The Borgified Corpse wrote:
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.
I kept wondering about that myself. I also thought, if the 456 were so powerful, why do they need us to select & gather the children for them? Why can't they simply abduct them themselves? And what do they possibly gain by exterminating humanity? It seemed like a bluff to me and a fairly obvious one. I wish the Prime Minister had had the stones to call them on it.
We did call them on it, we stood up to them and, in a matter of seconds, they killed everyone in Thames House apart from the old guy who had time to get a mask on.
Whilst personally I would have liked to have seen more devestation on behalf of the 456 before we caved in, I do think there was sufficient evidence that they were a huge threat.
1. They have interstellar travel, this potentially unbelivebly more advanced than us.
2. They have teleportation technology meaning they could deposit poison or a bomb anywhere at will.
3. Access to lethal pathogens.
4. The ability to control every child on the planet.
Now counterpoint to this is the fact that the 456 acted like junkies; irrational behavious, mood swings etc. In my mind this made them more of a threat, because they were unpredictable. Ok their control over children was limited (or else clearly they would have made them all walk to embarcation points) but it's still a hell of a power.
Yes the pathogen used inside Thames House was quick acting, but maybe that's because they were targeting an enclosed space. You're making an assumption on what they don't have based on what they did use. Just because a cop raiding a house has a pistol it doesn't follow that he doesn't have a sniper rifle or a bazooka as well, he's just using the best weapon for the environment at the time.
As for their inability to be able to clone children...well even the most advanced peoples have limits. In 1945 the US had access to, and used, bombs capable of destroying entire cities. Should the Japanese resisted further simply because the Americans couldn't clone people? Does that really matter?
Like I say there should have been more proof, a small island somewhere wiped out in the blink of an eye, a town or a city. But still to not think the 456 were capable of wiping out our populace seems naive. (and yes they'd lose access to our children, but as stated above they didn't appear rational).
Would private gun ownership have stopped the government taking children? Well possibly if the governments had taken kids from people's houses. Remember most of the children taken were lifted from schools under the pretext of innoculations, and many parents wouldn't have realised the truth until it was far too late. Even if you can mount some sort of defence against the government troops, again it becomes a moot point. 20 or 30 disorganised parents with handguns and no training vs 20 or 30 organised soldiers with training and automatic weapons. Tactically the only way to resist a dictatorial government is via guerilla warfare, but that's something you do after the fact not during the first stages, and again outside of a banana republic if anyone can give me an instance where a population has risen up against an indigenous regime without some form of external pressure or the collusion of the military. The American revolution doesn't count. The British were, in effect, an occupying force and political pressures back home had an impact how far we took the fight, we had the choice to walk away and still retain our own power, an indiginous regime will have nowhere else to go, and can therefore afford to fight harder, longer and dirtier, plus again external assistance was rendered by the French. Look at Afhganistan, the Afghans were being massacred in droves until the West levelled the playing field with supplies and funding. Before we supplied them with ground to air missiles it was a turkey shoot (despite the Afghan populace being a heavily armed one).