As of the moment I’m writing this I’m currently a Senior employee of SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) Observatory and I urge readers of this message to share it publicly as this alert concerns the future of humanity, our planet and all of space exploration.
Three weeks ago from this moment SETI intercepted a most unusual transmission. Its signal came from outer space without question. What is unusual about it is that it originated very close to Earth’s higher atmosphere, too far to be from an artificial satellite. After being decrypted it yielded a text written in English, the contents of which you are about to read. It unnerved me and all of the people who had access to it. After the team that transcribed it brought it to the attention of their superiors weeks of discussions about its nature ensued. Finally, the higher-ups of the observatory ordered the message not to be divulged, its files to be sealed and to officially disregard it as a “clever” hoax. The reasoning behind it being that the signal was aimed directly at one of our receivers and that its contents were plain English text, not alien in nature, therefore, not our object of study.
Many of my colleagues disagreed with this decision. Clever though one might be, I’ve never met anyone who had the means to transmit a hoax from so far in the upper atmosphere. The signal clearly originated from space and, though close to Earth, it is definitively from a chunk of empty space. There are no known objects in its source and the fact that it was aimed at our receiver at that precise moment makes it clear that whoever initiated this communication knew what he/she was doing and wanted us to get this message. Below is a full transcript of the received text. I urge you dear reader to consider the implications of every word very carefully.
An Alert from the Future. Notes from the 2109 Revelation Incident
Ever since the discovery of the first rogue exoplanet in 1998, OTS 44, interest of the scientific community about such objects never waned, which is why when a large rogue asteroid was detected so close to our Solar System all were keen to study it as fast as possible. The minor planet previously known as 237 Perplexity was first observed in 2052 by the ELT (Extremely Large Telescope). It received a permanent designation as a rogue exoplanet in 2061, after it was determined that its eccentric trajectory was a result of not being caught by the Sun’s gravity. It would just pass by our system in the next years and was currently on approach. The object had a size and mass comparable to the dwarf planet Eris, was beyond the orbit of Neptune, and has currently been renamed 1 Loki after the incident.
The Revelation Incident started innocently enough. In 2079 a group of scientists led by the ISA organized a mission to investigate the origin of this strange object and learn more about the Cosmos. The probe Revelation was then commissioned by the Agency and finished being built in 2088. The International Research and Exploration Ship (IRES) Tiresias was assigned to carry the probe and an unmanned space flight was chartered by the agency to deliver it to said vessel, which was, at that time, in the vicinity of Jupiter. The flight launched a year later and after two years in space the probe was successfully delivered and a new course was set for the Tiresias. This was to be the longest space mission to date, taking 18 years to reach the Perplexity, with scheduled stops along the way to study other Solar System objects until it intercepted the asteroid in its approach path beyond Neptune.
The Tiresias spacecraft was 4 years old by the time it received the probe at the Europa Moon International Space Facility. It carried a crew of five people led by Captain John Herbert Moses, an experienced astronaut. Between the scheduled stops the crew was to stay in hibernation sleep, which slowed down bodily functions. The ship reached the asteroid in august 15, 2109 and the crew were ready and able and started preparations to enter the asteroid’s orbit. Finally, august, 17, the probe was ready to be deployed. The vehicle was to carry a researcher, Jacqueline Meredith, PhD in planetary geology. Revelation made contact with the surface of 237 Perplexity at 9:15 (UTC) that day.
The explosion happened immediately. The crew of the Tiresias described a white blinding flash of light and the energy of the blast killed two crew members instantaneously. Dr. Adriana Dubois, the medical officer, and Dr. Federico Lombardo, PhD in space chemistry, were both crushed by the ship’s very floor. The two remaining crewmembers, Captain Moses and Lieutenant Li Jie Tang sustained many injuries: bruises, lacerations and multiple fractures. Even though they were seated at the ship’s cockpit, the acceleration caused a great enough force to be exerted on their bodies. The Tiresias’ first contact with Mission Command after the explosion only happened at 13:39 (UTC). Lt. Tang, the first to wake up, reported Captain Moses knocked out, the ship spinning out of control and instruments outputs not making any sense. Efforts to stabilize the ship’s rotation along all axis were proving more than auxiliary engines could deal with and the extension of damage to the ship was unknown. Captain Moses woke up two hours later and both men couldn’t bring the vessel under control.
Observers around the Solar System saw the moment of the explosion. A bright flash of light was seen, enough to be visible from earth by the naked eye as a star in the night sky. Telescopes everywhere fixed on the origin point and were unable to detect neither the ship nor the asteroid. Mission Command only got a fix of The Tiresias’ position 46 hours after the blast. It was tens of thousands of kilometers away from the origin and moving at hundreds of kilometers per second. Telescopes around the Solar System searched for the missing asteroid to no avail.
