Peace by Arkawy, Norman
BY NORMAN ARKAWY AND STANLEY HENIG
_We bid you welcome, Earthmen! Take your rightful place beside us, share our peaceful existence. By your endless struggles you have earned it_.
[Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from Worlds of If Science Fiction, October 1954. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]
_Peace Communique No 1.--Abilene--April 1, 2049_
The war is over. Iverson is safely exiled on asteroid 14, and the other leaders of the aggressor forces--Cartwright, Briande, Remberg, Kiang and Risofsky--are all in confinement on their respective space islands. Peace has been restored to the system: on Rios and on Nwad.
(signed) SER GULLA Sup. AC Rios Adm.
* * * * *
AC Pamphlet PIE Rios No. 1-1-1 10 APR 49 RT
REPORT TO THE PEOPLE OF RIOS
On March 29, 2049 (Rios Time), the Rios-Nwadian war ended.
This report on the recent conflict has been prepared by the Bureau of Public Information and Education, Rios Branch, for the purpose of enlightening the inhabitants of Rios about the War, its causes, and the proposed policy of the Nwadian government concerning the administration of your planet.
In order to provide for full understanding by the people of Rios, Riosic terminology shall be used wherever possible in this report. Thus, Rios shall be called 'Earth', Nwad shall be designated 'Venus', and all dates, measurements and other data which are different on the two planets shall be indicated according to the Riosic calculation.
* * * * *
The War ended on March 29, 2049 when the last Earthian troops surrendered to the Venusian peace forces.
When did the War begin? The first battle was fought on December 18, 2048, but the first 'incident' that led directly to the conflict occurred in November, 2042. And even before that date, many years before, officials on Venus knew that war between the two worlds was inevitable.
Space scientists of Venus have been observing Earth for hundreds of years. The first space ship to reach your planet and return to Venus made its voyage in the Earth year, 1891. From that time on, explorations were made sporadically until the 1950's, when revolutionary improvements in the design of our ships made possible more economical and faster trips.
It is an interesting coincidence, incidentally, that atomic power was discovered on Earth just as we on Venus had made atomic driven spacecraft obsolete by the introduction of the magnetico-gravitational drive. This fact is mentioned because it was the evidence of atomic explosions on Earth that increased our interest in your planet a century ago.
In all our observations of Earth, the most obvious fact we learned was that its dominant race was aggressive and war-like in nature. Having no desire to introduce this war-mindedness to our peaceful world, we avoided all contact with Earth.
We realized, however, that in time the Earth race would accomplish space travel and thus force a contact with us. Therefore, we devised highly potent weapons for our defense in the event that the people of Earth ever stopped quarreling among themselves and attempted an attack on our world.
High officials in our government were appalled at the thought of war with its chaotic and indiscriminate killing. There were those who deemed it an actual act of aggression on our part to arm ourselves in preparation for a war. The opposition to our defense program was strong. Yet, it was our preparedness which saved our civilization from destruction when your forces launched their invasion of our planet last year.
* * * * *
To understand the events which led to The War, it is best that we briefly review the history of space travel by Earthians. In the year 2002, the six remaining nations of the Earth formed the Federation to abolish war and to enable the people of your planet to put forth a united effort to discover the secret of interplanetary travel. This endeavour, in itself, was considered by our leaders to be most creditable. But the entire pattern of your development, observed for many centuries, instilled seeds of doubt in our minds. You were conditioned to war and the mere establishment of a Federation to monitor the future was not adequate insurance, we felt, against further conflict. In your concentration on conquering space, however, you did stop warring among yourselves.
Space travel from Earth began thirty-eight years ago. The first successful trip to Luna and back was made in 2011, and by 2020 the Lunar space port was opened. It was in 2020, also, that the space ship, Pioneer, left for Mars. It was never heard from again.
Unsuccessful attempts to travel to the other planets were made during the years 2021-2027. The Pioneer II, bound for Mars, the Adventurer, bound for Mars, and the Enterprise, bound for Venus, all disappeared without a trace.
In September, 2028, the Space King returned to Earth after completing a voyage to Mars. The ship landed safely, but the excited celebration that greeted it was short-lived when it was discovered that the entire crew was afflicted with a neurological disease that your Earth scientists labeled 'space sickness'. This disease posed a new obstacle to interplanetary travel. It attacked indiscriminately and it proved fatal in almost every case.
Research and experimentation on the cause and cure of 'space sickness' was carried on continuously from the time the Space King returned with its dying crew until the disease was conquered in 2041. During these years, the experimental ships Enterprise II, Razorback, and Space King II were utilized as laboratories in orbital flights.
