"Each of you is weak."
A ripple of shock went up through the gallery followed quickly by somewhat subdued shouts of anger. DeVrees, looking outraged himself, waited several seconds before pounding his gavel and shouting for silence.
"Individually, each of you is weak. You may represent powers greater than most nations, maybe greater than any nation, but the enemy we face is no longer one another. We face the empire of the Imperatrixians."
At Raylene's verbal cue one of her assistants activated the video feed she had received from New York City less than an hour earlier. Scattered images of destruction and carnage had come from news broadcasts out of Manhattan before a pall of silence fell over the media. What little the delegates had seen could not have prepared them for what Raylene was about to show them.
The video began playing on all seven screens, surprisingly steady thanks to Legacy Team technology. The United Nations building was clearly visible, the plaza strewn with motionless bodies, black smoke rising from the city in the background. Near the building was a squat beetle-like vehicle the size of several city buses. A heavy disembarkation ramp extended from its back and its armored hull bristled with a multitude of gun turrets.
"This is one of their combat craft. We have identified nine of them entering the atmosphere to date. One was destroyed by my detonation of a failsafe nuclear device carried by a xenos recovery team from the Sisters of Enoch. This one…"
The video skipped, showing a view from behind a concrete planter of roughly twenty women in red body armor advancing at a running crouch towards the vehicle. Just as the first of the women approached the disembarkation ramp a towering figure in black armor emerged from the alien craft. It flicked its arm out and with a loud sound like a scream a series of fat burning tracers spit out from the rotating barrels of its weapon. Through a feat of superhuman agility the woman closest to the thing managed to dodge out of the way. Four of her comrades were not so lucky and the tracers punched easily through their armor and set their bodies ablaze. Each fell leadenly to the ground while the rest of the women scattered for what cover there was behind the craft's large landing struts.
The dark shape of the Imperatrixian adjusted its aim and sent more tracers spinning towards the woman who initially dodged its fire. Once again she managed to roll out of the way, cart wheeling to the side and then leaping towards the creature fearlessly. She landed on its chest, knocking it backwards and bouncing back onto her feet as it worked to recover. Before it could there was a flash of silver and the creature's head came off with a spurt of purple fluid. It froze mid-action and remained stock still for several seconds while the woman watched, her shoulders visibly rising in time to her breathing. Then it toppled over backwards.
"Two squads of my Sisters managed to kill the enemy. Not just one enemy, either."
The tape jumped again and the view was from farther away, at least several blocks. What was left of the Conservator squads, bloodied and battered, were now sheltering behind the burned shell of a UPS truck. From their vantage point the assault landing craft was still visible. The camera focused on it for several seconds and then, soundlessly, a bubble of fire punched out of the craft's hunched back. An instant later several more bursts of fire followed, and the ship bucked into the air and then smashed back down, its landing struts sheering off completely. The camera reverberated from an overlapping series of explosive booms accompanied by a strange whistling noise that grew in frequency and intensity.
The camera, shaken by the shockwaves, retrained on the landing craft just in time to catch its zero point core overload. In one monstrous rushing of air and fire all of the matter and energy for roughly a hundred yards around the ship was condensed into a single marble-sized sphere. Then it all ceased to exist entirely. Most of the UN compound was gone along with a very deep semi-spherical chunk of Manhattan Island. Air pulled at everything within the camera's field of vision, hurricane force winds roaring and blowing themselves out in the span of a few seconds, the world struggling to repair the sudden absence of reality.
The screens went dark and then with a flicker Raylene's image filled all seven.
"We can fight them and we can beat them."
Raylene did not mention that the entire Conservator team she had rush-deployed to Manhattan had been overrun and slaughtered less than a minute after transmitting the video.
"At present we have eight confirmed and active attack locations. New York City is still being contested. Chicago has been confirmed. Calcutta is confirmed based on scattered reports and landing trajectory tracking. Moscow is confirmed. Tokyo is confirmed and we have lost all transmission capability out of the city. Los Angeles is confirmed and is being contested by non-NWO forces including police and scratch militias. We expect it to fall within 24 hours."
Two of the large screens behind Raylene displayed maps of the world with flashing red indicators that appeared as she ticked off the landing sites.
"An attempt by the enemy to land in London went awry. Reports and radar tracking indicate that the enemy vessel struck a large civilian aircraft, sustained damage, and landed on the coast of France. Further reports from the Calais area suggest this did little to hamper the occupants' enthusiasm for their bloody work. Lastly, I can confirm that a craft has just landed in Mexico City and my available agents will monitor the situation there closely. Projections indicate sharp but ineffectual local resistance similar to what we're seeing in Los Angeles."
"That is the situation we are facing. That is the situation that we, as a unified body, must work to overcome. I call upon each of you to overlook your petty differences with the Sisterhood of Enoch and myself, respect my office as supreme matriarch of the New World Order, and join me in defeating this alien menace."
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
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