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Posted July 2, 2014
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Fan Fiction: Raise Our Flags, Don Our Clothes
Title: Raise Our Flags, Don Our Clothes
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Summary: Falling Skies. Tom knew, deep in his gut, that it didn't actually matter whether the Volm were telling the truth. 500 words.
Spoilers: Post-season tag for Season 2.
Notes: Because Tom went from "we were happiest on the road" to BFFs with Cochise and President of the New US without much explanation. Really, I think his decisions make much more sense if you realize he isn't actually an optimist; he can't be, and have made it so far. Title from "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons.
When the Volm first dropped out of the sky over Charleston, with their bipedal bodies and big liquid eyes and most importantly their offer of advanced technology to help fight off the Espheni, Tom Mason remembered humanity's first offer of alliance from an alien and felt a rock form in his gut.
If he'd learned anything from the interactions of the rebel Skitter faction and the men and women of the Second Massachusetts, it was that they realistically had only two choices: take the carrot, in the hope that there wasn't a big stick hiding behind it, and live a little while longer; or refuse the help, and face certain death without it. The carrot offered by Chichauk Il'sichninch Cha'tichol was much bigger than anything old One Eye and his desperate band had been able to offer... which just made the stakes correspondingly higher.
People could learn to accept just about anything, given enough incentive. It had taken a lot of incentive with the Skitters, but it had happened, contrary to his fears. The deharnessed kids like Ben, the Skitters that made themselves over with warpaint and joined in to take down their still enslaved cousins; the average Charleston citizen wasn't comfortable around them, but given enough space, they wouldn't take up arms against them, either. With that example as guide, it would undoubtedly be the same with the Volm, as soon as they'd proven themselves useful.
Because they would; he had no doubt about that. Already, everything they said sounded right: exactly everything a ragged population of human survivors might want to hear. Unlike the Espheni, they had recognizable emotions: mobile faces, variable tones in their voice, expressive and very human-like gestures... which probably meant it was easier for them to read humans, too, and adjust accordingly.
But just like that first confrontation with One Eye... Tom knew, deep in his gut, that it didn't actually matter whether the Volm were telling the truth. Whether the offered alliance would pay off, against all odds; or if they were truly xenomorphs in ET clothing. Whether the world really was going to end in less than a year, if the Espheni plans were as deadly as the Volm said they were; or if the newcomers simply wanted to exploit the humans for their own purposes.
The Volm wouldn't be on Earth in the first place if the Espheni weren't their enemy; nothing about their arrival made sense otherwise. So, from there: Charleston was already a target, whether they stayed or not. And if Chichauk-- no; abbreviate that to Cochise, that would be a reminder not to treat him cavalierly-- turned on them once the Espheni were defeated? The humans working with him would have acquired invaluable inside knowledge to wield against their former benefactors, plus any technological upgrades they could glean along the way.
The only thing that mattered was the survival of Tom's family; of his people; of his world.
Really, there was no other choice he could have made.
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