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Year 2136. Humanity has left the Earth onboard the Exodus mothership. While they prepare to colonize other worlds, their actions have not gone unnoticed. A race of high-tech robotic aliens naming themselves Thalos has been carefully observing human actions, and is displeased by what is about to happen.

The main goal of Thalos is to ensure that every aspect of their reality works as efficiently as possible. They loathe humanity because of how inefficiently we operate our resources. Despite that, they are opposed to the use of lethal weaponry, because killing the humans is messy and inefficient. As such, their method of dealing with opponents is to subdue and capture them using nonlethal means such as stunning, slowing, restraining, or paralyzing. After the target is neutralized, their mind is offloaded to the Thalos's database, and the body is preserved for future analysis or directed to recycling.

The starships of Thalos have the shape of a saucer. Majority of the ship's hull is composed of forcefield projected by the generator in its center. The ship has no entrances that are obvious to a human, and only Thalos know how to phase through the forcefield. The ship is equipped with a tractor beam, but has no weapons to speak of. The potent cloaking system installed on the ship allows Thalos to capture smaller Terran ships unnoticed.

The mentality of Thalos:

  • "Every aspect of the system is to function as efficiently as possible. Any signs of inefficient behavior are to be terminated immediately."
  • "Any entity whose main objective is not to unconditionally increase efficiency is guaranteed to act inefficiently and must be neutralized."
  • "The neutralization procedures must be performed tn the most efficient way possible."
  • "The neutralization procedures must cause as little disturbance in the system as possible. Causing disturbance reduces the efficiency of the system."
  • "Any neutralized object is to be recycled, not destroyed. Destruction is an inefficient way of utilizing the obtained resource."

What strategy would Thalos choose to efficiently neutralize the human race?

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Subversion

A human civilization looking to colonize other worlds would be skeptical but thrilled to contact advanced life forms. They fact they are mechanical/robotic in some way is something of further fascination to be studied. The most efficient method will not be outright war, but get the humans to comply, and then dismantle them.

An old Twilight Zone episode called To Serve Man explored this idea. The plot in the show was to get the humans to comply so they could cook and eat them. In your scenario it's similar. Get them to comply so they willingly come on board your ship, relaxing and letting their guards down. Then pounce, absorb the consciences, and do whatever with the bodies and remaining craft.

Some options for subversion are:

  • show them advanced, hyper-efficient techniques for colonizing a planet (terraforming, food production, better nutrition, etc)
  • help with any medical issues in a fast, efficient way
  • provide them with resources, maps of the galaxy/universe, or other helpful information
  • take a human diplomat on board your ship so they can see and report there are no weapons and they are peaceful and wanting to collaborate

Basically anything that will make the humans believe there are good intentions here. Then wait. How long depends on efficient and convincing of a subversion it is, and how skeptical the humans are.

Any attempt at war prematurely will lead to some humans taking life boats / ships out, communicating back to earth, sending warning signals, or other "messy" things. Depending on human technology, violence could last a long time. Because the humans are a previously unknown species, any attempt to poison might fail or be detected.

The most efficient, guaranteed-to-work way is to get the humans to let their guards down. So lie, worth with them just enough so they let their guards down, and then pounce. Quickly, quietly, efficiently.

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  • $\begingroup$ Worth with them? $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Dec 22 '19 at 15:31

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