This was originally Chapter 4, but we deleted this scene as Malcolm Dow was not in it, and it gave away the ending. Instead General Jones tells Malcolm what happened here in the final chapter.
Note that this story is a deleted scene and not canon.
General Francis (Frank) Jones entered the Oval Office. The smell of a pine oil cleaner filled his nostrils. At least it smells much nicer than the cigar smoke of the previous President. He saw the President stand as he entered the room.
“Mr. President,” Frank saluted. He noticed a drop of sweat run down the President’s head. I have never seen him this concerned before. He felt his heart pound faster.
The President returned the salute, sat down, and motioned Frank to do the same. “General, we have an interesting situation that I want you to take care of personally.”
“Yes, Sir, I understand.”
“No,” the President paused, “no, you don’t. This is not like anything we have experienced before. You are the ONLY person I trust with this.”
Frank smiled. “Yes, Sir, What happened?”
The President picked up a folder labeled “Top Secret.” His eyes wandered across the pages as he spoke. “Something, or should I say someone, crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico yesterday. The local army base went to investigate. They found what they thought was a storage container attached to a parachute. Inside were three non-human bodies inside.”
“Interesting. Non-human, you say?” Frank raised his eyebrows.
“Yes, they describe them as small grey men.”
“Aliens?” Frank leaned forward.
“It appears so. What do you make of this? Is it a threat?”
Frank looked, and the President was still sweating. “Well, Sir, it’s not much to go on. How did the aliens die?”
“Well, the autopsy revealed no obvious cause of death. They are guessing that they ran out of air. But not knowing what a healthy body looks like, they have no comparisons. Also, the bodies seem to be underdeveloped.” The President scratched his head.
The President raised his eyebrows. “Possibly.”
“What about the container?”
“Not much is known yet; it was badly damaged in the crash. It had a door with a window, seating, and some mechanics were hidden in the structure. Not much in terms of controls.” The President scratched his head.
“Perhaps, until you factor in that it crashed about 100 miles east of the nuclear test site. The debris from the crash indicates it came from that direction,” the President closed the folder by clapping his hands together.
“So, you are thinking spies?” Frank looked at the President, trying to read his facial expressions.
“Possibly. What do you think?” The President rubbed the back of his neck.
“I agree, children in a lifeboat trying to steal nuclear bombs just doesn’t add up.”
The President stood up. He had stopped sweating and stood tall as he walked to the seat across from Frank. “Exactly! Let’s call that option one. What are the other options?”
“Hmm.” Frank looked down, his eyes moved back and forth. “It could be a hoax. But by who, and why? Or a decoy. Someone might be trying to distract us from something. Steal the nuclear plans while we investigate the crash?”
“Okay, let’s call that option two. What else?” The President was leaning forward.
“If it’s aliens, they have advanced technology, advanced enough to travel between planets. Presumably, they already can make nuclear bombs of their own. So why would they be interested in our nuclear bombs? If they crashed, maybe they need an energy source to power their ship. But why did we only find a lifeboat? Where is the rest of the ship? Either the ship didn’t land, or it’s still here. If it didn’t land and it’s not here, it’s not a problem YET! If it’s here, where is it, and what is it doing?” Frank tried to imagine himself in the alien position. “If they are more advanced than us, and we can destroy a city with one bomb, they could destroy us if they wanted to. And if they have not contacted us yet, either they are unable to, they are being cautious, or manipulating us.”
Frank had a hunch that the aliens are afraid and friendly. “If this is a decoy ship and bodies, that would indicate that they are scared of us. If that is the case, they are still here and are watching us. But why risk contact with us if they are afraid of us. They must want something from us. What could they want? Why the nuclear test site? Because they need weapons?” Frank stood thinking quietly for a second. “No, they should have more advanced weapons than us.” He closed his eyes and stood silently. “Ah!” He opened his eyes wide, stood up straight, and stated with confidence. “Because they are being attacked and it is against their principles to fight back!”
“Are you sure?” The President’s eyes were open wide, eyebrows raised. “Damn, Frank, It sounds like you’re having a Sherlock Holmes’ moment.”
Well, he looks calm but not convinced. I am not sure either, but I don’t see another reasonable option. “As sure as I can be, without having more facts. But on the off chance that I am wrong, I will try to build a defense strategy. Not that it would likely do much good against advanced technology.” He paused, his lips pursed. “No, that is no good either! If they are watching us and they see that we are preparing to attack them, we could start a war before we have a chance to talk.”
Frank had a thought. What if our enemies get this technology? “This is unnerving. Imagine the speed needed to travel between planets. Now imagine, we could fly and drop a bomb anywhere in the world in less than a second. What if our enemies were to gain such technology. Wait! What about their enemy? If their enemy comes here…” He felt clammy. His pulse was racing.
He thought for a while, then he stood up straight. “Mr. President, if I am right, we must ally with these aliens. We must help them fight their battle, and we must have their technology to defend Earth!” He paused. “But we can’t keep that technology on Earth, or someone might steal it.”
The President shook his head. “Are you serious? Ally with an alien race we know nothing about and fight a war we know nothing about?”
“Yes, Sir.” Frank said, “But that is not totally true. We know that these aliens didn’t attack us, Sir.”
“You must be crazy! I mean, what you say makes sense, but this is impossible! No, definitely not!”
Hmmm. Why is he resisting? What could be worrying the President so much? Maybe he is worried about what the public would think of him allying with aliens. Heck, half the white people can’t handle being around black people. What would they think of aliens? Okay, how do I counter this fear? Frank calmed himself down. He spoke softly. “Would you rather deal with their enemy?”
“Well…” The President looked down. His eyes moved rapidly. “Are you willing to lead this battle? In space? With an enemy that you know nothing about?”
Frank stood tall. “I would be honored, Sir! I don’t see we have much of a choice!”
“You are putting a lot of faith in what, a guess?”
“Not a guess! No Sir! I made my decision with facts and a hunch.”
“A hunch! You are willing to put the future of this country, this planet, on a hunch?”
“Yes, Sir! Do you think that I am wrong, Sir?”
The President paused, walked over to his desk while shaking his head. “Unfortunately, I do not. As usual, your reasoning is sound.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
“Okay, you go down there and take over the operation. You find these aliens, and you form an alliance with them. If you are right, you are going into space; who knows where or for how long. If you are wrong, we are probably all dead.”
“Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir.”
“Don’t thank me. You do realize what you are up against, right?”
“Yes, Sir.” Frank was proud that he had a chance to save not just one world, but two! How many people can say that?
“And not a word of this to anyone until you find these aliens. You don’t know who is going to lose it or turn around and tell the press.”
“Dismissed,” the President said.