When the aliens finally invaded, it wasn’t the way most people had expected. There’s was no Independence Day shootout or War of the Worlds capitulation.
That’s not to say they were benign — far from it. I would describe them as indifferent, though I would not be surprised if some took pleasure in the suffering they inflicted.
They were interested in our resources, mainly the energy supply. And for that they needed us — at least some of us — to continue working and producing that energy. Of course, it was more complicated than that because they needed human consumers too to incentivize energy production. Just as we need bees to extract the nectar from flowers to make honey, they needed our machines and markets to consolidate the resources into a usable format.
Once the energy was sufficiently consolidated, they used an advanced technology to extract a small percentage of it. The amount was noticeable, but it disproportionately impacted the poor and powerless who didn’t know the cause and in any event lacked the resources to prevent it. It was a small, regular depletion, a rake off the top, so to speak.
At first the aliens used the surplus energy they extracted to fund luxury items and status competitions. You’d be surprised how much these masters of the universe prioritized status within their groups. But after a while they got used to the free energy supply, and their own productive capacity diminished like a drug addict whose brain no longer sufficiently manufactures its own dopamine. Energy extraction was no longer a luxury but a necessity, and the demand for it only became more urgent.
The constraints on the extraction were twofold: (1) the human population itself was consuming much of the resources; and (2) the aliens had to be careful not to consume so much that the humans revolted and stopped working. A two percent extraction rate was initially deemed ideal, but as demand from the alien population increased, they were compelled to raise it.
Once the extraction rate reached eight percent globally, the aliens, now even more dependent on it, were apprehensive. They knew from various local experiments where they had extracted 20, 50 and even 80 percent of the energy that those economies quickly collapsed and ultimately yielded them less total energy than when they were robust and the aliens’ take small.
Something had to be done to free up more energy, and there was only one other variable with which to tinker: human consumption. The goal was to reduce it as subtly as possible so as not to collapse the economies or provoke resistance. Energy producers and market participants were necessary, but useless eaters would have to have their consumption tightly controlled if not eliminated entirely.
To that end, the aliens created an ideological contagion to which particular humans were susceptible, if they had certain environmental co-factors, such as living in proximity to others or exposure to higher education. Its foundational premise was that the human population’s energy consumption was on a path to ecological disaster at existential scale. Over time, the contagion spread to large corporations, national governments and supra-national globalist organizations in the form of treaties. Not only did many powerful humans buy into the ideology, but they were willing to use the force of law on the non-compliant.
For a time, the aliens enjoyed renewed abundance as they were able to siphon off more energy now that most of the world’s human inhabitants had ceased to travel or consume energy dense foods. Moreover, due to the new plant and insect protein substitutes, more humans developed auto-immune diseases and once rare forms of cancer. They also died more frequently of respiratory illnesses, novel varieties of which seemed to emerge as if out of nowhere despite the new ever more stringent vaccine requirements. The shortened lifespans and fewer viable offspring only left more energy for extraction. While the humans charged with implementing these policies expressed regret at the population reduction, they also made sure to honor the sacrifices of those we lost and redoubled their commitment to a sustainable future.
The problem we face now is the aliens’ thirst for energy has not been quenched. And they have now automated much of the energy extraction and have even less need of our markets and hence any form of human consumption. They are keeping us around only until the transition is complete. Until that happens, we still have some recourse, but the opportunity to act narrows by the day. One cause for hope is a new technology that thwarts the capacity to extract. It is an energy-based monetary protocol that resists debasement and confiscation. If we can persuade enough of the remaining humans to adopt it, the aliens’ extraction technology will fail.
That is my mission. Time is of the essence.