Flash fiction | Featured in Simultaneous Times podcast Ep. 41 (Space Cowboy Books, first audio rights)
The general sat down. He smoothed his garments. Time to announce to the humans their threatened demise.
He turned on the system. Stretched his webbed fingers.
The communication had been carefully crafted. He’d gone over it with his closest officials. Had it approved by the Galactic courts. The humans were on a resource-rich planet, and must be eliminated.
Of course, honor – and intergalactic conventions – demanded that they acknowledge the declaration before he proceeded.
He read the beautifully-crafted wording again.
HUMANS. THIS IS A MESSAGE FROM THE GENERAL OF THE INTERGALACTIC COLONIZATION BOARD. THE PLANET YOU INHABIT HAS ATTRACTED OUR ATTENTION. DO NOT RESIST. WE OFFER YOU TERMS OF SURRENDER….
He smiled widely, and pressed DISPERSE.
He watched with glee as the email filtered through the humans’ systems. The Pentagon. The KGB. Various international intelligence agencies. He sat back, a smirk on his face.
He’d done his research. He’d specifically used one of their odd little computer terminals – nearly useless technology – to make sure the message would be sent in a form the humans could not fail to comprehend. Not like the Zorgians’ foolish attempts at crop circles. He shook his head. Sometimes he wondered what those children were thinking. No, an ELECTRONIC MAIL should not fail to get the attention of the major players on the –
The strange little terminal pinged.
This was probably it, the moment he’d been waiting for, he thought, suddenly shaking. The moment that he would gain authority to take over an entire planet, that jewel of blues and greens outside his spaceship, just ripe for the –
“FAILED TO DELIVER.”
He half-choked on his alertness-beverage. He opened the email.
YOUR EMAIL HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED AS SPAM AND REJECTED BY THE SERVER.
Then a second ping. His tracking system showed that the email had been opened by the FBI and had been Marked as Junk.
The messages continued.
“Spam? My threat of invasion and colonization by extragalactic forces is not SPAM!”
He turned around and slammed his webbed hands on the table. “Get in here!”
Two of his hapless assistants half-fell into the room.
“You,” he said, voice very quiet, dangerous. “You did not advise me that this could be considered as JUNK MAIL!”
“No, sir,” one of the flunkies said, trembling. “We thought it an appropriate message, but sir, as the cultural consultant said, humans do not threaten war by email, they -“
“Get out! OUT!”
He put his face in one webbed hand.
To hear the narrated version, start at 5:55: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/spacecowboybooks/episodes/2021-07-15T00_05_43-07_00