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 Outside - Contact

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TerishD


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PostSubject: Outside - Contact   December 16th 2010, 8:40 am

Outside - Story Twenty-Five
Contact

Part One

[Scene of Naomi and Rachel telling each other good-bye. They are in the apartment that Naomi and I, Clover, call home. Rachel leaves, then Naomi turns back and moves to the kitchen. She wipes a couple of counters, then moves to the back door.]

[Scene of Naomi entering our bedroom. I am working at my computer. Naomi begins to undress, sees something on my screen that interests her, so comes to me.]

[View switches to the camera over my computer. Panel at bottom right shows what we are looking at on my computer screen. It is an off-color picture of what appears to be a type of insect-like head. There does appear to be skin covering the creature, although from what I have seen that does not make sense. If the body has an external skeleton, then I cannot say what supports the skin. There are hard sections to the head, but whether these are bony plates, sections of a chitinous exoskeleton, or armor plates worn on the skull I cannot say. The mouth has an upper and lower jaw, but also short mandibles to each side I can only guess are to help hold and break up food. I have seen no teeth. The neck appears to be covered in a chitin layer, although again this might simply be the style of clothing. There is however obvious clothing over the shoulders. The hands are mostly disgusting, as there are two thick fingers between which is a section of squirmy tubules.]

Naomi: What are you watching, Clover?

Clover: I believe these are our aliens. I have this picture, but I have yet to figure out what color combination they use.

Naomi: Is he talking?

Clover: Yes.

[A speaker erupts in a strange drone-like noise with clicks. There is a definite break and change of tones with the drone that gives the impression that some type of language is being used. Naomi reaches over and hits something on the computer that turns the sound back off.]

Clover: I cannot even begin to make it out, but there is something that I believe will help.

Naomi: What is that?

Clover: It is coming.

[The bottom-right panel now fills the screen. It is a clearly 2D tactical picture over which are strange characters. The screen freezes, then returns to the bottom right.]

Clover: There. I believe this is a constantly updated picture of where our alien ship is at. Listen.

[The speaker is again turned on. The same drone-like language with clicks is heard, but it is not the same tones as before. The sounds stop.]

Clover: There is a pause, then a couple of messages repeat. This however is different each time.

Naomi: Do you think that will help?

Clover: I am trying to figure it out. [Clover makes some strange noises poorly mimicking the drone and clicks.] I believe is the name of our aliens. Still, what I am hoping is that the picture will give me clues about where they came from.

Naomi: [Rubbing her hands along her husbandís face, neck, and shoulders.] Well, you have duty in less than six hours. Come to bed.

Clover: Yes. I have done all that I can do anyway. Let me hand this over to someone else. Darlene, I have something for you.

Darlene: [over speaker] Good, Clover, as I am getting rather bored.

Clover: I am just sending you what I got.

Thor: [over speaker] Hold it, Clover. You got something?

Clover: Yes. [He taps some commands on his computer.] It should be on the front screen.

[Darlene and Thor both make exclamations along with statements that they can see the picture.]

Clover: This is the live signal from our craft. This is the first message, but it is about to end. There is then another message, which also repeats. What I find interesting is the screen afterwards.

Thor: What about the color, Clover?

Clover: It is a tri-color scheme like our own RGB, but it is obviously not RGB. I stopped playing with it, and what you are seeing is the unprocessed signal using our RGB system.

Darlene: So, we can filter it?

Clover: Have fun. Sound is being processed. It is also a three code system. I originally felt that it handled three layers, but I ran it as a straight nine-three data stream allowing a buffer to regulate the flow of data and got the sounds you hear. Whether our aliens do not have that extreme of a vocal range or I am doing it wrong, I cannot say. There is another set of data that I have not even begun to figure out yet. You know the frequency, Darlene, so can access the full signal if you desire.

Thor: What are you doing, Clover?

