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Be Careful What You Wish For

An ASB timeline by Sargon. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 it won a Turtledove for best Alien Contact Timeline and also won the 2008 Superlative Award for best ASB Story. It can be read on the forum here.

This work is currently paused whilst the author finds time to finish up the next part.


The plot concerns a mysterious fleet of saucers that lands in a disputed area of the Pacific called the Spratly Islands. They are led by a secretive Commander who appears to be a huge SF fan with a twisted sense of humour. Governments in the area who have competing claims on the Spratlys each send their forces to the region in order to claim whatever is found there. Of course, no one believes a lowly Filipino soldier when he relates that he saw flying saucers, and each nation is convinced it is a plot by another nation to secure their claim in the area, much to the amusement of the Commander. Before anyone knows it, the Chinese, the Taiwanese, the Vietnamese, and the Filipinos are all at each other's throats, with the Americans and Russians starting to take an interest in things and the Koreans and Japanese being drawn in as well. Before long, elements of popular SF movies and shows start coming to life, and various news-teams descend upon the area…

However, before all this, in Manchester UK, a half Swiss/half British student by the name of Jean who just happens to be a rather enthusiastic SF fan finds a mysterious stone when out drunk one night dressed as Darth Vader and losing his kebab…

Each chapter heading features a line quoted from some work of SF or SF media.


Part I: “What plaything can you offer me today?” Link

Part II: “Strange object imaged…” Link

Part III: “No one would have believed…” Link

Part IV: “All alone in the night…” Link

Part V: “Something special planned for them…” Link

Part VI: “So say we all…” Link

Part VII: “Explain it to them…” Link

Part VIII: “It's fantastic……” Link

Part IX: “Fun, fun, fun. In the sun, sun, sun.” Link

Part X: “It can only be attributable to human error.” Link

Part XI: “And so it begins…” Link

Part XII: “The circle must be broken!” Link

Part XIII: “That's it man, game over man, game over!” Link

Part XIV: “Attempt no landing there.” Link

Part XV: “The unknown future rolls toward us” Link

Part XVI: “I'm coming for all of you!” Link NEW!

Part XVII: (in progress)

Characters & Cameos

Jean, Student at Manchester University

The Commander, Leader of the Saucer Fleet

Vincent Navalez, Private in the Philippine Army, Thitu Island

Morales, Radio Operator at the Army Base, Thitu Island

The CO, Commander of the Philippine Base, Thitu Island

Amor Bancain, Second Lieutenant in the Philippine Army, Thitu Island

Matunog, Private in the Philipine Army, Thitu Island

Gabat, Philippine Diver, Thitu Island

Benigno Fernandez, Lieutenant in the Philippine Intelligence Services, Quezon City

Reuben Demosthenes, Jean's American Housemate, Manchester

Manuel Tiu general_tiu, Captain of the Philippine warship BRP Rajah Humabon, Thitu Island area

Anthony Billogu Keenir, Philippine Anchorman and Telejournalist for GMA News and Public Affairs, Manila/Thitu Island

Thomas Brownlee VulcanTrekkie45, Jean's Irish Coursemate, Manchester

Karla kilngirl, Jean's American Friend, Manchester

David Bar Elias, Commander in US Naval Intelligence, Suitland

Sean Bryan demonkangaroo, Cameraman for FOX News, Taipei

Mateo Messiniano The Sicilian, Italian Tourist, Taipei

Luo Wenkang Bishop, Protestor, Beijing

Thomas Anderson Thande, BBC News Anchorman & Telejournalist, Seoul

Matt Driver Mr J, Australian Network 10 Telejournalist, Seoul

Bruno Lombardi Doctor What, CBC News Telejournalist, Seoul

Masao Yokota ChuckY, NHK Cameraman, Korean DMZ

Jenny, Mateo's Taiwanese Friend, Taipei

Yang Runnan Rny2, Factory Worker, Ürümqi

Kim Seong-do, Resident of Dokdo, Liancourt Rocks, Sea of Japan

Chapter Title Quotations

Part I: “What plaything can you offer me today?”

Emperor Ming the Merciless to General Klytus, Flash Gordon, Movie, 1980 (Ming is bored and wants something to wreck for fun, Klytus shows him Earth and Ming begins to amuse himself by launching earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, molten hail storms and other rather nasty seemingly natural disasters at them)

Part II: “Strange object imaged…“

Imperial Officer to General Klytus, regarding Zarkov's ship entering Imperial Space and approaching the planet Mongo, Flash Gordon, Movie, 1980 (the rest of the line is ”…in the Imperial Vortex.” - it has often been noted by SF enthusiasts that practically the entire film is quotable such is it's cult status)

Part III: “No one would have believed…“

Narrator's opening line, H.G.Wells' The War of the Worlds, Book, 1898 (The full line is: “No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”)

Part IV: “All alone in the night…“

Opening narration on Season 1 & 2 episodes, Commander Jeffrey Sinclair & Captain John Sheridan, Babylon 5, TV Series, 1993-1998 (the lines it comes from respectively: Sinclair - “Humans and aliens wrapped in two million, five hundred thousand tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night.”, Sheridan - “The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace, a self-contained world five miles long located in neutral territory, a place of commerce and diplomacy for a quarter of a million humans and aliens, a shining beacon in space, all alone in the night.”)

