Post-Deterrence Era, Day 60 A Lost World
For the first time since the end of deterrence, Sophon appeared. Still dressed in camouflage and wearing the katana on her back, she announced to the world that the Second Trisolaran Fleet would arrive in four years to complete the total conquest of the Solar System.
Trisolaran policy toward humanity had changed since the first crisis. Sophon announced that Trisolaris no longer intended to exterminate human civilization, but would create reservations for humans within the Solar System—specifically, they would let humanity live in Australia and on one-third of the surface of Mars. This preserved the basic living space needed for human civilization.
To prepare for the Trisolaran conquest in four years, Sophon declared that humanity must immediately begin to resettle. To accomplish the so-called “defanging” of humanity, and to prevent the reappearance of dark forest deterrence or similar threats in the future, humanity must be completely disarmed and resettle “naked.” No heavy equipment or facilities would be permitted in the reservations, and the resettlement must be completed within one year.
Human habitats on Mars and in space could accommodate about three million individuals at most; thus, the main destination for resettlement was Australia.
But most people still held on to the illusion that they would have at least a generation of tranquil life. After Sophon’s speech, no country responded, and no one actually emigrated.
Five days after this historical “Reservation Proclamation,” one of the five droplets cruising within the Earth’s atmosphere attacked three large cities in Asia, Europe, and North America. The purpose of the attacks wasn’t to destroy the cities, but to instill terror. The droplet passed straight through the giant forests of these cities, colliding with all hanging buildings that happened to be in the way. The struck buildings burned and then fell several hundred meters, like overripe fruits. Over three hundred thousand people died in the worst disaster since the Doomsday Battle.
People finally understood that, to the droplets, the human world was as fragile as eggs under a poised rock. Cities and large-scale facilities were defenseless. If the Trisolarans wanted, they could lay waste to every city, until the surface of the Earth was one large ruin.
As a matter of fact, humans had been working toward overcoming this disadvantage. Humans understood early on that only strong-interaction materials (SIM) could be used to defend against droplets. Before the termination of deterrence, research facilities on Earth and in the fleet could already produce small quantities of such material in laboratories, though large-scale manufacturing and utilization would not be possible for years.
If humanity had had another ten years, production of large amounts of SIM would have been a reality. Although the propulsion systems of the droplets would still have been far beyond human capabilities, at least conventional missiles could have been made out of SIM to destroy the droplets by sheer numerical advantage. Alternatively, SIM could have been used to construct defensive screens. Even if the droplets had dared to attack these shields, they would have become one-time-use shells.
Alas, none of these visions would ever come true now.
Sophon made another speech, in which she explained that Trisolaris had changed its policy of extermination of humanity out of love and respect for human civilization. It was inevitable that resettlement of humanity to Australia would cause them to suffer somewhat for a period of time, but it would last only three to four years. After the arrival of the Trisolaran Fleet, the conquerors were capable of helping the four billion people in Australia live comfortably. Also, the conquerors would assist humanity in constructing additional habitats on Mars and in space. Five years after the arrival of the Trisolaran Fleet, humanity could begin to migrate in large numbers to Mars and space, a process projected to take fifteen years. By then, humanity would possess adequate living space, and the two civilizations would begin a life of peaceful coexistence.
But all of this depended on the successful accomplishment of the initial resettlement to Australia. If the relocation effort did not commence immediately, the droplets would continue to attack the cities. After the expiration of the one-year period, any humans found outside the reservations would be exterminated as invaders on Trisolaran territory. Of course, if humans left the cities and scattered across the continents, the five droplets alone would not be enough to locate and kill every single individual. But the Second Trisolaran Fleet arriving in four years would no doubt be able to.
“The glorious and resplendent civilization of Earth earned humanity this one chance at survival,” said Sophon. “Please treasure it.”
Thus began the Great Resettlement of all of humanity to Australia.
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