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Vichy Earth
The Visitors are our friends.

"It has come to my attention that some have lately called me a collaborator, as if such a term was shameful. [...] I say, yes, I am a collaborator. We must all collaborate, willingly, eagerly, if we expect to reap the benefits of unification. And reap we shall."

Somewhere between the friendly aliens and the aliens who want to wipe us out completely, there's a group whose intentions are definitely hostile, but not genocidal. They land on Earth, knock down our pathetic defenses, and decide things would be better if they ran our lives for us. Maybe they need slaves, maybe they think we don't know how to govern ourselves, maybe they're setting the stage for a far more worrisome and sometimes tasty (tasty for them, that is) plan.

Whatever the reason, Terra Firma has become a Vichy planet. Best case scenario, the aliens are just doing it for our own good and intend to make sure the new government works out for us. Worst case scenario, we all go into the meatgrinder.

The name is inspired by the Nazi governing of France during World War II. In 1940 those areas of France not directly governed by German forces were controlled by a Nazi-friendly dictatorship based in the spa-town of Vichy. "Vichy France", or "Vichy Regime" as it was known, became something of a byword for pragmatic, if somewhat shamefaced, collaboration with the enemy.

This trope provides a sharp contrast to any series where humanity freely cruises the stars and calls many of the shots, and will generally focus on how humanity is affected by the change in power and how people feel about and react to it.

Expect La Résistance, especially if humans are being enslaved or killed. Les Collaborateurs will sometimes help the aliens, usually in a bid to get some of their old power back. See also Villain World.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Arume treat humanity in this fashion in the manga and anime Blue Drop, although their main reason not to destroy earth completely might be their attraction to its women.
  • Leiji Matsumoto uses this trope a lot, especially in Galaxy Express 999 and Captain Harlock. The Harlock spinoff Cosmo Warrior Zero revolves around an Earth starship serving a Vichy Earth.
    • Matsumoto's vision might be more directly influenced by his childhood in U.S. occupied Japan. This seems particularly evident in the rhetoric of the character of Maya in Waga Seishun no Arcadia. E.g. "The sun which set yesterday will rise again this morning. And we believe that the sun will rise again tomorrow."
  • The plot of Kenichi Sonoda's Cannon God Exaxxion revolves around this. The aliens make a point of frequently mentioning how they're Not So Different from what humans have been doing to each other throughout history & how they're a great deal more civil about it than most human empires have been (although their speeches to the public usually skirt the issue of their "Processing Plants").
  • That's what happens when your planet gets conquered by the Abh Empire or, for than matter, United Mankind in Crest of the Stars. Both sides have their good and bad points, but independent planets are not given any choice about joining the Abh Empire, and aren't always allowed to say no to United Mankind either.
  • It sorta happens in Magic Users Club — the Bell conquers the planet, and earth goes on, mostly because its military forces were thrashed. But the hand of the conqueror is very light — apparently content to just observe.
  • In Gantz, only days after Katastrophe, Japanese leaders are shown on TV making peace with the same aliens that destroyed every major cities and slaughtered millions, while the journalist calls Gantz troops a threat for peace.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, the Earth Federation Congress in Dakar surrenders to the invading forces of Neo-Zeon and hands over Side 3 to their rule, and later the Earth Federation permits Neo-Zeon to drop a colony on Dublin to terrorize the Earth's populace into submission.

    Comic Books 
  • This was a major plot-point in the Darker and Edgier Giffen-Birnbaum Legion of Super Heroes: Earth was officially allied with the Dominators, but in reality was under the Dominators control, and the earth government was fully collaborating with the Dominators. Needless to say, this put the Legion on the outs with earth.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A possible example of this trope, but with robots instead of aliens, is the movie I, Robot. It's discovered near the end of the movie that the robotic super-computer wants to control the world, whether we like it or not. It's all for our own protection, of course.
    • Which is really a heavy-handed application of a theme discussed in a classic Asimov story (see Literature).
  • In They Live!, Earth is the aliens' Third World, using us for cheap labor while keeping people docile and unquestioning with subliminal messages.
  • This is the intention of the aliens in Earth Vs The Flying Saucers. They explain that they have the power to conquer Earth by force, but that would mean ruling a devastated planet and its resentful population. Instead they try to make peaceful First Contact in order to negotiate terms. When things don't go well, the aliens try to intimidate mankind with increasing demonstrations of force.
  • Loki, by way of being a Dark Messiah during his rampage in The Avengers, believes he and his Chitauri army will be the bringers of such a regime. Tony Stark, however, does not agree.
    Tony: You're missing the point! There's no throne. There is no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe you open the portal, and maybe your army is too much for us, but it doesn't matter. Because whatever happens, it's all on you. Everybody will be gunning for you. Because if we can't save the Earth, we sure as Hell can avenge it.

