When astronomers discover a fusion flame on the edge of the solar system, the world becomes abuzz with the possibility of alien contact. Confusion and panic begins, however, when several hundred more are discovered coming in from a different direction than the first one. The world finally begins to prepare for invasion when the Cassini probe photographs the first alien spacecraft, revealing a mile-long spacecraft armed to the teeth. Thankfully, humanity will not give up without a fight, and has plenty of time to prepare for the invaders. Soon, a three-way war will begin between the Race, the Fithp, and Mankind.
There are two version of the story: the original, released in 2015, and 2nd version, being initially released in 2017 and finished in 2019. The 2nd version differs quite a bit from the original, especially in narrative style (with World War Z-style post-war interviews than the original's timeline listing + conventional narration) and in several details in the story itself.
There also exists a thread of the story on Spacebattles, which can be found here. The author has stopped editing it over there due to some drama, and we will just leave it there. The author finished it on Sufficient Velocity; it can be found here.
As of the 7th of March, Worldfall has been completed, and as the 6th of June, the sequel, That Uncertain Night has begun being posted on SV as well.
This page contains examples of:
- Adaptational Badass: Earth in general. It does far better in combat against the aliens than in either canon.
- Alien Catnip: Ginger is a narcotic to the Race, as per canon.
- Alien Invasion: Naturally. It features two of the most popular hard sci-fi alien invaders in literature, so it's to be expected.
- Alternate History: The Point of Divergence is in late 2014, when the Thuktun Flishity is discovered by astronomers across the planet. It only snowballs from there. It also serves as an alternate continuity for both Worldwar and Footfall. The original version, written before 2016 election, also presents Hillary Clinton as the President of the US.
- Badass Boast: "Earth Will Break Before We Do".
- BFG: The US develops its railgun program and starts constructing large batteries of them across the country, with Russia following suit.
- Big Damn Heroes: The USS Constitution and her crew pulls off one of these for the crew of the USS Missouri
- Blue and Orange Morality: Both the Race and Fithp have differing moral values from humans. The Race doesn't have families and places more emphasis on friendship, while the Fithp are reflexively obedient to the winners of a war.
- Boring Yet Practical: A few measures taken against the invasions are this:
- The B-52 is still used, especially once the Race manage to land in the US, because it can unload up to 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) worth of bombs and missiles on an unsuspecting enemy.
- The M1A5 has several improvements over the previous US tanks, but the one the Race tank crews describe as most formidable is the autoloader that allows the main gun to fire faster.
- Mongolian civilians join the Asian front of Operation Earth with small arms taken from armories of the collapsed armed forces and their own horses. They are implied to have been more effective than expected.
- The Race invasion of Sicily is boggled down by nothing more than the Italians fighting with their usual weapons on the hill/mountain terrain mix their army and tactics are uniquely adapted to.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: The US recommissions and upgrades the Iowa-class battleships for combat against the invaders, and brings the USS Constitution to symbolically start the shelling. Several decommissioned planes are also recommissioned, with their old pilots volunteering to fly in one last mission.
- Break the Haughty: The Race, big time. They came to Earth believing themselves to be the most advanced and developed species in the universe, and face the grim reality when the war begins.
- Bring It: Humanity's rallying cry is "Earth Will Break Before We Do". After taking over the Conquest Fleet and Footfall, Straha's ultimatum specifically quotes the phrase and warns he will break the planet if humanity doesn't surrender first.
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Spectacularly averted: when the Race finally manages to invade France after Footfall, the French give them a horrifying beating even before they start using Nerve Gas.
- The other recipients of the trope, the Italians, don't get much screentime, but it's mentioned that the post-Footfall Race invasion of Sicily is savaged by the defenders thanks to judicious use of the local hilly terrain (that the Italian army is especially suited for) and Mount Etna's eruption, and only survives through the sheer numbers (two million troopmales plus Fithp support).
- Colony Drop: Straha orders the Fithp to drop two asteroids in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterrian Sea
- Chekhov's Gun: The USS Constitution symbolically starts the shelling on the Race forces in the USA during Operation Earth, then gets out of there before the real fight begins, only to turn around and perform the above Big Damn Heroes moment towards the end of the battle.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The Race is on the receiving end of this from both humans and Fithp once the war starts. The industrialized nations of Earth prove to far superior on the ground, and the Race's weaponless ships are nothing but cannon fodder for the monstrous Thuktun Flishithy.
- The Race's post-Footfall offensive runs into three of them: while their assault on the Iberian peninsula (the weakest defended and most devastated area) is simply heavily opposed, the assault on France is devastated, with the attack force on Lyon (200,000 troopmales) being completely wiped out by nerve gas, the invasion of Sicily runs in the army most adapted to fight on hilly/mountain terrain, and the invasion of the US suffers a devastating defeat in the Battle of Route 55. While none of the invasions is completely repulsed, the force in Sicily is savaged and can't even occupy the whole island, the one in the US is shaken by the defeat, and the one in France has lost 10% of its forces in a single battle and and is psychologically broken by the tales of the few survivors.
- Death from Above: The Fithp specialize in this, using a mixture of space-based lasers and orbital bombardment to dominate the skies over lesser-developed nations and cripple their infrastructure, respectively.
- Determinator: Humanity's rallying cry is "Earth Will Break Before We Fall". They mean it.
