Bewildering Stories

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Chronicles of the Future

Part 1: Pluto’s Second Moon

part 2

by Deep Bora

Part 1 appeared in issue 79.

“Huh? What on Earth do you mean?” The honourable companion was beginning to gather his wits.

Evening lights upon Pluto indicated an Earth correlative time of approximately ten p.m., as fair as any other time for the sun to set and for the second moon to rise.

A continuous silky breeze, stronger than usual, hit their cheeks as they talked in gentle tones whilst observing the faint milky-orange glow of the moon and in its backdrop, many millions of stars now clearly visible from their observation point on the mountain top.

The gentleman stood up, walking approximately eighteen feet forward, nearer to the mountain edge at sixty-five thousand feet. “This breeze will remain steady for a few days.” He almost shouted back.

Resting both hands on his hips, slightly above a “reclaimed” extraterrestrial belt — or, rather, one borrowed from the visitors from outer space roughly one year ago and which he revered — the gentleman looked outward into the strangely coloured skies, trying to peer past the cluster of stars now visible, feebly detecting ahead, the second curve of a star walk...

“One could go on and on,” he heard his companion reply.

“This is the fifth time that Earth contacts have been obliterated by space noise.” The companion’s voice sounded nearer, and he looked to his left. He saw the companion standing almost by his side, though slightly away and behind.

“Be careful! You’re working by copybook methods. Remember, this is your first visit to Pluto altitude and you need plenty of grit and practice.” The gentleman obviously referred to his own action of standing at the near edge of Pluto’s highest mountain top on an uneven ledge.

“Perhaps you know more than you let on,” the honourable friend began on an inquisitive note.


“My friend, you accepted my version of the future and related changes very quickly, much more readily than is acceptable for a person with fixed views of the future and its possible deviations!”

“Perhaps you are a good and rational explainer of events. Your statements and views happen to explain themselves without effort. How could I counter your theories?” The gentleman was hoping that his companion would refrain from delving deeper into other related matters.

“Is that why Earth Command selected you primarily?” A probing question.

“Maybe. I wouldn’t know. I passed all the recommended tests.” An easily dodged answer.

“Your rational acceptance of all logical or practical answers is heartening. Perhaps Earth Command relies totally upon men like you!”

“You shall have to be extra cautious, my dear sir.” A feint.

“Do you mean that you can read between the lines?”

“Perhaps you’re comprehending what I am trying to explain to you.”

“Well, Earth Station made the correct decision in selecting you.” The companion finally conceded. He felt defeated. The gentleman scientist astronaut was far superior. “I now agree with your theory of the future and our inability to change future courses.”

Each question by one led to guarded answers by the other, though their verbal sorties seemed casual in attitude. It was simply an exercise whilst awaiting another occurrence.

The gentleman recalled his conversation with World Governor several months prior to lift off to base stations upon Pluto top, classified two. He was aware that Earth Command members and the hierarchy of World Council were tuned in to the speech also, within confines of conference halls and chambers located at very many space stations..

“Well... You are at liberty to maintain contact with the extraterrestrials and you are provided with the might of the worlds at your disposal. While our primary, secondary and the other organizations rely totally upon you, I too add myself to their support for your actions. I hereby, also place at your disposal the fleet of inter stellar spaceships if you are required to traverse deep space limits and embark upon journeys beyond the limits of our solar system.” The World Governor’s voice was friendly for once, yet curt.

* * *

“Pluto is unable to receive our messages.” The World Governor referred to the inability of space personnel upon Pluto stations in receiving radio and television messages relayed from Earth stations, even with the latest and most advanced equipment. This was a personal contact between him and the World Governor.

“Static interference, they say... While we can receive every word they transmit. Something is wrong somewhere. Can you receive them?” the Governor asked casually over hyperspace computerised radar-video phone, while he was busy upon the Forward space research laboratory on Mars stations. It seemed reasonable that if telescopic-radar receptor devices on Mars malfunctioned while intercepting Earth messages, the same could be said for Pluto.

“We will send a cosmonaut to keep you company. He can keep you busy with light conversation. He’s good at it.” The World Governor understood that awaiting contact with extraterrestrials over a given period of time at Pluto heights seemed strenuous and therefore advised Earth Command members to locate an appropriate human companion, capable of managing those anxious days.

The gentleman astronaut scientist did anticipate a fellow human in his mid-thirties, very well trained in health matters and a futurist, to accompany him on the sixth alternate relay station flight. This was his sixth continuous visit to Pluto Top aimed at observing the nearly continuous rising of the second moon at its forty-five day interval. And since Pluto’s second moon lit up the starry skies every other Earth month, he too was prepared to observe it in the alternate month every ninety Earth days.

