and Kharkiv as of the time of this communication. But the Russians, initially underestimating the level of resistance they ended up receiving, (perhaps not a surprising assumption, considering the trivial reoccupation of Greater Civilizational Fault Region #2 evidenced by the world barely a year earlier.) have shifted into a brutal and punishing ground and air assault.
Of course, you might be wondering why this is happening in the first place. Certainly, the conflict took quite a few people who had been distracted by many other catastrophes small and large by surprise. From what I gather, Big Ban P of CEKP1 has long considered the Ukraine as its own sovereign territory and even as far back as 2014 had attempted to manipulate its politics to correspond with his wishes. However, this initial attempt failed, and in response, he seized several landmasses so as to make this point. However, the Ukrainians have by and large rejected its overtures, preferring to join forces with an entity named NATO. No, this is not the similarly-named creature that swallowed up the sun on Mizar-5 only to vomit it into the gravity well of Andromeda 2 several light years away, spattering foul-smelling bits and pieces along several solar systems on its way there. Apparently this is, from what I can deduce, a more protective terrestrial alliance for which the current leader of Northern Hemisphere Plate 2 provides much of the aggressive force. This has been debated back and forth as to whether or not the Ukraine should be brought into NATO or not. Over the past few decades, several different landmasses that were once part of the Soviet Union, the CEKP1’s initial 20th century incarnation, have joined it. Big Ban P seems particularly insistent that it should not.
The response of NATO nations and the NHP2 has been swift and severe, if not altogether comprehensive. Yachts have been seized, bank accounts frozen — however much of NATO’s oil and gas, which provides the lifeblood for their economies, is inconveniently supplied by Big Ban P. Moreover, NHP2 has pledged not to commit ground or air forces at the moment, given the potential for a disastrous escalation to occur. Given that, this struggle could fester for many years without much resolution.
Which leads me to a proposition. It is the customary habit of CEKP1 to utterly annihilate the spaces it attempts to absorb. As it turns out, there are several areas in the Ukraine, including a poisoned patch of land called Wormwood by some tongues, I’ve been told, that, should they be disrupted, could turn the area into a blighted wasteland. However, this may only apply for the Greatest Apes. As you may recall, floating around our lunar system has been a nomadic race of dust clouds, homeless ever since the Great Vacuum Catastrophe of the Cassiopeian Era swallowed up their home planet and most of their race. Should the Greatest Apes end up making this entire area uninhabitable, either through bombing Wormwood and/or another one of the four nuclear plants (which almost happened just a week ago) I recommend repatriating the dust clouds to this terrain. It will have to be a closed-off area to the humans, because upon their entry, the dust clouds will create an environment where none of the usual rules of physics apply. Moreover, they will find an abandoned factory and create a room there where any Greatest Ape can go in and have their ultimate wishes fulfilled. And of course, the Greatest Apes will have to guard this from interlopers who will smuggle desperate, existentially haunted searchers there to…
Wait, what’s that?
Oh, okay. You’ve seen this movie before. In fact the GAs at CEKP1 did a remake even, how was I supposed to know?
Any rate, I would seriously consider regarding this area, if not the whole planet, as a potential space of prime, if extremely disturbed, real estate, with availability perhaps sooner than expected. We may not have to wait for climate change to clear the land of all this terrain’s current residents. Speaking strictly for myself, I’d rather see the Greatest Apes persevere for at least a little longer, but as I mentioned in the last communication, the odds of most living species that take as many reckless chances as they do surviving long-term are not all that great. However, they are nothing if not a surprisingly resilient and amazingly lucky lifeform. All the same, I’d suggest looking into some waterfront property around the Black Sea all the same. I find Yalta a particularly attractive prospect myself.
Aboard the ISS, murmurs amongst Russian cosmonauts of abandoning the ugly American.
A new persistent image vision from a (disputed) GA I suggest we expatriate at one point, should he so choose, will premiere.
I fondly recall playing similar games in the asteroid belt adjacent to our second moon. It’s a shame such activities are now banned by Galactic Enforcement.
Incomplete, but not a bad sketch of this particular solar system.