We are in the near future (2020). The USA president have received a box labeled 'Communication'. After security check, the box rings and a voice says

  • 'You have to choose 1 million people per year to give to us. Otherwise, many more will die.'

After a brief silence period, the same voice says

  • 'You have 3 minutes to decide'.

After 3 minutes, all the people in New York simply die. Legists would say that it was some kind of EMP for brains. The box open up some kind of projector, displaying images of dead people in NY. Then, the voice asks again.

  • '1 million per year. Yes or no? You have 3 more minutes.'

The box don't seem like any kind of human technology. We can't track it and, worse, no sensor had seem any space craft or anything waiting on the neighbor of our Solar System. We are full blind with one decision to make.

  • 'Yes', says the president.

  • 'In one year from now, we will be back. You you choose who will be given. You can use any human or computer understandable format to populate the 1 million names.'


  • We can't investigate the aliens. We tried to send some spy. Dead silence.
  • We never knew, exactly, what happened in NY. We just know that was their attack.
  • The incident and conditions was made public, so it is a world leaders decision.
  • Can't fight the aliens. The 1 million donations HAS to happen.
  • Each 1 year period, the chosen will just flash out from Earth.
  • The chosen don't need to know that they were chosen.


Well, we are totally blind. Seems like the aliens are far ahead of our technology. After a lot of debates over human rights and who to send, we've decided to send prisoners, but they won't last longer. We are now on 2022, and have sent 2 waves of 1 million humans prisoners. Both waves containing prison population. But we don't have enough prisoners to send forever and it would still be a problem.

How should the world address this issue? Who to send and how to decide?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ If this is a world issue, why did the POTUS receive the box? Did the leader of each nation receive his/her own box? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Sep 22 '15 at 16:44
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    $\begingroup$ Wait a minute... So, because they weren't promised 1 million people, they killed 19.75 million people (population of NY state)? That seems counterproductive. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Sep 22 '15 at 16:55
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    $\begingroup$ If you have a bomb to kill the whole NYC in a single zap, you dont need cooperation from world governments to grab 1 million people at will without asking anybody. Bad plot here. $\endgroup$ – Jorge Aldo Sep 22 '15 at 17:20
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    $\begingroup$ This question reminds me both of season 3 and 4 of the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood. In season 3, aliens demand a large percentage of the world's children, and in season 4 humans stop dying, so the government has to decide who to kill to maintain population levels. If I don't come up with an answer, I'd at least recommend you watch those seasons of the show. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Sep 22 '15 at 17:44
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    $\begingroup$ Send dead ones. $\endgroup$ – Crissov Sep 22 '15 at 22:09

This answer will assume the world is united and that warfare is (mostly) eradicated. -> Otherwise I think the same as @Lohoris.

Send the Death Sentenced, Volunteers, the Dying or the Old.

This is somewhat heartless but it is the most practical approach. There are over 130 million births every year (and climbing). Losing 1 million people extra per year is actually helping us in the long run. Comes all the social issues.

1) The obvious candidates are people all around the globe that have somehow earned death penalties (multiple death penalties being first)
2) Following that, any volunteers. Think agents, operatives, etc... trained to send back information in any way to help eventually thwarting the aliens.
3) The dying. People who know only have months to live. It might sound heartless, but it is also easier for them and their families to accept.
4) If all other categories have been exhausted and you still need people. The practical solution is to go with the oldest people (less time left to live).

Since you don't know WHAT happens to the 1 million people, I think you'd be surprised just how many volunteers you'll end up having. I doubt you'll ever end up at category 4.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Would be funny if after sending all the people you convict to dead, then later, the aliens reveal that they wanted the millions of people to train a new enlightened dirigent class for the Earth that would bring prosperity to all of us. And they have given them weapons to make their job possible.... $\endgroup$ – SJuan76 Sep 22 '15 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ @SJuan76 +1 for "dirigent". I'd never heard that word. $\endgroup$ – Rick Decker Sep 23 '15 at 0:33
  • $\begingroup$ @RickDecker it turns out I was too quick "translating" an Spanish word, since it appears that "dirigent" is not an English word. It should be replaced by "ruling", "leader" or "director" $\endgroup$ – SJuan76 Sep 23 '15 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, no, dirigent is an English word. It is somewhat old-fashioned, though, except when used to refer to certain proteins. $\endgroup$ – Obie 2.0 Sep 24 '15 at 0:20

If they can just kill off 26 million people in a blink of an eye. And want 1,000,000 people to be selected every year for 'something', then they are doing it only for their own twisted pleasure. They have the technology to just go and take as many as they want, whoever they want. They aren't. They are forcing us to 'choose'. These are sick bastards and I would either recommend sending 1 million highly trained troops with the hope of disrupting their fun/pleasure or do a Gandhi style sit down and refuse to cooperate. If they want us then they won't kill us all, otherwise they will just be killing us off slowly. Might as well give them the finger and tell them to suck it.