The scientists leading the mission were baffled by these events. Even an explosion from the Revelation’s reactor could not cause a blast this large. The whole world caught wind of the news and everywhere on the Solar System minds searched for the answer. It is not known who came to the solution first, as many men and women of science came forth with this thought at that same time: the Revelation probe was annihilated.
237 Perplexity was composed entirely of anti-matter. This rogue exoplanet was probably ejected from another galaxy, an anti-galaxy, and drifted through space aimlessly until it reached our corner of the universe. There is no reason why anti-matter would look or behave any differently than normal matter on a macroscopic scale. This anti-planet and the incident were proof that probably half the stuff in the night sky is made of anti-matter. Entire galaxies composed entirely of this material exist and there is absolutely no telling them apart. This deathtrap entered our Solar System covertly and was sprung by human action. The scientific community decided to immediately re-class this anti-planet and renamed it 1 Loki, after the Norse god of deceit and trickery. A break from the tradition of naming important objects after Greco-Roman deities because of this newfound nature.
The drama for the Tiresias continued as the ship sped out of control. The rotating motion was only stopped after nine days of constant work by the two survivors. The auxiliary engines were worked to almost breaking point. After stabilizing the disorienting motion and finally making out the instruments readings the crewmembers discovered their horrible predicament: the Tiresias was still moving away from the Solar System at incredible speed and they’ve reached escape velocity. Even with the ship’s engines intact and at full power they would never return home. The extension of damage to the ship was never made public, but Mission Command decided that, even in these dire conditions, the crew should point the vessel towards Earth leave the engines on at maximum power and go to hibernation sleep. Their only hope for rescue would be if, after enough years, the technology would reach a level sufficient for a space faring vessel to be able to catch up with them. With this thin hope these two brave men went to sleep. Three years later all contact with the Research Ship Tiresias was lost. It was now too far away for anyone to hear.
For people on Earth and human colonies on the Solar System a concern remained: where was the rogue anti-planet and what could it hit. Two years after the incident a team from the Tyson Space Observatory spotted it, but it was going too fast for the telescope to track. A huge concerted effort of observatories across the System was made to keep tabs on 1 Loki’s whereabouts and determine its trajectory. It was found, with a sigh of relief, that it would not hit Earth. For most of the Earth’s population it was the end of the story, but for scientists, like myself, a planet-sized bomb roaming our Solar System was still cause for alarm.
It took six years for observations and calculations that made the scientific community sure enough of the outcome: 1 Loki was going to hit Jupiter in the year 2118. The huge planet’s gravity well would capture the asteroid and hurl it against itself. There were no predicting the consequences, but the gas giant stood to lose a bit of its mass from annihilation. A whole lot more would be ejected by the explosion and there is no telling what all this, plus the force of the impact and the annihilation’s energy could do to the orbits of Jupiter’s 69 moons and how all that would affect everything around it. The situation’s complexity was insurmountable.
Missions to hurl spaceships or other sources of mass at 1 Loki have been considered, but the anti-planet is going too fast to be intercepted by our current spaceships with a sure enough point of impact that wouldn’t threaten Earth, Mars, or other objects that could alter orbits around the System.
The delicate balance of Earth’s ecosystem can be affected by anything as small as the magnetic reversion of the poles. The consequences of an event that affects the orbits of planets around the system are unforeseeable. We do not know our fate right now. It hangs in the balance and there’s nothing anyone can do but wait. I too am waiting, but have also decided, on a thin hope, to leave this message to the people a hundred years in the past. I have researched time travel all my life and, though it’s not yet possible to send objects, I can send signals. It takes enormous amounts of energy to send a signal a few days in the past, but the amount of data sent is enough for a text. I shall keep sending versions of this for however long and far in time as I can to places where there could be people to take heed of my warning. I hope that enough people can have access to this document. All that is needed to prevent disasters like this is a small change in space mission protocols: send small objects to the surface of any new heavenly body to be explored. A small explosion of matter/anti-matter annihilation would be enough to be seen from afar, but wouldn’t upset the delicate balance of our Solar System. I don’t know how this would affect costs of space missions in the past, but seems a small price to pay compared with the suffering of humans everywhere.
Our colonies are not currently self-sustaining enough to ensure a future for off-world humans in case of Earth’s ecosystem collapsing. All of humankind is at jeopardy because of our mistake. Because of our eagerness to give into the whims of curiosity.
There are live bombs out there in the universe and there is no way to know how many. They should be rare, but take heed of my warning and all of this horror and anguish can be avoided.
Science is the art of making known the unknown. Act as scientists, and make known this alert.
September 3rd, 2118.
Dr. Alexa C. Caldwell, PhD in Transdimensional Physics
There ends the transcription. The file on this case is currently sealed. I’m not revealing my full credentials as this could jeopardize my career, but I chose to act as a scientist and heed Alexa’s warning as best as I could. I’m publicizing this copy of the transcript and making the world know there is a new and invisible threat to humanity. Please make this known to as much people as possible so we may enact the small change Dr. Alexa pleaded.
Written by EmperorinYellow