AmplitudeSubmitted by skrapmetal at 2012-07-25 16:40:51 EDT
Rating: 2.0 on 14 ratings (22 reviews) (V)
“There is no hope. We are near. Death is...”
And again static filled the recording.
Hours later, the generals and scientists and politicians, those few who knew of the message, were gathered around a table in the laboratory complex conference room. Dr. Armstrong stood near the head of the table and tried to explain what they knew and what could reasonably be suspected based on the signals they'd been receiving in the form of an old woman's voice via the Ultraviolet Laser Decoder. “We are near. Death is coming for you. There is no hope.” The same message, repeated periodically. It appeared to be emanating from an undetermined point almost perpendicular to the Plane of the Ecliptic, the point was approaching the solar system unbelievably quickly, and whatever it was that was sending the message would arrive in the vicinity of the Earth in about 2 weeks.
One of the military types, in what Dr. Armstrong considered to be a rare flash of scientific insight, asked, “Why is the message in English?” In the corner of the room, the assistant Dr. Rhodes, stood nervously watching.
“As you know,” Dr. Armstrong said, “we've been receiving this message via the UVLD for about three days now, so while we may be able to determine where it's coming from we have not yet determined why it's being sent or who's sending it. Since it is in English, it's probably reasonable to assume that we are the intended recipient. But since it's not being sent in any other languages as far as we can tell, I must raise he possibility that it's not really coming from outside our solar system at all, but is somehow being made to appear so by someone on Earth or nearby.”
“Who has the capability to pull that off? It seems as though it would be very difficult.”
“It would indeed. Further, it would require that the sender have knowledge of the UVLE and UVLD devices, as that's how the message was received. This is new technology, invented in this lab by myself and Dr. Rhodes only a short time ago. I cannot see how it could have been subverted so quickly. But the possibility nonetheless exists, and I am more likely to believe that to be the case than to believe that some malevolent space beings are descending on Earth to destroy it and have kindly provided a warning of their intent.”
Dr. Rhodes advanced to the table, shouting. “How can you not see what this is? We've been broadcasting English into space for decades! Of course the warning is in...”
“Restrain yourself, Rhodes!” Dr. Armstrong commanded. “The Russians and the Chinese have been doing the same thing for about as long. Why none of those languages then? The first transmission to leave this planet was Marconi's and it was just telegraph code. Why not Morse? No, this is intended for us to hear, specifically.”
Rhodes said, “How do we know it isn't being sent to the Russians and Chinese and everyone else? There are breaks in the transmission. Maybe they're sending it to them then!”
Armstrong spoke to the gathered group. “Rhodes has a point. How can we - tactfully - ask the Russians and Chinese of they've been getting messages of doom from space?”
The generals and the politicians and the scientists looked around at each other, considering both the implications of asking the question and those of the possible answers
Visible across the hall through the glass wall of the conference room, the UVLD lab was empty. No one heard the message repeated yet again.