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Fanfic / Worldfall

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Worldfall is a Crossover between Worldwar and Footfall.

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. For example, in the Worldwar series, the southern hemisphere and most of the north that isn't Nazi Germany, the United Kingdom, USA, Japan, or the Soviets are under Race control. Here? They lose over two thirds of the invasion forces and are forced to settle into "Free Race" areas, with no real territory remaining under their official control. The biggest clawhold they have is Darfur, which love the Race for stopping the genocide.
    • The Space Program gets a boost with the more advanced technology of Earth being combined with Race and Fithp tech. In the original, the first human-designed spaceships weren't deployed until the Colonization Fleet had already shown up, and the first interstellar journey happened in Homeward Bound, which was well after the Colonization Trilogy. Here, not only is the Colonization Fleet greeted by fifteen human and Fithp ships, but there's already a diplomatic voyage part of the way to Home by the time the colonists arrive.
    • In Foot Fall, there's only one space ship, Michael, sent up by the United States. Here, there are three, Michael, Uriel, and Russia's Chonqui and Mumbai.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: The story describes Hallesi and Rabotev being among the Race's forces. In the books, no Rabotev or Hallesi were part of the Conquest fleet, and the first time humans meet them is when they go to Home.
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  • Alien Art Is Appreciated: Played with, but played more seriously with the 'fi. While some humans appreciate the themes of Race media (a sense of trust that humans can see but not fully understand), the 'fi culturally are at the level of neolithic cavemen. They are, literally and figuratively, an extremely young race with very few stories or things to shape their identity. As such, they latch on to human and Race media and try to make their own as soon as they can.
  • Alien Catnip: Ginger is a narcotic to the Race, as per canon. This is averted with the other species of The Race- the Hallessi and Rabotev don't get the same narcotic effect from ginger, and are thus usually the ones assigned to guard or police the substance (they do, however, enjoy the taste).
  • 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.
  • America Saves the Day: Played with, and deconstructed. Pre-war, America was one of the strongest nations on the planet, and their soldiers, materials, and technology played a big part in defeating the invaders. On the other hand, they took enormous casualties and damages for exactly that reason, and post-war America is no longer the "Leader of the Free World."
  • 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.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: In the epilogue of the second version of the story, it's revealed that the one conducting the interviews, who is internationally recognized as a journalist, is actually a spy from the Precursors of the Fithp looking at the massive anthropological study Earth has become (in that there are circumstances here so strange, no one in the galaxy has seen anything like it before.
  • Big Bad: Ultimately, the Race is the true enemy that must be fought against... or rather, Straha in particular. The Fithp, for all their advanced technology, only launch one major invasion of the world and a few orbital bombardments before they're taken over by Straha and serve the Race's interests for the rest of the conflict.
  • 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. It probably would have been more effective had the human he forced to deliver the message not been blinking "EWBBWD" in morse code while he was saying it.
    • Straha, in the climax, tells the Human ships pursuing him that if they fail to catch him, he'll come back and glass the Earth. Their response is, "If."
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Each species has their own name for certain things, and while there are cases of Hold Your Hippogriffs here and there, the most noteworthy is the names for the planet- Humans call it "Earth," the Race calls it "Tosev 3," and the Fithp call it "Winterhome." Likewise, each race has different names for the various other races (leaving out that each human language has their own terms for the invaders). Humans to the Fithp are "Winterhome Fithp" and the Race is "Race Fithp," while to the Race humans are "Tosevites" and Fithp are "Jarsevites" (named such after their names for their respective homeworlds- Tosev III is Earth, and Jarsev is the Fithp Homeworld).
  • 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 an asteroid in the Gulf of Mexico and to ram a heavily damaged Race ship into the Mediterrian Sea.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Several characters lampshade how massively unlikely it is that two spacefaring nations decided to invade Earth at the same time.
  • 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 (America lost about a thousand soldiers total, had three mobility killed tanks, and a few planes. The Race lost 1.5 million soldiers and thousands of tanks and planes). 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. Once the Race take over the Fithp, they begin using this to take out troublesome enemy forces, as well.
  • Determinator: Humanity's rallying cry is "Earth Will Break Before We Do". 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.
  • The Dreaded: Ghorkas become this among the Race to the point that they've adopted the word as their term for Demon. At least one Ghorka post-war is unhappy with this, pointing out that yes, it's good to be feared in war, but he's still a nice person who loves his family, and admits that it's possible that the Ghorkas went too far.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Played with, but ultimately averted. The story makes it very clear that even if the Aliens are not that great at tactics, they still have huge numbers and orbital superiority. It takes a lot of work to fight them.
  • 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.
    • The US Military discusses adopting messenger pigeons again, as generally an EMP will not affect birds (unlike delicate electronics).
  • 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.
  • Epic Fail: Poor Harpanet. The first interviewed fi' and his tale... Well, he was assigned to a landing craft that would land in the US. It gets shot out from under him, leaving him to plummet out of the sky with only his armor and life support gear... from low orbit. Then he lands and crushes a car underneath him, cracking some bones, whereupon he is now confused, terrified out of his mind (from the situation he's in and because he's never been outside before), and in pain. When the cops show up, he just gives up and surrenders... but before he can they shoot him (nonfatally). On top of all of this, he's the one who tells humanity about The Foot, allowing them to prep when it first shows up.
  • Foregone Conclusion: the second version of Worldfall makes it clear, via the format, that humanity will win the war against both the Race and the Fithp, in order for the viewpoint character to make the interviews.
  • 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.
    • The humans initially have a huge advantage over the Race in cold climates. Because the worlds the Race lives on aren't cold enough to freeze, they never developed Antifreeze, so some of their vehicles start shutting down.