Clover: Going to bed. I have the first of my two shifts at point coming up. You thus have two days of playing without me. Hopefully, you can give me ideas when I have my next day off.

[Video of me getting out of my chair and trading affection with Naomi before heading to bed. Sorry, people, but this was staged. Thus, donít go reading anything into it. Imagine what you will, but let me simply say that any real video of Naomi and I heading to bed together is not what we consider acceptable for public viewing.]

[Video of me heading into the common room before the two berthing halls. I wave to Harley, and she responds.]

Harley: I believe people are wanting to speak to you, Clover.

Clover: Okay, but why?

Harley: Itís about our aliens.

Clover: I donít want to hear about our aliens until the end of next shift.

Harley: Sorry to let you know that you might be disappointed.

[I head through an airlock into the berthing hall where Doug resides. I move on up to knock on his door that is cracked open. His voice quickly responds.]

Doug: That you, Clover?

Clover: Yes, just saying ĎHií in passing.

Doug: Been trying to find that color combination. Not exactly an easy process, as I donít find anything to base a color upon.

Clover: I would look at the screen data and determine if anything is a pure color, then try and figure out what color that object is and go from there.

Doug: What?

[I head to his computer terminal and work some commands to show him how to look at the three values for the colors of a specific pixel on the screen. I give a lesson that if one value is high and the others very low, then that would be something having what would be a primary color. Having to work, that is all the time that I have.]

[Scene switches to me in the pilot seat of my craft making certain checks with Harley as Malcolm moves my boat into position.]

Felix: Hey, Clover, did you talk to Doug?

Clover: Just in passing. Showed him how to access color data within the picture. Hopefully it will help him decide on which colors are proper.

Indigo: Yes. He was basically doing trial and error. Felix and I were trying to help him, though.

Clover: Well, we really have nothing to go on. I believe that it will all be trial and error with us biasing toward what we think best.

Darlene: Talking about biasing, Clover, how about the range of speech? That is a triple nine-three byte path.

Clover: Yeah, not the way we handle sound at all. We handle it as a separate data stream. I however looked at transmission speed, and felt that I could buffer the bytes and have it output in a steady rhythm that would match the picture. I think it worked, but really cannot tell except that the sounds do stop and begin with the stopping and starting of each picture.

Darlene: I will want to look at what you did there.

Clover: Look at the property page for that program, then go to that directory. There is a text file holding the program code, which I did my best to REM.

Darlene: I am not a programmer, Clover.

Clover: You then might have to wait until I have time, Darlene.

Felix: I will try to help you, Darlene.

[I am now in position at point and looking at tactical on my main board.]

Clover: You guys play with color and sound. I was interested in where we should be heading. Any ideas?

Malcolm: They have radio. We know that. So I am waiting for us to start picking up other signals from them. I believe that we have verified that your program will enable us to register something eight light-years distant.

Clover: If it is strong.

Malcolm: Right.

Clover: Which I believe is the more serious problem. Where are we going? I donít see anything within twelve light years along our flight path.

Felix: You are discounting the dwarf.

Clover: I will not pay off that wager until we get signals causing you to cackle.

Felix: Which should be in a few months. Tell you what, I will let you increase the wager.

Clover: No. I will give you the satisfaction of my lack of confidence in not putting forth more money.

Malcolm: Come on, Clover. Trust in your luck.

[I managed to get the actual video from Felix (with Indigo), Malcolm, Castle, Harley, and Watson. Those expressions being montaged together are not staged. All of us communicating are showing surprise as our instruments pick up another radio signal.]

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. †"Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Part Two   December 21st 2010, 8:17 am

Outside - Story Twenty-Five
Contact

Part Two

[View of the bridge of the Menlo Park as Malcolm works a number of controls.]

Malcolm: I cannot isolate it. Harley?

[View of our communications officer as she works her boards.]

Harley: I can verify that it is the same signal type as before. Only got a few seconds. Clover, I am working to run it through your program.

