February, 2009. That's going to go down in history as the month everything changed.
Sure, 1999 is what everyone remembers. Those were grim times for everyone. After the 1980s, I thought I'd never have to live in fear of nuclear war again, but things quickly turned south and we'd barely had enough time to take a breath before we were at war again, and the threat was looming over our heads again. If the NEACaPS had ever gotten nukes, I think we might have seen the West Coast go up in mushroom clouds. Really, it was just a matter of time - that was what was on everyone's minds, I think. So it's a good thing that the Stranger came.
Look, I'll be honest with you - I was never a proponent of Unification. I kept pointing to the litany of evils the old United Nations was involved with - internal corruption, financial misdeeds, turning a blind eye to genocides while their own troops were committing atrocities... It's like democracy - it sounds like a great idea until you actually meet some of the people who are allowed to vote. America was unique, I said; other countries don't think like us. A vast portion of the world is composed of tyrannies and theocracies that have anything but human rights in mind. Why would we want to place ourselves under their jurisdiction?
But the utopians got their wish. After the Global Civil War, I guess everyone was tired of being afraid. The one good thing that's come out of this whole thing is that people started looking at each other as fellow human beings, rather than a package of "otherness". I always believed that the One World Government would come - as a Christian, it's one of the things you associate with the reign of the Antichrist - but I guess I never really believed I'd live to see it. It's eerie. Don't get me wrong, I was happy as the next guy when the War ended, but I kept wondering, "What's next? What's the next big axe to hang over our necks?"
So if you think about it, these last ten years have been amazing. But what happened this month...
Maybe it was inevitable. I mean, the Stranger came from somewhere, right? Someone built it - who knows how long ago, really - so it stood to reason that someone would come to get it. You know, you see all these movies about aliens coming to Earth, and most of them are of the "Mars Attacks!" variety. We've had that particular phobia since, what, H.G. Wells? But there was also "Close Encounters", and "E.T.", and "Star Trek"...it seemed more likely that anyone who came so far would want to be diplomatic, at least. There were scientists who insisted that their psychologies might be utterly alien to us - that we would be incapable of understanding each other. But I think that, while I agreed that it was a possibility, I privately thought it might be more like what Lewis proposed: any other intelligent life out there would either be sinless and enjoying communion with God, or fallen creatures like us. I suspected we'd be able to understand each other to a degree that would surprise the scientists. And to a longtime science fiction geek like me, that possibility kept me excited even when the details of the Unification troubled me.
So I think I was right, and unfortunately, they turned out to be of the Fallen variety. All we know about them is that they thought nothing of coming to Earth with guns blazing, and that they're huge. Well, I guess we know more than that - if the allegations are correct (and the attack footage proves that the UEG knew something all along that they didn't tell anyone about), then hopefully we're going to start hearing a lot more about what our leaders know about the Giants.
Not that we can do anything about it. They took the SDF-1 and left. They took Macross Island, for crying out loud. Who knows what else they can do? What do we do if they decide to come back?