There's Not Enough Room


A few weeks ago, we intercepted the first message. I'm an astronomer, at the Gold-stone Space Communications Complex, essentially a radio telescope. Working here for nearly 6 years and finding nothing too exciting, you could only imagine the mayhem which broke loose when something fired back at our deep space messages. When we received the message, I was still busy in my office, busy with my salty Panzanella salad and a cold Latte Macchiato, when Jules, the head of our team as well as my wife burst through the door grinning widely like an 8 year old who stole a bar of chocolate.

"Mike! Somethings happened! Come to the control centre now!" and with that, she flew out the door again. Speechless, I set down my fork and moved towards the main control centre, my pace quickening as my curiosity of Jules’ ecstasy heightened. Picking my pace up to a jog, I noticed groups of workers converging on the control centre. As the sliding doors opened, two things hit me hard - the freezing air conditioned wind, and the flashing blue screen which illuminated the entire room. With the blast of air came the stench of sweat, sweat from the programmers working furiously at their stations, and the screen was the best part. Normally it was a black screen with small white dots, a map of the universe, today though there were strange letters popping up all over the main screen. Mind racing, heart pumping, I had no idea what to do. It took me moments of processing the reality together - we found... sentient... life... outside of Earth.

Jules was striding up the aisle and flicked her wrist over to a group of scientists talking behind a line of decoders. I complied with her implied order, and bolted over to my team, casually sliding into the flurry of words. "... Broken Fermi's Paradox and we can now rewrite Drake's equation! All we have to do is wait for this to finish!"

As the elated astronomer paused, one of the technicians yelled out, "We got it! We have the message." He sent the message on the screen and we all fell silent. The random characters on the screen morphed into the words, "We... need.... more...... [untranslated characters]....” This message was simply repeating itself over and over, unscrambling the language on the screen into the 3 words "We need more".

"The hell does that mean?" Someone shattered the silence. And for the next 4 days, we spent hours on end checking for translation mistakes, message character interception mistakes, checking for any new messages, hell we were taking a shot at every possibility we could imagine.

It was nearly 1 am, on the 4th day since the first message and most of the crew had either gone home or were asleep in the on-site housing. I was alone in the control centre when another message came through. At first I thought I was crazy. Then I thought the program had translated the message incorrectly. Logically I was going to call up the team, but when the message altered itself I froze. From "Help us... We need more... Please...." the message changed into, "Let us in Mike, Let us in!"





About me

This is me: home-writer, book-reader, dog-lover and occasional poet. I make this website to share my and my friends texts with You, dear Reader. Please: read carefully, don't be scary, upgrade your mood and be king and leave your comment. :)