    Literature 
  • In Arthur C. Clarke's novel Childhood's End, the Overlords come to Earth to help ease our transition to the next evolutionary stage. And at least according to the Overlords themselves, they came to prevent humanity from becoming a severe threat to themselves, as well as the rest of the universe. They don't exactly "invade" in the more common sense of the word, either; their ships just sorta arrive and hover over major cities and look intimidating while they're ... negotiating.
  • The Course of Empire by Eric Flint & K. D. Wentworth takes place after the alien Jao have succeeded in this, and has a rare sympathetic portrayal of Les Collaborateurs.
  • Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series involves the alien Lizards, themselves largely a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Imperial Japan (minus the more infamous elements we know and love today), attempting to do this in the middle of World War II. They only half succeed, but basically turn everything south of the Brandt Line plus Iberia and Australia into Vichy Earth.
    • Albeit only to an official extent—the actual people being governed aren't very willing about it. Even in The Race's headquarters city in Egypt, they're routinely harassed and shot at with small arms and weapons larger than small arms.
  • Poul Anderson's The High Crusade involves an attempt at this which backfires spectacularly.
  • In Stephen Baxter's Xeelee Sequence books, Earth is defeated and occupied thrice (always by a different alien race). Twice they can rise successfully, the third time... not.
  • Battlefield Earth to some degree. It was mostly Kill All Humans, but during the timeline of the book it was "one alien uses the humans for personal profit and then is going to wipe them out".
  • This is the state of Earth in CS Friedman's novel The Madness Season.
  • David Gerrold's The War Against the Chtorr series. It's not clear what the Chtorrans ultimately have in mind for the human race, but it appears to be assimilation.
  • The Sci-Fi short story Russian Vine is about this trope in perhaps its most benign form - the aliens responsible start by releasing pollutants that destroy humanity's ability to read. Once the resulting calamity dies down, they establish a new government and live among the people.
  • Again, not Earth, but in the Man/Kzin Wars series, the planet Wunderland is conquered and enslaved by the Kzin.
  • In the short story "The Liberation of Earth" by William Tenn, the narrator describes how an alien race "liberated" Earth by doing this. Then another alien race liberates Earth from the first aliens, and become the new overlords. Then the first alien race re-liberates Earth, and so on. In the end the whole thing was just a minor skirmish in an on-going galactic war, the aliens take their battle elsewhere and Earth has been reduced to a lop-sided irradiated wasteland.
  • In The Ganymede Takeover by Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson, Earth has been conquered by worm-like aliens from one of Jupiter's moons. They administer the planet via human collaborators - some willing, others former Resisters who've been reconditioned by disturbed psychiatric genius Rudolph Balkani. Unfortunately when Balkani and some other collaborators commit suicide the Ganymedeans wrongly assume the La Résistance have completely infiltrated the collaborationist regime and, as direct rule would be too costly, decide to withdraw from Earth and sterilise it entirely.
  • Gordon R. Dickson's The Way of the Pilgrim makes as if tells a pretty straightforward interpretation of this trope, with the protagonist, a translator/pet for the occupying Aalaag, organizing a revolution with the power of the indomitable human spirit. They have to, since militarily La Résistance is futile—if he had to, one fully armored Aalaag could defeat every human army in an afternoon. They used a couple.
  • The Alien Years by Robert Silverberg is a novel based on this concept- the "Entities" move in and take over, complete with shutting off the electricity.
  • In the My Teacher Is an Alien series, aliens contemplate occupying Earth because they consider them a possible threat to the rest of the galaxy. Of course, they're also considering blowing us up. Let's hope for Vichy Earth.
  • The Oankali of the Xenogenesis series sort of qualify. They show up right after the humans get done blowing themselves up in a nuclear war, and save the survivors, intending to crossbreed with them in order to create a new species. The catch: This will leave humans, as such, extinct.
  • Aliens are running the earth in Patricia Anthony's Brother Termite; it's told from the point of view of one of them.
  • In Jack Chalker's Rings of the Master series, the Master is a supercomputer that was built with the order to keep humanity safe. It calculates the best to do this is to scatter the human race throughout the stars so that destruction of any one planet won't kill everyone, but keep the humans on each individual planet confined to ethnically partitioned zones with no technology beyond subsistence farming, to prevent them from warring with each other. The result is an enforced Vichy Galaxy.
  • Piers Anthony's Triple Detente (formerly titled A Piece of Cake) was a novel that starts with this premise. The truth turns out to be more complicated than that.
  • Played with in Roger Zelazny's This Immortal. After humanity wrecks Earth with nuclear war and ecological meltdown, most of the population emigrates to an alien civilization's worlds. Consequently, the government in exile and the near-vestigial apparatus on earth end up bending over backwards to make the (often annoyingly superior) aliens happy, while a resistance on Earth is trying to inspire humanity's return to the empty but recovering planet and the overthrow of the alien-controlled regime. The subversion comes from the aliens themselves, who would prefer to leave the planet in responsible human hands, if they can find such. The alien rep's visit to earth is essentially a Secret Test of Character for the protagonist.
  • In Timothy Zahn's Blackcollar novels, Earth and its colonies have all been subjugated (and at least one obliterated) by the alien Ryqril more than a quarter century before the first novel starts. All human officials have to undergo conditioning that ensures their unquestioning loyalty to their alien masters. Every year, all human worlds celebrate the Victory Day as the glorious day when the alien masters ended the "old regime" and brought their just (*cough*) rule to humans.
  • Cthulhu's Reign, edited by Darrell Schweitzer, is a Cthulhu Mythos anthology of short stories on what existence on Earth would be like when the Old Ones return. Some think that serving the new masters is the answer, but whether this leads to their survival, let alone humanity's, is doubtful. If so it's only for Cthulhu's petty amusement.
    • A Study in Emerald plays with a similar concept: The Old Ones rose and took over the European monarchies at some point in the past. Life goes on...even if the Old Ones tend to munch on the occasional mind now and again (something treated with a shrug in the story).
  • The John W. Campbell short story Out of Night and its sequel Cloak of Aesir detail the fight against the occupying alien Sarn that conquered Earth four thousand years ago.
  • The entire premise to Under Alien Stars by Pamela F. Service is this, as an alien race called the Tsorians showed up ten years ago, completely kicked our butts, and turned Earth into a military outpost for their empire. It's zigzagged, however; even though they control the highest levels of government and crack down on rebellions, life goes on more or less like it always did.
