Gareth D. Jones
Chapter 1: Doctors and Dummies
We can’t pronounce their language, so we don’t know what they call themselves. Our scientists classify them as chameloderm helminthiihumanoids. We just refer to them as oids. From what we can tell they chose Britain to begin their infiltration firstly because of its isolated condition as an island, and hence its manageable population, and secondly because of its position as a leading industrial country with far-reaching influence.
The first oids to arrive in London in the early 60’s wore bulky silver space-suits topped with over-sized helmets. This was before they had adapted to our atmosphere. Several of the invaders were spotted by the public, but again the oids must have done their homework. The famous British reserve meant there was no panic. People merely reported the sightings to their local police station. Later on the oids adapted human form for their infiltration. Early attempts looked rather like bland mannequins, but it was not long before improvements were made and the oids could mingle with the public without being noticed.
The only casualties of those early encounters were the local police officers out on the beat who were sent to investigate the sightings. Some disappeared without trace. Others managed to return to the blue police call boxes that were used for communication back then in order to make a report. On several occasions the call boxes and their occupant were vaporised. Of course there were witnesses to these events and reports began to circulate among the public. We had already managed to explain away the disappearance of several policemen, but these new developments caused quite some consternation. Our solution seemed simple at the time, but proved invaluable over many years. One of our agents at the BBC convinced the director-general to commission a new science-fiction drama that featured a de-materialising police box, as well as silver-suited aliens and, later, other episodes that included elements of the oid invasion. In this way any stories that circulated among the public were thought to be publicity for the new show. Our secret battle against the oids continued in silence.
Not convinced? Then consider this: is it just coincidence that the very first episode of that series was aired on the day that JFK was assassinated?
Chapter 2: Statues and Trophies
Our first showdown with the oids came in 1964 when several of our agents came face-to-face with a dozen of them one night in Trafalgar Square. In the ensuing fire fight one of the statues that sit on four plinths at the corners of the square was vaporised. Of course we cleared up the evidence that any oids had been present, but the missing statue was a real headache. How could we explain that away? The answer proved to be so simple that we did not think of it ourselves. When the sun rose and people began to arrive, nobody noticed. The thousands of tourists that visit Trafalgar Square every day only come to look at Nelson’s Column and feed the pigeons. Nobody looks at the plinths. Can anyone remember what is on the other three?
We began spreading the story that the plinth had always stood empty, that it was never finished. The plinth remained empty for the next forty years until it was used to display a series of modern-art exhibits in 2004. If you ask anyone today they will tell you that there never was a statue, but how many of them visited Trafalgar Square more than forty years ago? How many of them took a photograph while they were there? If you find someone who did, take a close look at their photos. Count the number of statues you can see. I assure you there will be four.
After that open encounter the oids became much more careful. We did not come across them in force again for fifteen more years. In the mean time they were perfecting their ability to mimic humans. We had suspected for some time that they were switching places with public figures to test our ability to detect them. In 1966 they attempted their most audacious plan. Fortunately for us it was a benign substitution designed, our psychologists say, as an ultimate test of their mimicry. I’m afraid to say they were successful.
On this occasion they developed an entire team of mimics to replace the England World Cup Football squad. Oids are generally fitter than humans, have better hand-eye co-ordination and larger lung capacity allowing them greater stamina. Is it any wonder that England won the 1966 World Cup? Remember, England have never won a major football tournament before or since. If you can get hold of them, compare photographs taken of the squad before the tournament began with those taken after their victory. The differences are there to see for those who know what to look for.
There was a massive public clamour at the time that the entire squad should be decorated following their victory. We were set against it. How could the England squad be rewarded for something accomplished by the oids? In the end we had to compromise and a few key players were recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. How it galled us to give awards to the enemy. And how could we detect their agents in future?
Chapter 3: Belgians and Brownfields
The only person who came close to discovering the truth during the 60’s and 70’s was one of the greatest detective minds of the 20th century. She began collecting newspaper stories, rumours from contacts she had among the Metropolitan Police and letters sent to her by members of the public. People would often write asking her to solve some mystery or other and several similar letters containing elements of the oid invasion arrived during the late 60’s and early 70’s. Slowly a pattern emerged. By 1976 Agatha Christie had developed a theory that was remarkably close to the truth. She sent a letter outlining the plot to her local MP, promising to provide written evidence in support.
Our main aim, other than to prevent an oid invasion, was to stop any leaks to the public, so we acted swiftly to stop the story. Agents were dispatched to retrieve the letter from the MP and others to collect the document that Miss Christie had collected. We were not quick enough. By the time we had arrived she was already dead, apparently an accidental drowning. Any files she had were gone. There was only minimal evidence that oids had been there, and only because we knew what to look for.
The battle continued in silence as the months rolled past. The oids spied and infiltrated, we countered them at every turn. All the time both sides kept out of the public view, but both for different reasons. Things once more came to a head in 1979 when we learned that a sizeable group, including senior oid leaders, were to meet on a large plot of industrial wasteland on the banks of the River Thames. We knew it was likely to be a trap, but at the same time we had to grasp the opportunity.
The ensuing encounter was silent yet deadly, with the oids using their own toxic weapons and our agents countering with equipment we had copied from them. While the public remained ignorant of the battle and its consequences, the land on which it took place was rendered unfit for human habitation. The whole area was cordoned off and we coined the phrase ‘Brownfield site’ to describe it. This came to be used to describe any urban waste land, but at the time it was a useful label to keep people away. Millions of tonnes of soil were contaminated, and it was many years before we could clear up the mess completely. As had happened before though, these circumstances proved of great benefit in years to come.