Clover: It has an option to have it change feeds. It will loop when it reaches the end.

[The scene is a side view of an alien further from the camera than the previous images with some of his upper torso visible. No actual shoulders, but arms come out at sockets about a foot (estimate) below the buildup of what can be called the torso.]

Clover: Doug, are you listening?

[Pause]

Doug: What is it, Clover?

Clover: New feed. Not much, but look at it. I would say that the overall color should be red.

[Pause]

Doug: It does look dramatic, but why red? Sounds like human bias.

Clover: Still, it does appear to be lit by some primary color. Looking at the data confirms my belief. See if it helps.

Doug: Sure. Let me know when you get more.

Clover: Why arenít we getting more?

[Scene from my primary front camera. The cascade of photons stops and a more normal view of space can be seen.]

Harley: I pulled that stop. Sending tactical from the Doppler on that signal.

[View of a standard tactical image with almost nothing on it. What Harley wants us to see is a tiny line.]

Thor: Damn. We need more than that, Harley.

Felix: That is a better section of space than our present direction.

Clover: It will take two weeks for a good spread.

Thor: Damn.

Clover: That ship is alive, Thor.

Thor: Okay, changing directions, Malcolm. The speed on this one is only fifteen times light.

Felix: There is another one at twenty.

Thor: It is off the vector.

Felix: I volunteer.

[This is the actual footage from Felixís room. He is sitting in his front room on his couch that he usually sleeps upon. Indigo had been in his lap, but moved to sit on the floor as he began working some computer controls. I actually gained the previous view of his shock when I went to get this event.]

Indigo: No, you donít.

Felix: You can come with me.

Indigo: Am I going to be with you, or come with you?

Felix: Thor, I believe that I need you to do a favor for Indigo and me.

Thor: [over speaker] Are you two certain? You know that I donít take such a decision lightly.

Felix: I am going to check on the supplies in my boat. If Indigo gets you, I promise to stand by my promise to her.

[Clips from most of the crew of the Menlo Park sending congratulations to the couple. The scene then shifts back to me in my boat.]

Clover: You know, Felix, this basically wins me the bet.

Malcolm: Cloverís luck comes through again.

Felix: Finding these damn aliens will win a number of bets. I am not paying off yet, though.

Castle: Thor, do your little ceremony in front of a camera.

Thor: I believe for it to be legal I have to.

Indigo: I am printing off certain documents now, Thor.

Thor: Now, this isnít a marriage. I am not religious, so this is only joint-union.

Felix: We can get a rabbi later, but right now if something happens, I donít want it to be a bastard.

Clover: Whoa. Going all the way?

Indigo: Maybe not. I mean, if the aliens are close.

Felix: How about you and Naomi.

Clover: Naomi?

Naomi: I would tell you, Clover. Nothing yet.

Harley: Even if they are in this direction, the nearest star will put us a few months away. We donít have that nice fast vector in this direction.

Indigo: Once married, Felix and I will need to discuss the topic from a different perspective. One step at a time.

[Skipping a bit here. Boring. Picking back with the wedding. It was done in the common room where Doug could record it. Sandra and Diamond are there. I assume that Harley is at her desk. Rachel can be seen at the table with the documents. Thor does not make a scene, but moves through the ceremony with dignity and speed. Soon enough, the couple kisses, a number of people sign some documents, then Felix and Indigo rush to an airlock. Just for note, they left using Indigoís boat.]

[View again from the front of my boat. Nothing really special about it, except that it states that we returned to tachy. Back on our voyage.]

[Nothing more occurred until my next shift. I did come back to my room to find Naomi waiting for me. I donít think she was protected, and I know that I was not using protection. We both tend to stay busy with our work, so only did a certain act infrequently. In returning, I however knew that she expected to make it a regular part of our time. No complaints from me, but also no video.]

