24 October 2008

Expansion & Invasion: A Cunning Plan

By Anna C. Bowling

Setting: Unspecified location, long ago. Two historical personages survey the world beyond their borders and debate what must be done.

First Historical Personage: Hey, look at that place over there.

Second Historical Personage: Nice and roomy. Think they'd mind if a few hundred of us moved in with all our stuff?

First Historical Personage: They might. They have their own stuff already, and I'm fairly sure they're using their houses.

Second Historical Personage: We like some of their stuff. Think they'd share?

First Historical Personage: Given the right incentive, possibly. Got any ideas?

Second Historical Personage: We have things that make them go "ow" if used properly.

First Historical Personage: They have owie things, too.

Second Historical Personage: Hmm.

First Historical Personage: Hmm.

Second Historical Personage: What if we asked nicely?

First Historical Personage: That might work if any of them speak our language.

Second Historical Personage: Do they?

First Historical Personage: What do you think?

Second Historical Personage: Probably not the majority.

First Historical Personage: Probably not. What we'd need is a universal language.

Second Historical Personage: Good luck with that one. Are you sure you don't want to use the owie things?

First Historical Personage: If we use our owie things, they use their owie things, and that can't end well.

Second Historical Personage: True, true.

First Historical Personage: So, the question is, how do we get them to let us move in a few hundred of our nearest and dearest (or least desirable, depending on our motives) in a way that could end well? I mean, isn't the whole invasion thing not weighted in their favor? Except for the "them" that fight back and keep us out altogether. Which, I might point out, would not end well for us.

Second Historical Personage: Ending well is a must. They have comely wenches.

First Historical Personage: That's it!

Second Historical Personage: What's what?

First Historical Personage: They have comely wenches, we have strapping young men. I know it's a rather simplistic view, but that's the genius of the whole plan.

Second Historical Personage: We have a plan? I thought we'd send in the barbarians....

First Historical Personage: No. No barbarians. Maybe a few who look like barbarians, at least before a decent bath.

Second Historical Personage: Bath? I shudder at the thought.

First Historical Personage: That might be one of the reasons you were asked to leave in the first place. Work with me here. We send in some outwardly rough specimens, preferably with tortured pasts, and they will seek out the comely wenches. Or the wenches seek them out. It can go both ways. Keep them in close quarters, and given enough time, they'll get to know each other as individuals and nature will take its course. Which will cause the parties involved to cut through the preconceived notions and things can indeed end well. Or well-ish. Depends on who's in charge of actually writing things down.

Second Historical Personage: But surely there will be some collateral damage.

First Historical Personage: Sadly, yes, but that can depend on the writers again, and it does leave the door open for sequels. Which will also end well. Even in the darkest of times, love does find a way to turn things around.

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