To bring this back to CoE, if possible, I think what was so fantastic about it was that it generates debates like this, more so than an awful lot of television these days, and that, really, it was the ultimate Kobyashi Maru scenario (until the end which had to have us survive). In most respects the governments’ ability to resist the 456 was about as much use as the citizenry’s ability to resist the government. Little more than pissing in the wind.
I've never been convinced that this is true. The 456 claim to be master geneticists capable of producing biological weapons capable of wiping out the Human race... Yet they're too inept to just clone
the 40-some-odd kids the Brits handed over to them in the 1960s? And the only bio weapon they actually release turns out to kill its victims so quickly that in reality, it would never spread beyond more than a few sectors of London because its victims would all die before they could spread it?
It's fair to say that the 456 probably could have caused millions of deaths, but I'd say they didn't prove themselves an existential threat.