Homie don't play that.

  • $\begingroup$ Good point. Yes, they are bastards. We don't know why they do what they do. It's like some kind of reverse Christian God. They want US to choose who to send, but they can simple choose and kidnap without nobody noticing. $\endgroup$ – Rodmentou Sep 22 '15 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ I thought about the military, the thing is that you don't know where they end up. (are they killed?) etc... From a practical and logical point of view, you might risk sending small trained teams, but not full units. It's just throwing a LOT of money (all that training and expertise) away with no guarantee. You want your military to scour space and try and find the bastards, to be feeding you info. You don't just throw your weapon away. You keep it as long as you can so the day you find the Aliens, you give em hell. $\endgroup$ – Spacemonkey Sep 22 '15 at 17:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Spacemonkey I was mostly thinking it as a throw the dice strategy. If they all are highly trained, then it will improve the chances of one doing something use for us. But I'd only do that once. $\endgroup$ – bowlturner Sep 22 '15 at 17:02

Whoever controls the list has an unbeatable weapon, and will use it as such.

It will be composed of political rivals, uncaptured terrorists, freedom fighters, and criminals. Basically it will be the greatest tool of oppression in the history of the world.

You may also see religious concerns pushing to get rid of "undesirables" - gays/lesbians, atheists, etc. Probably just the most prominent individuals, but anyone famous and anti-establishment is in trouble.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, edited the question to better understand. From: '- The incident and conditions was made public.' To: '- The incident and conditions was made public, so it is a worlds leader decision.' $\endgroup$ – Rodmentou Sep 22 '15 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ @RodrigoSouza: Ok. I still think it will end up used this way, but probably will be less US-centric than my original thoughts. I edited it to reflect the updates. $\endgroup$ – Dan Smolinske Sep 22 '15 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ Yeahh, true. Nice point. $\endgroup$ – Rodmentou Sep 22 '15 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ Since it's not clear how the "official" list is composed, this is a moot point. $\endgroup$ – o0'. Sep 22 '15 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ Good idea. Imagine how much easier it would have been if Osama Bin Laden could have just been whisked away by aliens. $\endgroup$ – NPSF3000 Sep 23 '15 at 23:21

Don't worry. The Muslim world would prepare 100,000 suicide bombers who would happily give their life to save Earth and its future. The Christian world could come up with something similar. Also the Buddhists. We would actually have more than 1 million volunteers ready to give their lives to save earth. The only thing I am worried about, is whether the world can prepare very small, extremely high explosive devices in time to serve those sadists.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh, my God! That's insanely true! $\endgroup$ – Rodmentou Sep 22 '15 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ You know, if it actually happened, we would lose 1 million people from our world (the best and the bravest), but it would bring all nations magically closer. It would only be then that we would learn how thin was the veneer of racial, religious and national differences which we always fought and murdered for, during all our previous history. $\endgroup$ – Youstay Igo Sep 22 '15 at 17:07


The answer would be just no, and even if some ruler would try to say "yes", nobody would ever agree on who to send.

1 million people are many, they can easily be an army. And many more (their friends) would join. Try to pick anyone, and they will revolt.

This just won't work.

  • $\begingroup$ And yet, it worked for the Hunger Games. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Sep 22 '15 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, they should agree. The problem here is: if we say no, the entire human race will be annihilated. The chosen people did not need to agree, they just need to be picked by governments. $\endgroup$ – Rodmentou Sep 22 '15 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre Which doesn't depict the whole world, it's contained to a quite restricted area. With continuous rebellions. And they only pick a dozen people, not 1 million. A dozen people isn't an army. $\endgroup$ – o0'. Sep 22 '15 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ @RodrigoSouza still silly, still doesn't work. Let them try. $\endgroup$ – o0'. Sep 22 '15 at 16:47

Tell the people of ISIL that the aliens created a movie about their leader doing sex with goats. You have instantly some thousands volunteers to go, all wearing suicide bombs. The momment they enter the spaceship they kaboom.

  • $\begingroup$ I would imagine any species capable of whimsically crossing the vastness of space to murder tens of millions of people is going to be able to identify a bomb, not mention there's no discussion of how the chosen are removed from Earth. Several answers mention suicide bombing, but I don't think it's feasible. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Sep 22 '15 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ Murphy law applies to aliens too... $\endgroup$ – Jorge Aldo Sep 22 '15 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre Why would it be "murder"? We don't know what would happen to the ones chosen. Perhaps they would enter a paradisical environment. $\endgroup$ – Rick Decker Sep 23 '15 at 0:31
  • $\begingroup$ @RickDecker I was referring to the 19.75 million people killed in NY state the question mentions. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Sep 23 '15 at 1:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre who knows? The OP didn't bother to explain anything to make a sense out of it. $\endgroup$ – o0'. Sep 23 '15 at 7:21

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