In April, 2041, the space liner Morning Star was completed, incorporating technological improvements designed to prevent the occurrence of 'space sickness'. The Morning Star left the Lunar station on July 17, 2042. Its destination was Venus.
In government circles on Venus, it was felt that no further delay could be permitted in establishing contact with the people of Earth. They were already too close to space flight maturity to forego any opportunity for formulating an understanding. Therefore, The Morning Star, whose flight had been observed constantly, was allowed to pass through our ionic barrier and land unharmed on our planet. Emissaries of our _Lora Dannun_ (nearest translation: Supreme Council) were on hand to greet the Earthmen when they left their ship.
As a precautionary measure, two atomic scorchers were trained on the ship, but our officials approached the debarking Earthmen without side arms and in a friendly manner. The Earthmen, understandably apprehensive, came forward with their hand weapons drawn.
Although we on Venus were already familiar with your International English language, our welcoming committee did not think it wise to further startle the men from Earth by greeting them in their own tongue. Therefore, our friendly intentions were made known by elaborate and unmistakable gestures.
The aliens from Earth, nevertheless, were startled enough by our appearance. They stared wide-eyed at what appeared to be four child-like specimens of human beings. This resemblance which Venusians bear to humans, and which should have impressed the crew of the Morning Star with the possibilities of intelligent negotiations, did not deter them from jumping to irrational conclusions.
Our chief emissary, Ser Madi, heard their leader and his lieutenant in the following conversation (which is reproduced from the auto-tape recording made on the spot):
_Leader: What do you make of them, Jensen? They look almost like human children, don't they?
Lieutenant: There doesn't seem to be anything to worry about here, sir. They seem friendly enough. But why children? You'd think they'd send some bigwigs out to welcome us. Why did they send children?
Leader: I don't know.... Maybe it's a trap!
Lieutenant: You're right, sir. We can't afford to take any chances.
Leader: Take them back to the ship for the psych boys to work on. I don't like the looks of this._
At this point Ser Madi revealed his knowledge of the Earth language. "I assure you, gentlemen," he said to the strangers, "that this is not a trap. Please follow us peacefully."
The invaders were stunned into silence, but it took the leader only a moment to recover. "I'll be damned!" he exclaimed. "The sly little devils understand English! Jensen! Have these creatures escorted onto the Star. This is something we'll have to talk over on the ship."
At a signal from the man called Jensen, eight of your people advanced toward the four members of our welcoming committee. Ser Madi spoke again: "I warn you, sir, not to try to abduct us. Order your men back."
The leader of the Earthmen laughed. "Look at them!" he said to his lieutenant. "These things are threatening us!" The soldiers had paused at Ser Madi's words. "Go on," the leader ordered them. "Take them aboard the ship!"
"You were warned," Ser Madi said sadly. He motioned to his companions and, in an instant of brilliant light, the space ship was reduced to smoldering ashes.
The stunned Earthians were easily taken into custody. They were completely awed by the destruction of their ship, which had been accomplished with "invisible" weapons. Ser Madi did not think it necessary to explain the compactness and efficiency of the atomic scorchers to them. They would not have been able to comprehend the principles behind the finger ring weapons.
* * * * *
Captain Daniels, the leader of the Earth expedition, was interrogated at great length, but he remained hostile and uncooperative. The only information that he offered was his name, rank and serial number, which he repeated over and over again. Jensen and the remaining crew members refused to answer our questions also, insisting that their captain was the spokesman for all of them. This action increased our fears that the intellectual and emotional make-up of Earth was incompatible with that of Venus.
We accomplished nothing in four days of questioning. It seemed impossible to determine the means whereby we could arrive at some workable line of reasoning. It was equally impossible for us to ascertain whether the hostile actions of the Morning Star represented the attitude of the Earth government or if they were merely the impulsive results of the emotional strain endured by Captain Daniels and his crew on their voyage.
The Supreme Council decided it was necessary to visit Earth now, make our presence known, and see if friendly relations could be established with that planet. We had hopes that this might be done, for there had been no war on Earth for almost fifty years. It was hoped that the people had finally achieved a civilization capable of friendly interplanetary exchange.
The Council ordered a delegation to leave immediately on the first diplomatic mission from Venus to Earth. Ser Madi had justifiable doubts about the possibility of success, but the Council overruled his objections.
