Who Are They? by KatesFriend ()
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Translated from the Personal Journals of Doctor Mehira Ghomiem
Adjunct Professor, Department of Astronomy and Cosmology, Tranta University
10th September 2249 - 15:53 UTC
Translation Class: 16C (Colloquial Earth English)
I can not stop looking at that image. I can not stop wondering if someone is looking up at me. I can not stop laughing like the little girl I once was. She wants to flutter down and greet them, show off her dancing and music. Teach them games and puzzles that they, of coarse, have never learned before.
Now I hear the revelry outside my window. My neighbours, in the streets, they have seen this picture on the news or from their computers. Their universe has become much larger than it was yesterday. They laugh and wonder as I do, like the children that they once were. They celebrate as this wonder has overcome fear - at least for now. This evening, now cooling with the sunset, has such col-
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I let Bast in, he curtly marched to his food bowl. The noise from all the public excitement must be beyond him. How dare they disrupt his twilight prow- unintelligible type 2 vocalization
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Historians may say that, fifty-three hours ago, "everything changed". A cliché, but it is irrefutable, humanity was never alone and I am of the first twenty humans in all our history to know this to be true. How painful it was to stay silent for the requisite two days for independent confirmation - not even a whisper to my journal. Then, five hours ago, the university published the first thirty-eight images of this beautiful purple-violet world. But front and centre: her dark side. A black disk dusted with the shimmer of surface lights akin to the patterns seen above Earth. The whole room gasped together, "cities", they murmured. Cities 4100 light-years away - five hundred times farther than any human ever wandered. Who are they? What are they like? Do they know? Are they as surprised as we are?
Perhaps not completely surprised. We have long suspected that there was something "of interest" in the direction of Isis. Many constellations are the source of 'WOW! emissions' but those of Canis Major are the strongest and most frequent. Spurious, intense EM bursts, narrow bandwidth - they could be part of an intelligent transmission if only more than a random flicker could be studied. Of coarse, my colleagues now speculate the Isis 'WOW! emissions' may be the EM bursts of Q-filaments generated from this planet. This make sense as the clustering of 'WOW! emissions' beyond Isis was what eventually directed us to this star system. The same techniques we used to observe this distant realm, they may also use. Maybe they are not very different.
And I expect that they know that we were there - if only briefly. The Q-filament anti-node that we generated at the planet's - a planet sized moon in truth - Lagrangian point would have generated a burst of light during formation. The flash would have been visible to anyone looking up in that direction of their sky at that moment. Should these people have eyes - eyes that see colours we see.
Again, I expect that they do. Spectral analysis of the city lights shows a mix of narrow, selected spectra in our visible band. Emanations consistent with electroluminescence - from energized alloys of crystalline silicon or gallium - now I am speculating. These colours appear to be tuned and combine to generate a crisp white light by our perspective. Useful in the dark to those who see the universe in a manner similar to ourselves.
Of coarse, I had been so taken by the surface lights that I did not consider the equatorial spires. Not for many, many minutes anyways. It appears the concept of a space tower is technologically feasible. They are glorious to behold - I laugh like a little girl again.
Image Comments (29)
I must admit to studying this one for the longest time Clayton, you are so good at these. The thought and effort you put into this one really showed, and I very much enjoyed reading her observations. Huge congrats on passing the certification exam.
Congratulations on passing your exam, a great achievement. Your story to go with this excellent image is so very well written and it held my attention right to the end, even though you had used some very big words that took a while to sink into my brain.
You, my friend, are a superlative writer! I was totally transported by your narrative. The image, of course, is right up to your standards and I would expect no less. I would be strut-proud if I had created such an arresting image. Congratulations Clayton. You are among the very best serious artists contributing to our community.
I love this one; the excitement she is feeling (with a momentary reality check about priorities from Bast) and her review of the momentous discoveries of the last 53 hours. I like the way you started with Doctor Mehira Ghomiem reaction and then, through her, painted a scene of a world in excited expectation. It fun to see the other side of this discovery. Perhaps at the same moment that Mehira was wondering if anyone is looking up at her, the Learned and Ethical Mother Ty'Lom Pers, is looking out into her night sky and wondering who was out there seeing them. And the excitement Earth is feeling now, what will it be like when they find the age and advancement of the Isis Civilization? Which will predominate, excitement and thirst for knowledge, or fear. There will be elements of both. I like your description of the first sighting of cities by the room of people. What a moment that would be! I like also how you ended with Mehira mentioning the equatorial spires. It would be very intoxicating to realize that you were a short space in time away from learning a wealth of new science. It's no wonder she laughed like a little girl. Beautiful image! I look at the lights, the equatorial spires, the purple glow, and think of seeing this and being filled with excitement and curiosity. I would look at the lights and conjecture the land masses below. I would look at the spires and wonder at a civilization that could create such wonders. The image is perfect for the story, and adds to the feeling of being in this time during this momentous event. Excellent work! I love it!
Many congratulations on passing your exams! The WOW! signal still remains an enigma after all these years. Maybe a one time 'burst', but never loated again after several subsequent (and more sensitive) searches. Still waiting for SETI to see if one of my work units ever gets a result :) Great narrative and nice planetary render. Excellent work!