On this occasion, his suspicions were gradually leading him to the conclusion that there was no alternative but to accept the undetectable existence of extraterrestrials. They were totally invisible to Earth and Mars based radar telescopes and their machines, their spaceships simply appeared and disappeared in the skies without detection. Earth advanced sensory equipment were mere playthings in comparison! However, one fact appeared certain. The visitors from beyond time and space were trying to contact Earth. But via Pluto. They had successfully blocked Mars and Jupiter electronic transmissions and expressed no further interest in the stations upon those planets.

* * *

“The relative ionospheric properties of Earth are such that they directly receive all space signals in actual perspective as the space sounds and noises are relayed. However, the ionosphere also inconveniently manages to bounce back many such sounds, a property of ionospheres wherever they exist in atmospheres upon any planet in the universe.

The topography of Earth is such that radio messages from outer space, when relayed through light waves in the year 5357, also bounce back into the space surrounding Earth. And whatever radio and light waves manage to filter into Earth’s atmosphere are reconverted into the original meaningless noises: crackles and bursts of ordinary sounds occurring in certain passages in the voids, which happen to be millions of lightyears across. Such an occurrence impedes the signals’ journey across space and their ability to enter Earth’s atmosphere. Perhaps it happens because radio waves are imbedded into such light beams, which are again...perhaps thousands of miles wide.”

That formed portions of an established factor concerning extraterrestrial contact: the aliens were however, successfully transmitting electronic telescopic-radar pulses via advanced equipments from their undisclosed home planet located somewhere in outer space. And perhaps there were other such planets as well.

Several questions had been raised, but provided few or no conclusive answers: where in the universe did the aliens live? They were surely outside of Earth’s Solar System. Did their world or worlds exist within this galaxy? How far away was their world? Or worlds. What other different modes of contact did they have across uncharted space?

No one knew for sure.

* * *

The honourable companion was detailed of certain facts. “The extraterrestrials are here. Well, almost! They shall intercept all electronic radar-telescope pulse messages beamed or transmitted from Earth to our inhabited worlds or planets. They will jam all codes transmitted back to Earth and shall ensure that no communication takes place between Earth stations and the other planets’ stations. This means a one way communication and the phenomenon shall coincide with the second moon rise of Pluto.

While under normal conditions, our computer radar-telescopes can successfully overcome radio-light pulse transmission interference during the second moon rise of Pluto, these conditions are much different now.

A total signals interference indicates that the aliens are very near to our solar system!”

He was present during “initial speech” addressed by the gentleman astronomer-scientist. The World Governor, Earth Command, World Council and Earth Council members, representing all the inhabited worlds, or planets, duly attended it.

Now, whilst attempting to maintain desperate calmness in the midst of silence of the winds at Pluto Top, he was anticipating anything out of the blue and prepared for it.

The rivers of Earth shall run dry, and total climatic changes shall occur. There shall be excess snowfall in the snow fields of your Earth, and rainfall shall go unchecked. An abundance of rainfall is indicated herein.

That message was completely self-contradictory to humans living in the fifty-fourth century. However, it made sense to the extraterrestrials and the humans were aware of it. All futuristic messages seemed incomprehensible to humans of the Earth.

But the human race was confident the technologically advanced extraterrestrials would mange to contact Earth stations again; that contact made possible by proton converters located upon Pluto’s highest mountain, at an altitude of sixty-five thousand feet, just as the second moon was rising.

“Are you confident that our transmitter-receivers are thoroughly activated?” Another question.

“You can bet on that. I have readjusted the protonic batteries for the next three thousand five hundred years. That’s the life span of the batteries. In addition, I have also reconnected the opposite terminals of those batteries to the database receivers.”

* * *

The gentleman ended a verbal duel leading to time and space while another batch of space noise directed to Earth’s Forward space research labs was intercepted by Pluto’s labs located miles beneath the planet’s surface. The lab personnel knew of no further procedures to decipher those incoherent and broken codes. Therefore, they did the next best thing: they began to relay constantly every piece of such incomprehensible sounds to computer-assisted sensor receptors connected with central mechanisms inside the Earth rocketship parked fifty thousand feet above Pluto’s surface.

At a final height of sixty-five thousand feet, the gentleman astronaut scientist swiftly adjusted several buttons located within his extraterrestrial belt.