Part V: “Something special planned for them…“

Admiral Piett to his adjutant on board the Super Star Destroyer Executor during the Battle of Endor, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Movie, 1983 (The Emperor is about to spring a surprise upon the attacking Rebel Fleet by ordering the previously assumed non-operational Death Star to fire on them with it's superlaser. Admiral Piett has been ordered to keep the Imperial Fleet held back so they don't get caught up in the line of fire. The full line is: “I have my orders from the Emperor himself. He has something special planned for them. We only need to keep them from escaping.”)

Part VI: “So say we all…“

Various individuals, Battlestar Galactica Re-imagined Version, TV Series, 2004 - Present (line usually said at religious services or at times of importance as a rallying call or statement of solidarity or intent - seems to be a Colonial maxim)

Part VII: “Explain it to them…“

Khan Noonian Singh when firing a photon torpedo on the USS Enterprise, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Movie, 1982 (The heavily damaged Enterprise, fleeing the hijacked USS Reliant and with no shields is about to enter a nebula where shields do not function and weapon systems cannot gain a lock, thus making the battle between the two starships more even - Khan does not want them going in there, so he takes a pot shot at Kirk's ship before they can do so)

Part VIII: “It's fantastic……“

Teague, a member of a boarding Party from the prison ship London, on seeing the amazing flight deck of the alien vessel he boards, Blake's 7, TV Series, 1978-1981 (the crew of the London find an incredibly advanced alien starship of unknown origin drifting off their bow after it was abandoned in a huge space battle. They send a prize crew over to salvage and take it over, but run into trouble from the vessel's automated psychological defence systems - the full line is: “We're in some sort of a cylinder. Type of airlock, I think. It's turning! It's fantastic, sir. I… I don't believe it!”)

Part IX: “Fun, fun, fun. In the sun, sun, sun.”

Theme tune, Red Dwarf, TV Series, 1988-Present. This is a Science Fiction sitcom that has recently been confirmed to have new episodes made. The complete song goes as follows:

“Its cold outside,
There's no kind of atmosphere,
I'm all alone,
More or less.
Let me fly,
Far away from here,
Fun, fun, fun,
In the sun, sun, sun.

I want to lie,
Shipwrecked and comatose,
Drinking fresh,
Mango juice,
Goldfish shoals,
Nibbling at my toes,
Fun, fun, fun,
In the sun, sun, sun,
Fun, fun, fun,
In the sun, sun, sun.”

Part X: “It can only be attributable to human error.”

Said by HAL-9000, the sentient on-board computer of the spaceship Discovery when regarding the alleged failure of the parabolic antenna of the ship, which HAL himself had in fact faked due to a conflict in his mission directives. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Movie, 1968.

Part XI: “And so it begins…“

Uttered by Kosh Naranek, the Ambassador of the Vorlon Empire at the onset of President Clarke's takeover in power after the Vice President arranged the assassination of his predecessor, President Santiago. Babylon 5, TV Series, 1993-1998. The line was directed at the station's commander, Jeffrey Sinclair. The line refers to the coming war with the Shadows.

Part XII: “The circle must be broken!”

The Ood, a lifeform that is conditioned to serve people throughout the galaxy say this to the 10th Doctor as they try to seek their freedom from their enforced condition. Doctor Who, TV Series, 1963-Present. The line refers to the circle of energy that keeps their main consciousness manifested in the form of a giant brain captive and subdued.

Part XIII: “That's it man, game over man, game over!”

Private Hudson to the survivors of the military expedition to the planet LV-426 after their dropship is destroyed when about to rescue them. Aliens, Movie, 1986. Aliens get inside the dropship whilst it is waiting for the others to complete the mission, and mange to kill the crew, causing it to fly out of control and hit the ground near the party's location, leaving them marooned on the Alien infested world. The full line is, “That's it man, game over man, game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?”.

Part XIV: “Attempt no landing there.”

HAL-9000 relays this message from the mysterious Monolith as Jupiter is about to transform into a new star, Lucifer. 2010: Odyssey Two, Movie, 1984. The full line is, “All these worlds are yours, except Europa. Attempt no landing there. Use them together. Use them in peace.”. The message causes the superpowers to end their tense stand-off with each other.


timelines/be_careful_what_you_wish_for.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/08 15:32 by eofpi

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