The 1970’s ended in stalemate. We knew we had not got them all, but we had proven ourselves to be capable foes. The oids knew that open warfare would be very costly, with numbers on our side, and they went very quiet. They were still out there somewhere, but where? And how many of them were still walking among us?
Chapter 4: Veins and Videos
Intelligence, counter-intelligence, infiltrations and subterfuge were the order of the day during the decade of the 1980’s. The oids made subtle advancements in their endeavour to control Britain, and subsequently the world. Our counter-measures became increasingly inventive, some might say desperate.
One of the most important elements required by the oids for use in their weaponry and other technology is sulphur. In Britain the most abundant source of sulphur is coal. It was not long before we began detecting oid presence within the coal mining industry that in 1980 employed over 400,000 people. The number of potential oid substitutes was too large for us to cope with. Our plan was quite drastic: close the coal mines.
Britain underwent a huge economic upheaval with thousands made redundant, endless industrial action, strikes and even riots. Within a few years we had reduced the workforce to 10% of its original size. By carefully monitoring the flow of remaining workers we were able to track the oids who had replaced senior figures in the coal mining industry. We could follow the trail to other oids who were kept in employment to continue the extraction of sulphur. By 1985 we had them all. The mines, such as were left, returned to human hands. We had dealt a big blow to the oids’ technological ability.
Mining was not the only industry the oids had infiltrated. The electronics industry was plagued with oid duplicates. They had even managed to secure patents on several innovations and were using the money they raked in to secure their own positions. The telecoms area was growing especially fast, and this was where we decided to strike our blow.
Using their own advanced technology the oids had produced the superior Betamax™ video as a competitor to VHS. It seemed likely that they would make a fortune to fund their mission. We began our campaign of counter propaganda. It was not long before stories of the unreliability of the Betamax™ system were rife. Our agents within the industry made sure that crucial economic decisions went against Betamax™. Very soon VHS was triumphant and the oids lost a major source of income.
By the end of the 80’s we felt that the oids were on the retreat. We began to formulate a plan to deal them one final decisive blow.
Chapter 5: White Elephants and Roman Candles
With the new millennium still several years away we began a two-part plan to rid ourselves of two problems: the oids and the Brownfield site on the banks of the Thames. The government of the day was looking for ideas to celebrate the upcoming millennium. Using our inside influence we made sure that an exhibition hall on our plot of land would be one of the main attractions. The Millennium Dome was conceived.
Untold millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money went into decontaminating the land. Millions of tonnes of soil were carted away as the site was prepared for construction. Against all financial sense the project went ahead -- with our backing. The Dome was nearing completion before anyone even thought about what was to go in it. Even after opening it continued to loose money. There was a public outcry and people in high places lost their jobs. None of this mattered because it was all just a cover to get rid of an old oid problem.
The second part of our millennial plan was a widespread strike against the oids themselves. Our scientists had developed a new, devastatingly efficient laser that worked on oids while avoiding collateral damage. The drawback was its widespread, blinding brilliance and its unhelpfully loud bang that made it useless as a stealth weapon. Oid cells had sprung up all over the country and we wanted to engage all of them in a co-ordinated attack. We needed some cover.
The answer came one November 5th. Fireworks. Nobody would notice a few extra explosions during a firework display. Initially we thought of using Guy Fawkes night, but there was no way of knowing when any fireworks might be set off. We needed something national and simultaneous. Our agent in the Greater London Assembly soon had the mayor’s office committed to a millennium firework display. The rest of the country followed suit.
Our whole organisation went into overdrive as the year 2000 approached. We wanted to make sure that every oid cell was taken out on the same night. One thing that helped us to track down oid infiltrators is the fact that the oids do not have a written language. This means that they find written English difficult to master, especially as English contains so many homonyms. An educated person suddenly developing a spelling problem was a sure sign of an oid.
On the stroke of midnight as the year 2000 dawned and thousands of firework displays kicked off, our agents struck. In 73 locations around the country oid cells were invaded and eliminated. All was accomplished in under thirty minutes, the time allowed by the protracted celebrations. There were cautious celebrations in our office too.
Our optimism was short-lived. By the end of 2000 evidence of a continued oid presence became apparent. Our operation was continually increasing in size and complexity. We needed a new base to continue the fight. What better place than the seemingly pointless Millennium Dome? It is still believed to be empty, but in reality now houses the secret MI6 base in the fight against the oids.
So we finally come to the big question: why am I telling you all this? Why spill the secrets of over 40 years of a covert war? Our worst fear has been realised. I have begun to suspect oid infiltration within our own organisation. This is why I have turned to outside help. You are the kind of open-minded individuals who can render invaluable aid. Let me explain.
Chapter 6: Disclaimer
I wood like to point out that this is a work of fiction. Their is know invasion bye any oids and MI6 does knot need your help. None of the events described inn previous chapters are reel. Yew may return two your normal life and carry on with your work.
© 2005 by Gareth D. Jones
Bio: Gareth Jones lives in England, though he’s half Welsh, and has written sci-fi stories on and off for ten years. He keeps busy in between writing by playing lego with his three small children, working in waste management and studying part-time for a degree in Environmental Studies. Mr. Jones's story The Gray Hole appeared in the April, 2005 Aphelion. Links to more of his stories can be found at Gareth D Jones Science Fiction
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