(Revised original concept based on feedback)

So, a race of humanoid aliens have invaded and are planning to wipe us out for some reason or another (apparently we offended them somehow), and after a brutal and sudden opening, both humanity and the aliens eventually find themselves locked in a stalemate.

Despite the aliens having some form of interstellar technology, both sides have more or less fought to a draw, since their weapons technology doesn't appear to be much more advanced than our own. However, we have much shorter supply lines, so we can afford to expend a few more drones and missiles than them.

While the worlds various Navy's and Air Forces struggle to keep shipping and flight lanes open and prevent the invaders from taking control of the skies, the ground forces are stuck trying to dislodge what ground forces the aliens managed to land. This is proving difficult as the aliens have settled in for a siege, and their ground-based defence technology is several steps above our own. Primarily, their bases are defended with some sort of select frequency EMP shield and various anti-air and -rocket/missile system that renders them virtually immune to any air-based attack short of a sustained saturation attack to overload their defences.

While the various land forces figure out an optimal strategy to destroy the alien land bases, the aliens themselves begin a campaign of terror strikes targeting various civilian population centers and industry. This is rather effective until they target a laboratory belonging to a rather unremarkable and privately funded genetic research company, the reason being a few leaked pieces of security footage showing several members of the sites security personnel defeating the would be aliens in CQB seemingly unaided.

This causes a bit of a stir worldwide, as the aliens have been noted to have increased levels of physical performance compared to humans, with various critics citing the footage as fake and a propaganda stunt - until the company confirms that it did actually happen.

They go onto explain that they were profiling the aliens genetic material for weakness to various chemical and biological agents, when a researcher discovered several genes that controlled motor unit co-ordination in muscles and tissue recovery for various organs, allowing for more effective healing, essentially borderline organ/soft tissue regeneration. Furthermore, in a nearly impossible genetic fluke, the genes are somehow compatible-more or less, with the human genome, and with a modified retrovirus as a delivery vector, an intensive month-long gene therapy procedure was developed.

Despite various protests, lawsuits and complaints about 'playing God', they defend their research, presenting evidence that modern-day genetic science could have discovered something effectively similar within several decades - or a lucky genetic mutation.

I'm primarily interested in the plausibility of the various aspects of my scenario - Is the fact that the aliens, despite being from a much more advanced society, have weapons technology that isn't much more advanced than ours? Would alien forces trapped on the ground resort to terror strikes against civilians to force the governments to reassign military assets to protect them? The fact that a select few parts of their genetic material are essentially somehow compatible with humans, the biological effects of the improvements are plausible, and the duration of the enhancement procedure and the non-alien-influenced development time for said enhancements. I know that the ethical concerns around genetic engineering are real enough - I need only look at the news.

  • $\begingroup$ It's only overkill if significantly less would suffice to get the job done. If whatever amount of whatever is actually needed to achieve the intended goal, then it is not overkill; it is prudence. What is needed to destroy a tank would be overkill against unprotected human targets, but that doesn't mean that if your goal is to destroy the tank using the force it takes to do so is overkill. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Apr 18 '16 at 7:50
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    $\begingroup$ Hello @Seta and welcome to Worldbuilding. Your setting is clear-cut, but your question is not. I cannot even locate a question. What is it that you seek to get within potential answers? You should edit your post to clarify what kind of response you are looking for. :) $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Apr 18 '16 at 8:11
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    $\begingroup$ A technological solution worth investigating: exoskeletons. If you can field your troops with the right exo, you could make them stronger, capable to bear heavier weapons and armor, increase athletic capabilities, and inject them with a variety of drugs (antiseptic, performance enhancing...). Pro: 100% humanity preserved, could be worn by anybody regardless of physical condition. Cons: would require training and maintenance, may not quite solve all your problems, could be rather expensive. $\endgroup$ – AmiralPatate Apr 18 '16 at 11:51
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    $\begingroup$ If they have the technology to manipulate living humans, then don't they have the technology to make some underground labs for eggs, sperm, and something to grow them in? $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Apr 18 '16 at 13:34
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    $\begingroup$ why would the war take that long? With current tech +some way to get a lot of material into space, we could put together a fleet that would take a planet in months. Why would we be able to hold out for years against a stronger enemy that obviously has a lot of practice at this $\endgroup$ – sdrawkcabdear Apr 18 '16 at 18:51

Your question assumes that humans will be going face to face with the enemy, almost like a battle of old where two armies face get set up on opposing ends of a field and then have at each other. That has not really been the case since the 1980's.

Today, a guy in a trailer on the continental US can do more damage to an enemy's armoured forces half-way accross the world with a drone, than can a fully equipped platoon of battle tanks, all while being home in time to tuck his kids in at night and grab a beer, watching some NetFlix. The days when sheer physical strength and resilience mattered are long gone. Nowadays the soft squishy humans are either killed outright, or does not even get a scratch because they are either not on the battlefield, or neatly wrapped up in many layers of protection. The tipping-point between annihilation and complete safety is so thin by now that the factors of which you speak are not really relevant.


...you set the stage for that. Change the setting so that physical qualities become relevant for war, and then we can tell in more detail how the desired qualities might be achieved.

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    $\begingroup$ You could vote to close the question as to broad and include your reasoning for doing so in the comments. That would bring it to the attention of the community and possibly start a conversation to help the OP. This is his/her first post, after all. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Apr 18 '16 at 12:45
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, but you literally said it wasn't a response to the question, and I agree with Frostfyre. Besides, Seta has probably noticed it. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Apr 18 '16 at 13:37
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    $\begingroup$ @TheAnathema My understanding of the edit function is that its meant to be used to improve/clarify the question. If I end up redoing my whole scenario to the point where it is technically a new question, shouldn't it deserve a new question instead of shifting the goalposts on this question? $\endgroup$ – Seta Apr 18 '16 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Seta Yes, that's correct. But if you're just making it less broad, editing it is better. $\endgroup$ – The Anathema Apr 18 '16 at 21:09
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    $\begingroup$ Post changed so that it is an answer to the question as it is presently stated. If there is anything else you wish for me to know about how to make SE a high quality site where people get the help they need for their world-building, do not hesitate to enlighten me. Thank you for the conversation. :) $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Apr 18 '16 at 21:18

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