“We shall apply our primary methods of maintaining contact with Earth stations through you or your chosen representatives.” The Extraterrestrials’ message was clear despite humans’ comparatively primitive language in the year 5357.

One year ago.

He was aware his honourable companion had activated his individual collar speakerphone immediately as they stepped out from the rocket ship. He, however, required no such obsolete devices and instead therefore, activated hexagonal receptor devices — another gift from the extraterrestrials — by gently pushing a few lever-buttons sideways within the belt.

From somewhere far out in the gentle abyss of the stars and the Milky Way, the extraterrestrials had relayed their final message to him. They had also jammed Earth-Pluto radio and TV receptor signals with unintelligible space noise, the kind which Earth converters were thoroughly incapable of deciphering.

He, of course, did realize what the extraterrestrials were accomplishing and now, engulfed in the mild breeze created by gravitational influences of the second moon, he brought into play other electronic receptor devices attached to his belt, thereby allowing the same noise to continue uninterruptedly while his individual collar phone delivered their carefully coded messages via the hexagonal receptors. Any human listening in from Earth Stations would simply hear space noise, and nothing more. Not that he would have allowed such eavesdropping.

He spoke those words half aloud while his honourable companion recorded them into another speakerphone, one that had combined wireless radio-TV signals via laser beam and were redirected to the central consoles inside the Earth rocket ship now parked fifteen thousand feet below. These unknown hyperspace radio signals were further relayed to Pluto’s Advanced research space laboratory One, located hundreds of miles under the surface of Pluto.

The lab technicians present therein swiftly recorded his voice patterns into hundreds of computer-radar devices and databanks as he spoke, for they were fully reliant upon the fact that he was correctly deciphering those messages relayed by the extraterrestrial beings. Surely they, the humans, were successful in determining one place in the Solar System where extraterrestrial contact was possible: upon Pluto Mountain, classified two.

The messages originated from somewhere in deep, hyper space and were meant for the people of Earth, now also settled upon Mars, Pluto and Jupiter in an successful attempt to expand into and colonize this portion of the galaxy.

Finally, the aliens had succeeded in transmitting human language codes, and they revelled at the thought of such an achievement.

Epilogue: One Year Later

The gentleman astronaut-scientist veered his personal spaceship sharply left while entering Mars atmosphere far above the planet’s surface; and ensured that whilst landing upon Martian soils, the ship zero gravity engines were in total condition. He did not feel any jerks when the spaceship landed gently upon even ground many miles outside space city Mars.

The latest observational procedures were due back upon Earth stations and he revelled the thought of witnessing clear blue skies of their parent planet. He decided not to waste further time upon Mars and carefully spent the few required hours in his personal flat. The lighter than feathers bed felt wonderful...

He was upon his feet the moment a series of near silent buzzer alarms went off, activating his spaceship for further journeys and now docked inside Forward Research space lab Mars.

He was watching the clearer than blue skies of Earth’s atmosphere at a height of thirty thousand feet whilst decompressing the ship for brief moments as the spaceship silently veered away from all invisible and ever probing electronic sensor equipments located upon Earth. All the sensory radar-telescope equipment upon Mars, Pluto and Jupiter stations covering Earth from all conceivable angles were also unable to detect the spaceship’s movements.

He decided to fly over the oceans of Earth twice, completing a series of complicated twists before landing the spaceship at Earth stations priority one: located at a height of twenty-nine thousand feet. There were no explanations due, he was acutely aware of that. Yet, briefings were to be made. Meetings with the World Governor, senior hierarchy amongst Earth Command, World Council and Earth Council were scheduled.

* * *

A few months later, he trudged the shores of Pluto beaches in holiday status mood. Another Earth month had passed by upon Pluto.

Pluto’s largest ocean made no effect upon his unperturbed nature as he walked along the beaches, accompanied by a few colleagues. The honourable friend was around somewhere.

“Our rivers?” She queried. Evidently, the extraterrestrials message was made public to all the worlds. The interplanetary space personnel were amongst the first humans to receive those messages. Perhaps Earth was in pending jeopardy. Again, the humans decided, perhaps not.

“Would you join me for next Saturday’s Plutonian dance?” His lady scientist colleague chirped in, unknowingly jarring him from the introspection one inevitably experienced while walking along those beaches amidst continuous strong gusts of wind, fresh and comparatively stronger now. The sun was not visible yet the atmosphere seemed cloudy.

“You could always settle upon Pluto. Or Mars.” The voice held silvery tones as the others listened in.

Copyright © 2003 by Deep Bora

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