I recently discovered that we still have a fax machine. It made a strange noise, and this is what came out of it:
FROM: Zorgath of the House of Vortle
TO: Members of the Alpha Centauri III Tentacle People Dominion
It’s my delightful role as director of the Earthling Hostility and Misery Energy Harvesting Committee to report that our performance over the past year has far, far exceeded our most optimistic projections.
We’ve shot through our annual Earth hostility and misery production and silo storage goals, with style, every year for the past eight years.
Our biggest challenge now is simply to buy more emotional energy storage banks to keep up with all of the misery now flowing out of the Earth region known locally as the United States.
We are using the energy to supply restaurants throughout the seven kingdoms and the nine hegemonies, and to start a colony in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud. The colony faces serious challenges – it keeps coming unstuck in time – but at least it’s well energized.
All because of that wonderful Earth war.
Originally, eight years ago, back in 2010, we just hoped to harvest a modest amount of consternation energy by having our operatives create a little bit of what earthlings call “congressional gridlock” in that U.S. region. (Which is known throughout the Milky Way for, in addition to its fine hostility and misery energy, its coal deposits, its abundant plant life, and its delicious swamp gas.)
One thing led to another, and, through a political chain reaction, the earthlings in question went from a state of gridlock to state of shooting war.
Our own analysts were inclined to agree with the assessment of most Earth analysts, that the United States had strong, resilient political and economic systems that could withstand the strain of a little disagreement about health finance policy.
The U.S. earthlings could have foiled our plans with relatively simple steps, such as listening to one another, respecting one another’s views, and showing a willingness to compromise.