- Doomsday Device: The Russian Project Drob', which is ground-based Nuclear Explosively Formed Penetrator that can slam tungsten penetrators into enemy ships at relativistic speed and break the target through sheer mechanical stress. The problem is that shallow detonation of multiple 100 megaton warheads (if you want to launch multiple plates, which you will, because you can't aim due to it being dug into the ground) will cause catastrophic damage to the biosphere, especially the ones near Siberian methane pockets, thus it was considered as absolute last resort in case Archangel and Bog-ubiytsa doesn't work and the war is going badly for humans.
- Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Played with.
- EMP: As per canon, the Race detonates several nuclear bombs in Earth's atmosphere in order to take out their electronics. Unfortunately for them, Earth saw this coming, and spent six years hardening their electronics against such an assault. Ultimately, only the poorer nations on Earth are actually affected.
- Enemy Civil War: The Schism among the Race invasion forces after Footfall.
- Enemy Mine: The threat posed by the Race and the Fithp is enough to make countries that dislike or outright despise each other work together.
- Foreshadowing: Many interviewed character mention that if they had known what Straha would later do they would have killed him on the spot.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The Fithp use this in spades. They are used realistically, serving as anti-missile defenses capable of swatting down ICBMs. The US also develops the YAL-1 laser and COIL during the six-year preparation for the invaders, and it is implied Russia does so as well.
- Godzilla Threshold: Multiple times during the story. The discovery that the aliens are not friendly crosses the threshold and causes enemy nations to work together to prepare against the invaders.
- Home Field Advantage: Humanity takes extreme advantage of the fact the Race isn't used to fighting in wet climates and away from plains. Especially notable in Sicily, where the Race invasion is savaged by the heavily outnumbered Italians taking advantage of their country's mix of hill and mountain terrain and having built their war machines to fight in it.
- I Did What I Had to Do: How Atvar justifies defecting to humanity after the shiplords have him demoted: it's the only way to preserve the Colonization Fleet from the consequences of Straha's madness.
- Insufficiently Advanced Alien: The Race and Fithp are this to the humanity of 2020. The only technological advantage either side holds is in regards to space travel, like fusion drives and cryogenic hibernation. The United Nations even points this out when they attempt diplomacy with the Race, stating that they are willing to trade their knowledge of genetics, nanotechnology, and other sciences to the Race in exchange for the fusion drive. Unfortunately, Atvar doesn't bite, stating that he has never heard of nanotechnology, and believes it to be a hoax.
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: A downplayed example. Although all sides primarily use kinetic weaponry, the humans and Fithp also heavily rely on lasers for point-defense.
- Made of Iron: The USS Constitution is hit by some ACP shots in the middle of her Big Damn Heroes moment. She only needs minor repairs afterwards. Lampshaded by both her Truth in Television nickname 'Ol' Ironsides,' which she's called by a few times, and a member of the Missouri's crew:
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": Humanity's reaction when they learn a hopped up on ginger Straha is now in control of both invasion fleets and is planning to use the Foot to bombard Earth
- Nuke 'em: Used to an alarming extent during the war. First, the Race detonates several nuclear weapons in Earth's upper atmosphere in an attempt to take out human electronics. It fails, and the Race get a taste of human anti-orbital weaponry when a Russian ICBM destroys one of their starships. When the Fithp arrive in orbit, spacecraft placed in orbit by the US fire a dozen nuclear weapons at their mothership. Most are shot down, but the Thuktun Flishity is damaged enough to warrant a retreat behind the moon for repairs. Straha also attempts this trope when he deposes Atvar, sending killercraft to nuke Rome, Tehran, and several other human cities. Fortunately, all of them are shot down by Fithp orbital lasers and human defenses. Later on in the war, when the Fithp make landfall in India, the government is forced to ask Pakistan and China to launch missiles at the Fithp in order to overwhelm their absurd anti-missile defenses. It works, but Delhi and Mumbai are lost as a result. Finally, nukes start to fly like crazy in the space combat between the Archangel Michael and the invaders. Might be regarded as the Nuclear Option instead.
- Only Sane Man: As the war progresses, Atvar becomes this for the Race, slowly realizing that they can't win the war without destroying the planet, starting negotiations to keep a foothold on Earth shortly before the arrival of the Fithp and outright deciding to retreat after the Fithp have arrived-and the shiplords have him removed from his post and replaced with Straha for this.
- Shocking Defeat Legacy: The near-contemporary defeats at Route 55 and in Sicily and the annihilation of the attack force on Lyon leave the Race forces shocked and terrified.
- Space Age Stasis: Two examples, with the Fithp and the Race. The Fithp are of the "No Innovation," variety, knowing how to use their tech but not why because all they did was copy the designs from their precursors. The Race, on the other hand, takes the "Innovates, but very slowly" route that they're known for- they do advance, it's just that it takes a lot longer than it does for mankind.
- Taking You with Me: Humanity had planned ways to wipe out every form of life on Earth's surface should they lose, devastating enough they didn't add cobalt to the bombs because it wouldn't have been necessary.
- Tank Goodness: The American M1A5, an M1 Abrams with improved armor and a 140mm gun.
- We Have Reserves: The only reason the Race remains a powerful force: they have enough forces to tank the grievous losses they suffer. Even post-Footfall they can still tank the loss of almost two million troopmales at Route 55 and push on with the invasion of the US.