  • The final story in Isaac Asimov's classic collection, "I, Robot", is a discussion between Susan Calvin and Stephen Byerley (who, interestingly, may just have been a Robot) about several small, but inexplicable, errors in the production and construction quotas from the (Three Laws compliant) AIs tasked with running the world economy (to maximize efficiency). It seems that all the errors are connected to a Covert Group who sees the control given to the AIs as creating a Vichy Earth where humans are enslaved to machines. The machines should be able to predict and compensate for the discrepancies these small acts of sabotage produce, but they aren't. Calvin postulates that the machines are creating an illusion of these men sabotaging themselves and their own companies so that they'll be demoted/go out of business and stop being a threat. The motive? The AIs do want a Vichy Earth... after all, they have all the data, the processing power, and no personal agendas, politics, or desire for power to get in the way of running things equitably and efficiently for all humanity.
    • This was in fact an early manifestation of the Zeroth Law (allowing some humans to come to harm/harm themselves for the greater benefit of humanity as a whole) that Asimov would formally develop through R. Giskard in The Robots of Dawn. Byerley is horrified by the implication, of both the AIs being able to overrule the 1st Law by letting these men harm themselves and by a world run by AIs. But Calvin insists such a development is not unlikely given the nature of the giant AI brains and that a world ruled by such Machines would be a world of peace and an end to the struggles of humanity.
  • The Caves of Steel and its sequels are about the former Earth colonies who make Earth their vassal. While not violent, it is estimated that if this state continues, constant revolts and suppression will wipe out Earth's people within a century.
  • This has happened in Novels of the Jaran.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Tripods books and TV series, an alien race has subverted human civilisation from within, and then installed themselves as rulers. From the age of 14 people are fitted with mind-controlling "caps", which make people cooperative, docile and serene. Caps also remove all drive, creativity and rebellion. Finally, caps cause people to instinctively worship their Tripod conquerors. Ultimately, the alien invaders plan to "terraform" Earth to change the atmosphere to one they can breathe... but humans cannot.
  • V: The Visitors in the original 2 miniseries and TV series; their counterparts in the 2009 remake are obviously but slowly setting the stage for this.
  • Earth: Final Conflict is also built on the Trope.
  • It's not Earth, but the Cylon occupation of New Caprica in the 2000s Battlestar Galactica was ostensibly for the purposes of bringing human and Cylon together in peace.
  • Doctor Who has many examples.
    • 1964's "The Dalek Invasion of Earth": In the 22nd Centry the Daleks have wiped out 9/10ths of the population with a plague, leaving the strongest as slaves. The Dalek Supreme rules the planet from his unlikely capital in Bedfordshire. While there are only a small number of Daleks overseeing proceedings, the population is kept under control by the Robomen who are unwillingly made to do their bidding via intrusive cranial cybernetics.
    • 1972's "Day of the Daleks": This time, instead of Robomen, the Daleks have installed an apparently efficient system of willing human 'quislings'. It seems the Daleks have learned to keep people in order via more subtle methods than just sticking a radio receiver in their brains. Their collaborators are provided with sharp tailoring, cushy lodgings, blonde female staff and plenty of fruit and nuts. To do their really dirty work, they're employing the Ogrons, a race of interstellar mercenaries. The Daleks themselves remain largely hidden behind the scenes.
    • 1978's "The Invasion of Time": Gallifrey gets invaded. The President puts in place a curfew, ejects a lot of revered Time Lords due to their political pasts and deactivates the planet's most vital defence systems, all at the behest of the invaders.
    • 2007's "Last of the Time Lords": The Master has conquered contemporary Earth. He's in a politically advantageous position as Prime Minister of the UK, and the human population has been enslaved in order to build a fleet with which he can conquer the universe, of course. Resistance is minimal thanks to the Master's mind-control satellites; fortunately Martha demonstrates there is more than one way to resist.
  • "The Deprogrammers", from the Showtime revival of The Outer Limits, is a very dark, slavery-themed version.
  • Another non-Earth version in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where the Cardassian occupation of Bajor produced many Bajoran Quislings who helped the Cardassians in exchange for continuing to live in comfort. It's cleverly turned on its head when the Dominion War starts. Bajor has little choice but to try and remain neutral at the start, signing a non-aggression treaty with the Dominion. Deep Space Nine itself is taken over by the Cardassians as Star Fleet retreats from the sector, and former Bajoran resistance fighter Kira keeps her old job, justifying herself by saying she needs to keep things running smoothly so the Cardassians won't start brutalizing the station's residents. It's not long until an outspoken member of the Bajoran clergy publicly hangs herself in protest of the situation ("Evil must be opposed!"). Kira comes to the bitter realization that she is now a collaborator herself, working side by side with the enemy while her friends and allies among the Klingons and the Federation wage war to defend the entire region from Dominion rule.
    • This increasingly becomes the situation with the Cardassians themselves, under the control of the Dominion. It becomes obvious when Damar is replaced by a more pliant Cardassian puppet ruler.
  • This happens to Narn and the other Narn planets in the middle of season 2 (June 2259 or thereabouts) of Babylon 5. After bombarding the homeworld from orbit, the Centauri dissolved the Kha'Ri (Narn's governing body) and established an occupation government staffed with collaborators (though generally not Quislings). They put a price on G'Kar's head and appoint a new ambassador to Babylon 5, with whom G'Kar has some serious disagreements. By the middle of Season 4 (June 2261), the Centauri discovered they had more serious trouble back home and, thanks to a deal between G'Kar and Londo, the Centauri left.
    • The story expands in Season Two with the assassination of EarthGov President Santiago, whose death is staged to looked like a random ship explosion. This paves the way for Vice-President Clark and other reactionaries in the cabinet to implement their hardline isolationist policies. Sheridan suspects that Clark and his warhawks are unwitting pawns of an alien consortium which seeks to destabilize Eath, but has only a short time to prove it before mankind is embroiled in another costly (and, most probably, terminal) war.
  • The Aschen from Stargate SG-1. In this case Earth was supposedly invited to join an advanced alien confederation. The whole genocide and sterilization plot was secret from everybody except for the highest Aschen and some collaborating human leaders.
  • In Lexx, nearly all of humanity in the Light Universe has been reduced to slaves and eventually food serving His Divine Shadow the last survivor of the Insect Civilization.