  • Humans Are Bastards: One of the Race's arguments of why they should rule mankind is the horrible, horrible things they've found while conquering- villages of raped and mutilated women and children, slums, prisoner camps in North Korea... post-war, Darfur is one of the only places that welcomes the Race with open arms, because they ended the genocide when they invaded.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Humanity manages to eke out a victory against two interstellar nations at the same time, thanks to our viciousness, our swift advancement, and our technology.
  • 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.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Multiple characters, even in the epilogue, mock how convenient it was that not one, but two alien races tried to invade Earth at the same time with no prior coordination. The Precursors are even more astounded that a) five different intelligent species came out of such a small region of space, b) that they happened to rise out of the same region they did, and c) that the ones they chose to be their descendants- the Fithp- are the ones invading, using the same knowledge and tech that the Precursors gave them.
  • The Last of His Kind: The Fithp that live on Earth. When Earth sent probes to Hearth, they found that all the native Fithp were dead, and there's no sign of what did it. The Fithp of Earth are all that is left of their race.
  • 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
    • On an individual level, a Russian unit helps drive the Race out of Mongolia, and cheer their victory... only to be told that this wasn't the only place the Race landed today, and that there are millions of alien soldiers now on Earth's soil.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The humans that helped take over the Fithp leadership get this once they realize that it was All for Nothing because now Straha is in charge of the most powerful and advanced ship in space, dooming their species.
  • Mythology Gag: Atvar, during his interview, pulls out a picture of a knight on horseback, to show what they expected to face. This is the same image he pulls out and studies at the start of the Worldwar and Colonization series, as well as the sequal "Homeward Bound."
    • There is a massed Nuclear attack by multiple nations to stop the Fithp's landing zone, but here it's Chongqi and Mumbai.
    • The Space Shuttle Atlantis still performs its ramming attack on the Fithp mothership.
    • The Earth still launches Orion Drive powered ships, one of which is Michael.
    • One of the hardest hit areas of the Race is China. In the books, the occupation of China played a significant role in the series.
    • The name of the project to visit Home and talk to the Emperor is called the Homeward Bound Project. Homeward Bound, was the name of the final book in the Worldwar series, about humans sending a diplomatic envoy to Home to talk to the Emperor.
      • Johnson is mentioned as being allergic to the chemicals used in the cryofreezing process, otherwise he would have been the chief diplomat. He mentions that if they froze him he'd have been dead when they got to Home... which is exactly what happened to the chief human diplomat in the book.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: When the probes that go to Hearth send back their messages, it's revealed that all the Fithp there are dead, have been dead long enough to completely decompose, and there's no sign of what killed them. The environment is starting to take back the cities, and there's no sign of a war or anything, it's just an empty world.
  • 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 to knock the human militaries out, 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.
  • Original Character: This was somewhat necessary. The different canon books take place at vastly different times, and it is unlikely that, say, the original Yeager or other characters from the original World War series (which took place in the second world war) would be alive or able to fight in 2021. Race characters and Fithp characters, though, are the same and do show up, and familiar faces like Atvar, Straha, Ttomalas, Fathisteh-tulk, and the Breakers are significant.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The invasions in general.
    • Deciphering the languages of the Race and Fithp- literally. Most languages that humans are familiar with have connections to other Earth-based languages, and thus can be figured out. It took years to get the Race's language understood, and that was only because they were able to listen in on inter-ship communications. The Fithp were even harder.
    • The Fithp invasion particularly stands out. While the Race were far more numerous, they didn't have a concept of space-based warfare, and most of their attempts of conquest were conventional- atmospheric fightercraft, tanks, infantry. While coming from Space was unexpected, the way they fought is largely the same as humans have ever since the second world war. The Fithp, on the other hand, started out by blowing up fourteen Race ships and proceeded to orbitally bombard numerous vital installations before even beginning to land.
  • Properly Paranoid: the Race wasn't expecting to be fighting anyone more advanced than knights and a medieval level of technology on Tosev III, yet they brought supersonic attack jets with orbital capabilities, tanks, machine guns, and nuclear weapons. The Fithp weren't planning to fight anyone and still brought a lot of lasers and hovertanks. It works out for them, because mankind just so happened to need that level of technology to fight and beat.
  • Reality Ensues: One Russian division panics because they got a wrong message that said that the invaders were landing at Corsica, before they think it through and realize that there is absolutely no reason (tactically or resource-wise) to land there and figure out that they're getting bad intel.
  • 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.
  • The Short War: Ultimately, the Third World War, or the War for Earth, was over in seventy-eight days.
  • Shout-Out: When told how the Sicilians held the Race and Fithp off their island post-Footfall, the interviewee quotes The Princess Bride: "Never go in against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line."
  • 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.
    • One member of The Race recounts how he narrowly avoided getting killed by a suicide bomber.
  • Tank Goodness: The American M1A5, an M1 Abrams with improved armor and a 140mm gun. Other nations are mentioned as using tanks of their own. The Race has Landcruisers, which are in canon similar to late-Soviet-era tanks, and the Fithp are described as using hover tanks.
  • 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.
    • Ultimately averted in the case of the Race. Atvar reveals that the soldiers and colonists that were sent to Tosev represented about ninety percent of the total effort and manpower of the previous two generations of their Empire. For them, sending out all that material made sense- they expected to conquer a world of primitives, and the resource-rich Tosev system would enhance the Empire greatly (Atvar describing the riches in minerals, resources, and energy gain as "The jewel in the Empire's Crown"). Unfortunately, the gamble didn't pay off and now the humans, even without interstellar technology, have the strongest military forces in over a dozen light years.


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