(This is my first story here - I just found out about the contest today and thought - why not? I have zero expectation of winning anything, but
thought it would be fun... It is kind of a first draft but I'm running out of time.
Let me know what you think! Peace - AB)
It’s calm in the listening station. I sit in the dark, in the hum and snick of uploads, and the deep yawning silence of the void Between. My vid
screen nags for attention. I allow it to come up into my inner vision, opening the 4-D display and sifting through the timeline to find the blip in
the language landscape. It’s there. I zoom in, allowing it to fill half my vision.
I run the code automatically, having done this procedure to no avail a million times before. I wait. Then. My chest thrums in excitement - it is an
open line! Scrambling for half-forgotten protocols I dive down into the Now of that light in the virtual landscape of Earth, mentally seeking the
source of the blip. An open line! Synergy of time, place, state of mind – a hundred thousand small factors lining up in the most improbable way.
Ah. There is a vortex where she is sitting – a facilitator, and…a chance, then, a one in seven billion chance to find…hope? My thoughts skip a
beat in the dizzying flight to hope.
“What was that?”
“What do you mean, ‘what was that,’ I didn’t see anything.”
“The board did something weird.”
“You want to time-line it and do the paperwork?”
He let out a heavy sigh. “Yeah, sure. That’s the job, isn’t it?”
Frank let out a snarky laugh and jabbed a button on his screen. “Yep. Listening to the masses, waiting for the needle in the haystack to pop out and
He barked a dry laugh in return. “Yeah, if we can wade through enough crap, we may yet find the Holy Grail of Terrorism for the DOD.”
“Or get a heads-up on the Second Coming,” Frank said in his sarcastic, nasal voice.
“Or find some poor nerd hacking too deep into things he should leave well alone…” he said, wearily, remembering.
“Ooh! I’d love a new co-worker! If only nerds were hot…” That was Jenny, walking past at a high clip and catching the conversation. The
only woman down here for a good half-mile of hallway. Poor girl. Then again, he thought, she got tons of attention, considering she was just about
the only woman any of them saw, ever.
“Hey Jenny, baby,” Frank wheedled, “When you gonna have lunch with me?”
He could feel Jenny rolling her eyes as she maneuvered down to the far hall.
“When the AF boys stop coming by, Franko…” He watched Jenny actually turn and give Frank a flirtatious grin. Geez. He’d be hearing about
that the rest of the week.
Back to the blip on the boards. Could be something important…
There. The individual is sitting in…a social place? There is food. The individual is eating and talking with another. The light, the open
space is still ‘on.’ My limbs would tremble if they were functional. As it is I force a calm to come over my thoughts, and go quickly through
the steps to become one with the frequency resonance.
There. I have…her….yes, her, attention.
She senses me. Stops eating and talking. She…answers! I have the information to download ready. It has been waiting for so long…she will allow
it! I send. She tries to make sense of it, though the information is going too fast. Remarkably, she slows the flow to grab a few frames. I
interrupt. It will take far too long if she insists on seeing the data. I sense her surprise at what she sees. The first two she does not
recognize. Understandable. They are of primordial earth as seen from our probe. The third she does understand. It is the great desert, the lines
that seek the heavens, a triangle in the dirt…
He went over the data for a third time. Some kind of weird frequency burst. Where did it come from? He couldn’t find it right away. Then he
began to zero in on the target of the burst…Oh God… It was off-planet. It was freaking coming from off-planet! Not from any identifiable
satellite either. And being received. Somewhere in the southern US…
The computer cranked through its algorhythms honing in on a mid-sized city in the Smokey Mountains. Hernesville? He'd never heard of the place. The
signal is a definite anomaly, the kind that gets the hairs on the back of the neck standing up and tingling. He taps his fingers unconsciously and
bounces his leg, waiting for the conclusion of the search - State, city, street…restaurant. Now, he pulls up the cell phone reverse-mics in the
area – a hundred babbling voices the computer searches for key words and identities. It spits out lines of audio that may be relevant. Got it! Got
it! The strange frequency burst was still present, and there was someone there receiving it! More importantly, the receiver of the signal, some
lady, was talking to her friend about it. Gotcha. The cell mics and gps devices were enough to pull her name, drivers license information and address
in a matter of a minute. God, he loved this machine! Adrenaline from the chase shot through him – it was rare moments like this that made the rest
of the mind-numbing dead-ends in this hole of a job worth it. And since he could never leave this job…God, something had to make it worth it…
He pulls out his company cell and dials quickly to report, simultaneously attaching the information to an email, along with the relevant audio clips
that the computer has zip-filed. Once his boss is on the phone, he realizes how strange it sounds to be giving the address of an Italian chain
restaurant to his higher ups – but its not his job to worry about that, just to report what the computer says and send the data files to them for
She wants to know who I am. I show her a cocoon. That is an accurate metaphorical image of me in stasis. I am timeless, in the Between. Some have
mistaken me for a god. It has been three hundred Earth years since my last contact. The data has run its course. With gratitude, I leave. Mission
A silver Mercedes follows a white Ford pickup from the restaurant. The truck’s occupant is unaware her vehicle has been tagged. The instructions
from DHS are clear. Bring her in. Scare the hell out of her. Make her talk. Hold indefinitely. He narrows his eyes, keeping a fair distance behind
her, wondering idly if she can feel his stare, or if she is spending these last moments blissfully unaware of what is in store. Her cell chip mic
blares out a pop tune she has on – she is singing at the top of her lungs. He smiles, his teeth showing white in the twilight summer.
My station is quiet now. But I can feel the shift in resonance even now. There is so much satisfaction in this moment. Perhaps, in another
thousand earth turns, this species will be ready, finally, to interact. The seed programs will have multiplied through the generations, through
contact with this human, and will be connected to the others I've planted, which are more like small stones thrown into the vast waters below, making
widening ripples. We will achieve connection, and the waves will meet. The planet spins like a blue and white gem in the deep. I have grown very fond
of its shimmering brightness. And now I will be able to achieve my communication objective and place the call home to the Council. Perhaps then, I
will awaken. Until then, the deep. I rest, feeling the strange quiver of hope settle into a vigil's patience…
edit on 30-7-2013 by
AboveBoard because: to a T
edit on 30-7-2013 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)
edit on 30-7-2013 by AboveBoard