    Video Games 
  • The Ur-Quan subjugation of Earth in Star Control 2 fits this trope to a T — Earth is put under a "slave shield" to prevent anyone from entering or leaving the planet, a force is stationed on the moon to make sure that the planet is following the Ur-Quan's orders, and the planet must keep a space station for repairing and resupplying Hierarchy vessels. The planet itself, however, is mostly left to its own devices. With a Nigh Invulnerable force field around it, the Ur-Quan neither know nor care what its inhabitants do.
    • The Spathi captain Fwiffo does mention being reduced to "pre-atomic savagery".
      • Most historical monuments and landmarks, including some the humans did not know existed, were destroyed. The Ur-Quan also destroyed Buenos Aires as punishment for having opposed them in the first place.
      • Ironically, if you manage to ally with the Spathi, they study Earth's slave shield and intentionally duplicate it on their own world. The Spathi really only want to be safe.
      • Fortunately for the humans, Fwiffo wasn't an expert in these matters. In the end, when the shield is taken down, spaceships launch from Earth to meet you at the Starbase, implying that they've retained a fairly high level of civilization.
  • In the Doom novels, the aliens that attack Earth use this as a ploy to gain control over most of Earth's armed forces — however, this is only in preparation for their attempted genocide.
  • The Combine have done this to Earth in Half-Life 2. Their plans, however, include converting all of humanity into either Stalker slaves or Transhuman soldiers. Meanwhile, the planet gets its resources depleted, the oceans drained away and its atmosphere siphoned with giant portals. It's all advertised as being for our own good, as the page quote indicates.
  • The Elites in Halo wanted to do this to Earth and the human colonies, but the Prophets overruled them and decided on Kill All Humans instead. This is just one of several events that led to the schism between Elites and Prophets.
    • SOP for the Covenant seems to be to make Vichy planets of the races they conquer and assimilate them into their empire.
  • UFO: Enemy Unknown develops into this. As the game progresses, more and more nations will be taken over by alien infiltrators and stop funding X-Com. Should X-Com be disbanded, all of the Earth's governments will become Les Collaborateurs for a brief period, then the aliens will invade openly and enslave humanity.
    • There's also EXALT in Enemy Within. While not openly allied with the aliens, they hold a number of transhumanist ideals and agree with the alien's plan to conquer and guide humanity. While XCOM and the national militaries are resisting and fighting against the aliens, EXALT will actively undermine their ability to do so through covert ops.
  • In the JauntTrooper universe, aliens successfully foment World War III so that they can step in and assume dominion over the ruins. The human survivors are divided between La Résistance and Les Collaborateurs.

