Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, a young mother looks past the kid learning game on the computer. “I’m sorry, Princess. I just need to– just a minute.” She pulls the tiny chubby hands away from the keyboard and looks intently at the image. “Oh, this is not good right now. I can’t deal with it right now.”
In North Carolina, an accountant looks at the blog comments and calls out to his beloved spouse, “Dear, is Foxfier trying to pick a fight with me, or is this a code?”
CACS rushes to the computer and looks at it. She gets a pad. “I see, let me check a couple of anime references…” Half an hour later, she hands RES the notepad. He blanches. “I see. Well. There’s only one thing for it. Wayne Blackburn must be told.
Wayne thinks long and hard, and then writes a seemingly innocuous email to Bobtheregistered.
Bob the registered gets off Baen’s bar and sighs. “This won’t end well,” he says to himself as he sends a message off to Emily Nelson. Who reads it, discusses it with Steve and says “So, what do we do? We can’t send Nemo. I refuse to risk him.”
“I know, but I think I can write some code that delivers the message. Let me see, who would it be safe to send to? Do you think Herbn will get it?
A day later, Herbn pauses in the middle of reading a kindle book. No, this paragraph definitely doesn’t belong. How did it get there? Is it time to let 60 guilders know?
Three days later, Shadowdancer opens a jar of vegemite, and finds a folded paper inside a carefully sealed bit of plastic. She opens it and reads the message from 60 guilders.
She calls Dorothy Grant on a carefully secured line.
“I see,” Dorothy says. “Pass word onto Dave Freer, I’ll rally Alma Boykin.”
Meanwhile Orvan Ox, on his delivery route notes that a certain house has a flag displaying three daisies hanging from its front porch. It would be normal in Spring, but in January, really?
He gets on the phone and calls roommate “Call Amanda Green,” Ox says. “Tell her to pass on the word and get ready It’s a real one.”
In a small house in TX, Amanda Green opens the trapdoor on the floor and gets out the equipment that’s been waiting this day. She makes a comment on Suburbanshee’s blog and hopes Banshee gets it. Did she get that word play about St. Catherine’s birthday jsut right, that banshee will get “Wheel in the sky?”
Joel gets the message from Banshee’s encoded email and starts plotting access to a tall roof. The problem is carrying the weapon through New York City. Everyone is so suspicious these days. Maybe he can disguise it as a flowerpot? Oh, yeah, and he has to get a message to Kate.
After long thought, he sends her a postcard showing the Empire State Building, with a single sentence “The butterfly sings.” That should do it.
In Pennsylvania Kate Paulk is getting the secret equipment assembled in the outbuilding. “Bugger if they get away with this.” Almost casually, she dials David Pascoe and tells him “The kilt is purple. I repeat, the kilt is purple.”
David Pascoe rescues a crucial piece of the weapon from the baby girl and glares at it. He has to assemble it before the toddler finds another use for the parts.
Drak Bibliophile sighs, then starts removing his books from the bookshelves. Why had he thought it would be a good idea to put it behind the shelves?
‘Nother Mike in Japan, is trying to remember where he hid his equipment. Oh, yes. He’d put it in the classroom, disguised as a student project.
Around the world, Cyn Bagley, Alpheus, William Stoddard, Francis Turner, Mary Catelli, Eamon, C. Taylor, Uncle Lar, Caitlin, Dr. Mauser and TXR and many, many others set up their weapons, and look at the messages they received, make sure they have the right coordinates and struggle to program them in.
Deep in her secret laboratory, Sabrina Chase checks the calculations. “D*MN it,” she says and sends a hurried correction through the grape vine. Stephanie Osborn receives the correction and adds solar activity effects. Then corrects the corrections.
At Pete’s Kitchen, having a seemingly innocent dinner with the Denver contingent, Sarah asks Kortnee “Did anyone tell Chris Chupik?”
In the frozen wastelan…. we mean civilized parts of Canada, Chris gets a phone call from Captain Comic. He’d earlier failed to get a message sent by moose, because there are no moose in his neighborhood. Really, what do you people think Canada is, eh? And some people thought that Bieber was disproportionate aggression. Ah! I’m glad we send you Bieber. Yes, I am that heartless. He thinks all this, but aloud he says,”What? Again? ALL of us? Are you sure?”
“Sarah said the carp fly at midnight. She used that phrase at instapundit last night, too.”
“Yeah, yeah, right code. Oh, damn, I planned to write tonight.” As he gets off the phone he thinks, “I bet no one has told Kirsi. I’d better call Finland. Us great white North people have to stick together.
Five hours later, as the alien ship approaches the Earth, it is hit by coordinated rays from the secret weapons long ago distributed, secretly, to the seemingly normal readers of an unassuming little blog.
A few minutes ago:
Sarah struggles to her blog. These emergencies really need to stop being so tight. You’d think the galactic alarms would get tripped before yet another invader is less than a month from attacking the Earth. Coordinating a defense all over the world is not easy.
But hey, the Huns did it again. She makes coffee by touch, because her eyes refuse to open until the second cup.
Better put up a seemingly silly post on the blog, to let everyone know the danger is past.
No one will suspect such a far-fetched thing is real. It’d be like suspecting us of having gone back to change history after that horrible election. No one would ever believe any of this drivel.
Good work, everyone.