The delegation, led by the elder statesman, Ser Alaga, left for Earth aboard the light cruiser, Tunn. The date was December 9, 2042. Returning to Earth aboard the Tunn, were the eleven survivors of the Morning Star, treated not as prisoners, but as survivors of a space wreck.
* * * * *
The Tunn landed on Earth two miles out of Abilene, on December 15, 2042. A few hours after touching down, the Venusian delegation arrived in the Earth capital and presented themselves at the Ministry of State.
The office worker who stood between them and the Secretary of the Minister of Foreign Affairs was amused by the delegates' story. "Why don't you kids go home and stop annoying us?" he said. "And stop watching those TD shows!"
Ser Buldi indignantly repeated his request to see the Foreign Minister.
"Get out of here!" the office worker said in a tone that indicated he was through talking to us.
Ser Buldi began to reply but he was silenced by Ser Alaga, who wished to avoid any unnecessary incidents which could have proved embarrassing to the Earthmen. Instead, the elder statesman approached a young lady seated behind a desk.
"What can I do for you, little boy?" the girl asked with a smile.
Ser Alaga, with the aid of his hypno-tube, quickly convinced her to admit the delegates to the office of the Sub-Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
Then began a three day procession through the offices of many sub-secretaries, four under-secretaries and two deputy ministers. In each office our diplomats were received skeptically and passed on to the next.
Finally, in desperation, the delegation released the survivors of the Morning Star. Although Ser Alaga realized that their account of the incident probably would be distorted, he knew that it would serve to verify the delegation's identity.
* * * * *
The Abilene News of December 19, 2042, shouted at the top of its headline voice:
SPACE INVADERS HERE
"MORNING STAR" DESTROYED
11 Survivors Of Space Liner Tell Story Of Attack
An immediate meeting was held between our delegation and the leaders of your government. After the formalities of greeting were over, the spokesman for the Earth government reviewed the facts of the Morning Star incident as they had been related by Captain Daniels and his crew. Venusian forces, they claimed, had been guilty of an unprovoked attack against the ship. We had barbarously murdered all of the ship's complement, save for the eleven "hostages" whom we had brought to Earth aboard the Tunn.
The government of Earth demanded an explanation. Ser Alaga spoke the truth. The Earthians were not satisfied.
(THE FOLLOWING CONVERSATION IS REPRODUCED FROM THE AUTO-TAPE RECORDING OF THE MEETING)
Earth Spokesman: _We will grant that your act of aggression was not premeditated, but resulted from a misinterpretation, on your part, of the friendly intentions of our forces. Nevertheless, our vessel was destroyed. Twenty-three of our men were killed. The government of the World Federation demands that your government make suitable reparations._
Ser Alaga: _Mr. Cartwright, we respectfully deny the allegation that our forces were guilty of any act of aggression._
Cartwright: _The Morning Star was destroyed by your men, was it not?_
Ser Alaga: _In self-defense, yes. As we have explained, the captain of your ship threatened our welcoming committee with...._
Cartwright: _None of your men were harmed!_
Ser Alaga: _They prevented their own imminent destruction by their action in self-defense. It was this action which resulted in the unfortunate...._
Cartwright: _Our ship and our men were attacked before they had fired a shot. Therefore, your action cannot be deemed to have taken place in self-defense._
Ser Alaga: _Your reasoning confounds me, sir. If the prevention of aggressive action is termed aggression, then we are guilty of it. I bow to your logic._
_Naturally our government wishes to express its regrets over the impulsive act of its representatives. We want to meet with you in peace and friendship. We want to prevent any future incidents such as the one which has brought us here today._
Cartwright: _On behalf of the World Federation, I accept your apology. We, too, would like to prevent further strife between our worlds. There is much to be gained by a useful and cooperative alliance between Earth and Venus. But, to insure this, we feel that your government should make certain ... payments in reparation for our losses._
Ser Alaga: _Although I am in sympathy with your views, our delegation has not been empowered to offer any reparations. However, if you will indicate what your government would consider a suitable payment for your losses, we shall convey your request to our Council._
(END OF AUTO-TAPE RECORDING)
Yttrium was the reparation asked by Earth--five thousand pounds of isolated and purified Yttrium. This metal was essential for the construction of Earth's space ships, the "alumiryten" alloy being used in the manufacture of the tough outer shell of these ships.
The supply of Yttrium ores on Venus is almost unlimited, and the Council had no trouble delivering the requested amount of the refined metal. The last shipment of ingots reached Earth within three months.