[Back in my boat. I am working my program to assure that I am maxing out the reception from our sensors. Suddenly, another signal is picked up. This one has what I believe is the same alien as in the previous, but can see others in the background. Again the signal does not last more than a few seconds.]

Clover: Harley, why canít we pick up more?

Harley: Donít know, Clover.

Watson: Light travels in a straight line, Clover.

Clover: So?

Watson: Our aliens are turning.

Clover: They are what?

Watson: Give me a second. Give me a second. HERE!

[A tactical display showing a large section of space upon which are two barely curving paths.]

Thor: Pretty picture there, Watson.

Watson: Initial curve was based off of the velocity of our first craft to create a one-G gravity for those inside. Using the two vectors we now have, it seems that our aliens prefer a point eight nine G.

Clover: That puts it back along the course we are taking.

Watson: Closer to the path of Felix and Indigo.

Malcolm: No. They are not the lucky ones.

Clover: Felix found that black hole. Sounds pretty lucky to me.

Thor: Can we test Watsonís theory?

Clover: Sure.

[I called a stop. View from the primary front camera of the Menlo Park. The bright lights of Watsonís and my boats are clearly in view among the stars.]

Thor: How long do we have to wait?

Clover: Less than an hour.

Thor: Damn.

Clover: Yep, your wife is pregnant. Felix and Indigo are on their honeymoon. I guess that you can spend your time imagining what they are doing.

[Which means that even if they were still where we could contact them, that I still probably would not get any video of those two.]

Thor: Okay, let us wait. Points, hold your position.

[Montage of me checking the data, Watson also checking the data, Malcolm going into the kitchen to get him something to eat, Thor laying down on a padded bench on the bridge as if to take a nap, Harley checking her instruments, and Doug with Naomi playing with the colors of our aliensí signals.]

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. †"Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Part Three   December 26th 2010, 8:35 am

Outside - Story Twenty-Five
Contact

Part Three

[New video that looks exactly like the previous one.]

Clover: All right, Thor, give Watson his credit.

Thor: I wish that we could understand them.

[The view is of me in my pilotís seat as a new tactical is sent to my front monitor.]

Watson: Thor, our aliens are just three light years in that direction. They look above Felix.

Harley: Cannot transmit to him, as he is faster than us and we are limited to electromagnetic.

Thor: Damn. No vector.

Harley: Who are they talking to?

Clover: Yeah, good question. Who are they talking to?

Thor: Stay alert, people. Rachel, help me find a vector.

Rachel: Where to? You are trying to catch that ship, but we already know that is no good. Where are they from?

Watson: Good question, Black Dove.

Thor: Malcolm, start us back up. Hopefully, we will find more.

[Nothing more was found on my shift. I have a view of my boat docking with the Menlo Park. The next view is of me entering the berthing hall not far from Dougís apartment. He is in the doorway.]

Doug: Clover, come here.

Clover: Is Naomi with you?

Doug: She was, but left to prepare you something to eat.

Clover: Okay, so donít take too long.

Doug: I am just going to show you. How long you take to look is entirely up to you.

[View shifts from me floating down to Dougís door, to entering his apartment. Image shifts to what appears to be a clear view of the aliens.]

Clover: What three colors?

Doug: Infra-red, orange, and green. They donít see blue or violet, but they see heat rather well.

Clover [punching buttons on the computer]: Let us see what everyone else thinks.

Darlene: Whoa, nice picture. That you, Doug?

Clover: Yes, Doug did this.

Doug: I was showing it to Clover.

Darlene: I am not making out anything in the language. The video appears to be something dramatic, but I am not picking up the usual signs of stress or anxiety. I would like to attribute something to an exclamation, like, ďFUCK!Ē but I canít.

Clover: Well, I am off the next shift. I thus plan on spending more time on the signal, and hopefully some new ones.

[Watson steps into the room.]

Watson: Clover, what are you going to be doing?

Clover: Naomi is fixing me something to eat, so I am going to the kitchen.