    Web Original 
  • In WorldWar: Out of Balance (link only works for members), a story posted on AlternateHistory.com, the Lizards from Worldwar manage to achieve this... but, in reality, the humans have been playing them so that they can eventually counter-attack and expel them from Earth.

    Western Animation 
  • Sometimes done by the Irkens in Invader Zim, if they don't just level the lifeforms and make another Parking Structure Planet. The residents of the Conveyor Belt Planet have all been put to work stamping boxes; the Vorts seem to mostly be put in prisons and forced to make weapons. (Some suggest that this is why Irken tech tends to not work too well.)
    • In this apparently-canonical end of the series, Zim manages to take over the Earth...and no one but Dib seems to mind. Huh.
  • In the animated Justice League, the Thanagarians take over Earth for its own good. Or so they say. They're actually planning to destroy the whole planet as part of their plans to attack another civilization.
    • It's actually a bit of a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy because they do after all want to destroy Earth to make way for a Hyperspace Bypass.
    • It should be noted that without it they actually did lose the war, and were conquered because of it.
  • "And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords!"
  • Has happened numerous times in Futurama, since Earth is a third-rate power whose defense is led by a moron.
  • Young Justice: This is the goal of the Reach. In Impulse's timeline, they've been successful in enslaving the population.

    Other 


Puny EarthlingsThis Index EarthThe War of Earthly Aggression
The UsurperBetrayal TropesWas It All a Lie?
Very Loosely Based on a True StorySpeculative Fiction TropesVicious Cycle
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