This conciliatory payment was intended to preserve the peace and build good will within the system. It was our intention that, if possible, the Earth would assume a more responsible attitude toward the greater scope of friendly interplanetary relations. It was our hope that harmony would form a permanent bond between our two worlds.
Our efforts were wasted.
YTTRIUM SHIPMENTS IMPURE
screamed the tabloid headlines. President Iverson of the World Federation sent a stiff note to the Council on Venus. He demanded apologies and immediate restitutions, claiming that sixty percent of the metal delivered was actually zirconium. We had cheated them, said Iverson.
In a terse reply to his note, our government branded the Iverson accusation a lie. It was all too apparent what was intended. We refused to discuss the matter. We broke off all diplomatic relations with Earth and simply ignored the numerous threats and accusations that were continuously being made.
Our vigilance increased, however, and we prepared for the attack that Iverson promised when he said: "Venus has not yet felt the force of Earth.... They will!"
Several years passed, during which time the Federation built a huge space armada, using to good advantage the five thousand pounds of pure yttrium they had received from Venus. It was also during these years of preparation that Venus and its people were forced to accept the hardships of a regimented economy. Our citizens, however, long accustomed to personal sacrifice for the welfare of Society, did not complain.
On September 14, 2048, a fleet of four hundred Federation war-ships took off for Venus.
The battle in defense of our planet was carried out exactly according to the strategy of the Supreme Council. The first wave of one hundred attacking ships was completely demolished in our ionic barrier. Fifty percent of the second wave was accounted for in the same manner. Those ships which did manage to pierce the discharging barrier were badly damaged and were easily destroyed by our cruising disintegrator teams. The third wave of invaders was met by our ascending task force of sixty scout ships, each equipped with twin cosmic blasters. In this engagement, three of our ships were lost ... all the invaders were destroyed. While this battle was being fought, our space patrol descended upon the fourth wave from outer space.
The Earth fleet was completely obliterated.
On March 14, 2049, our invasion fleet attacked the Earth. After two weeks of sporadic fighting, the occupation was completed.
Iverson, Cartwright, Briande, and the rest of the leaders of Earth's war-like government are in exile on their various asteroids. We shall not kill them, nor shall we allow them to die. They are supplied with their needs by a ship that calls once a month. Otherwise, they are left completely alone on their space islands, each a master of his own little world. We believe this to be a fitting punishment for men who try to conquer a world.
Peace has been restored to the system: on Venus, and on Earth.
* * * * *
_Peace Communique No. 2--Abilene--May 1, 2049_
One month ago, the provisional Venusian government on Earth was established to administer the military occupation of your planet. During the past month, that government, assisted by the Venusian Administration Corps, has instituted reforms whereby peace and security have been attained for all the Earth.
What of the future?
Citizens of Earth, here is your future: You are welcomed as equals in a union with Venus. For a time, until you have learned how to govern yourselves peacefully, your planet will be directed by Venusian administrators. But even now--immediately--you shall be accorded the same rights and privileges that the citizens of Venus enjoy.
And you shall have peace! Perhaps you should be thankful for the last terrible war which your leaders brought upon you, for as a result of it, you shall no longer know the meaning of war.
Of course, citizens have duties as well as rights. Failure to comply with regulations is severely punished. Therefore, it is advisable that you acquaint yourselves with the obligations of a peaceful citizen.
The duties of a citizen vary, depending upon the individual's classification and the location in which he lives. In addition to his special duties, however, every citizen is required to know and observe the five GENERAL DUTIES of a citizen, listed below.
GENERAL DUTIES OF A CITIZEN
1. Every citizen will work at his appointed task one-third of each day.
2. Every citizen will perform those duties necessary to maintain his sleeping area in such a manner as to comply with the directives posted in his barracks.
3. Every citizen (male) will father/ (female) will bear a child once every alternate cycle.
4. Every citizen will report promptly when notified of special duty (e.g. waste disposal detail, sewer maintenance crew, restorative squad).
5. Every citizen will report to his extermination center immediately upon notification. (See Note)
(Note: Certain measures are necessary to prevent the over-population of a peaceful world. In addition to the obvious elimination of the incurably sick, the insane, the feeble-minded, the disabled, the dishonest, and the aged, periodic exterminations must be held among the general citizenry.
Citizens who have been selected will report promptly to the appointed center for speedy, painless extermination. Failure to do so will result in a delayed and painful process.)
* * * * *
Now we bid you welcome, Earthmen. Take your rightful place beside us and share our peaceful existence. By your endless struggles through a long heritage of war, you have earned it.
(signed) SER GULLA Sup. AC Rios Adm.