Watson: I think you are wrong.

Clover: About what?

Watson: The signal from our original ship. You have been suspecting the voice is stating position. I donít believe that it is. I believe that it is stating the condition of certain crewmen. If you keep listening, a number of sounds begin to be noticed to repeat. I believe that the tactical data is in that third data pack.

Clover: Why are you telling me? Sounds to me like you are doing enough to claim the glory on your own.

Watson: Not everyone is dead. There are three states. [Watson makes three sounds.] I would think one word for death would be enough.

Clover: Darlene, Watson just told me something that you might want to hear.

[Watson repeats his theory.]

Darlene [using a very sexy voice]: Come to me my homosexual hunk of man. We can solve this.

Watson [looking at me]: I would rather have discussed it with you.

Clover: I am going to a lady as well, Watson. Deal with it.

[Scene of me entering the kitchen with Watson. Darlene was of course at the helm, so he moves on into the bridge. I kiss my wife and look at what she has fixed for me.]

Naomi: After we eat, we go to our apartment, Clover.

Clover: Well, I do want to have time on my computer, but I donít believe we require a full thirty-six hours.

Naomi: What problem have you not solved?

Clover: Watson just gave me the problem. He says that the extra packet of data I had yet to classify is the tactical data.

Naomi: Could it be?

[I have activated the computer terminal set into the kitchen table. Since the data and my program have been put on the public system, it is no problem for me to bring everything up without accessing my system. I look at the data while taking bites of my food.]

Clover: It is mostly the same data, except for these nine values.

[Naomi sits close to meÖ very close. Her hands freely move on my body. This is the actual video, so what you see is what really happened.]

Naomi: Is that important?

Clover: Actually, yes. All of our coordinate systems uses three numbers. Since that is not our bias, but of space actually having three dimension, we should assume that the aliens also have a three directional coordinate system. All of these numbers are getting bigger, so it can be accepted that it is moving away from a fixed point.

Thor [voice carries from the bridge]: Any way to identify that point?

Clover: Sure. I mean we know the location of the ship at each transmission. Assuming that we dealing with Cartesian or Spherical Coordinates, the reference point can be gained.

Thor: How quickly?

[Naomi moves to rub my back as I begin working at the computer. My wife has to keep reminding me to eat. I write a routine to pull out the data, convert to an integer, then feed it into a tactical program. I decide upon an X, Y, and Z value according to how the ship moves and how the data changes. The program basically takes over from there correcting my assumptions and assigning a value of scale to the data using the change in position of the ship between transmissions. It then can use the data to decide upon a fixed reference point. What surprises me is that we get a match.]

Clover: GOT IT!

Thor: WHAT?

[He and Watson come into the kitchen. Both look at my computer screen. Naomi has to sit close to me as she is surrounded by men. She does not appear bothered at all, but a rather pleasant expression is on her face.]

Thor: Darlene, shut down!

[He begins tapping on the terminal. Usual program for determining a vector to a location. What comes up is not a single vector path, but we all nod at what the computer suggests. Thor gives the command to send the course to the helm.]

Thor: Darlene, new vectors coming to you.

Darlene: Black Dove, Diamond, will be moving you to prepare for a change of direction.

Diamond: Where are we heading now?

Thor: I believe someplace that somebody calls home.

Diamond: That is what I want to hear.

Rachel: Are you certain, Thor?

Thor: It looks good to me. Give Clover credit.

Clover: No, the credit goes to Watson. He figured it out. I just did the grunt work of pulling the data and plugging it into the tactical program.

Thor: You hire the best, and you get results.

[Thor and Watson now returns to the bridge. I close down the computer terminal, then return to eating. Naomi appears very satisfied.]

[That is it. Will probably stage an ending later, but the next video is not for public viewing. Let me just say that we are doing what we can as we move toward a hopeful meeting with another alien species. Clover out.]

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. †"Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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