The UN's general assembly chamber was empty. For now. David Mann's bodyguards- the Secret Service- were escorting him to his position. He'd been a military man, so having armed people in his presence wasn't unfamiliar. However, the way they stuck to him like fleas on a dog had been initially disconcerting. Now, he was so used to it that going without them would feel like walking around naked. Fortunately for him, their protection extended well beyond his relatively brief term in office.
Of course, having men in suits with hand-guns was small comfort, in a situation like this.
The whole general assembly was being brought in today to discuss one thing. Aliens. Politely, 'extraterrestrials.' Impolitely, exonormals. That was the word David had been told not to use by his more politically-correct aides, at least. Specifically, they were here to discuss a proposed resolution, the Extraterrestrial Regulation Act. Requiring all 'visitors' to Earth to formally announce their presence, agree to register themselves personally, and their species as a whole in a database, and agree to abide by a strict set of standards and regulations.
The resolution had been raised by Italy, of course. After Rome had been decimated, not many could blame them. Though the true nature of the 'Volksgeist' and 'Future-Forge' were unknown, it was obvious to anyone watching- not that many recordings had survived the massive EMP that had left the majority of the city still without any power- that they were not of Earth.
There were talks of contracting the Nation-for-Hire, 'Deterrence,' for the job of enforcing it. Ironically, some were also blaming them for the disaster. Though they'd hardly placed 'The City' above Rome, a Deterrence-affiliated agent had been the one to shoot it down. On the other hand, they were spearheading the reclamation effort, which the Italians were woefully unprepared to deal with.
They said that the people in the quarantine zones were still alive, tortured perpetually by whatever alien technology the Forge had brought to Italy with him. Back in David's day, they had said Agent Orange was inhumane.
Mann himself had mixed feelings on 'Deterrence.' On one hand, a nuclear-armed rogue nation was pretty much the nightmare scenario, had been since the damn Cold War. At least the Soviets could be reasoned with reliably. But on the other hand, they were willing to do the sort of dirty jobs the rest of the world wasn't. With Icarus shuttered, the US was bereft of any centralized cape-based defense. There were isolated projects, like Capacitor, but even she'd become... 'erratic' of late. And with Congress tying the Commander-in-Chief's hands, he wasn't even able to authorize rapid troop deployments overseas.
The President took his seat. He'd be front-and-center, on the podium. Sitting behind him would be Russia's representative, Italy's prime minister, and the Secretary-General. The seats directly before them were prepared for the speakers... of which there were a few.
First up were the representatives from Deterrence itself. One 'Eris Rushmore'. They'd be bringing their own security, as well. Including one ex-SWAT. They were here to make the case that the resolution was worth passing, and that they were the people for the job.
As the President of the United States watched and waited, representatives from nearly every country in the world began to arrive. As did the media. Within half an hour, the room was packed. David's face remained impassive, as he saw Rushmore take her seat.
"Ladies and gentlemen. You all know why we're here today. Let's not stand on ceremony. Our first speaker is Doctor Eris Rushmore, on behalf of 'Deterrence.'" He nodded, indicating a measure of respect. "You may begin."