Though the majority of Sam’s classes now are in the fields of science and math, he stills participates in a few other classes of special interest, History and Civil Utilities. Today he joins his history class for an outdoor session. They meet in a city park, near a pond. Sam has his journal and pen ready. The instructor begins to share the story of how the sacred words were developed. He tells of the importance of each word. Even though the meaning of the words were given by the Ones Before, much philosophical study has explored their application throughout Shi’ann history. Sam’s notes on this subject will be read, by him, numerous times throughout the coming cycles. The meaning of the words evolve with each new reading. Sam has developed a deep respect for the Sacred Words. He scans through his notes, as the instructor pauses before moving on to another topic.
Respect- The root word for all the other words. Without respect one cannot have peace, unity, and all the others.
Peace- To face life with no hostilities. To live with the current of the stream of life.
Unity- Together we are better. Balance with life. We all need each other.
Responsibility- Altruism. I am my brother’s keeper.
Live- To experience the greatness of existence, and all of its wonder.
Love- To cherish, the Greatest of these words. This one word, sums up all of the others. To cherish all.
The philosophy behind the Sacred Words reminds him of eastern thought, of the ancient books that he had read before, in his other life. He remembers his practice of meditation before arriving here, in the forty-second century. He had begun the practice later in life. Though he was never at a monk or guru level, peace and balance had been found in the practice. The wonderful Sacred Words, reminded Sam of his meditation times. The words seem to inspire something inside of him. He wonders if meditation can have an effect on his reoccurring nightmares. Within a few days of practice, he sleeps soundly, free of the dark images which had plagued him. Meditation, it’s kind of like riding a bike. Smiling, Sam writes that line in his journal.
The delivery of the first child comes without warning, and at the beginning of an early morning shift. Leiyana tries to reach Sam. He does not answer and she is forced to leave a message. Where is he? He should not be in class this early. She shuts out the rest of the world, while she delivers the first baby born naturally to Shi’ann society in more than a century. Once mother and child, a girl, are stable, Leiyana heads home. She cannot wait to tell Sam.
He had considered using the sacred words as a meditation guide. The practice of setting in stillness and quiet has an effect on him that brings both peace and focus. He begins incorporating the sacred words during his quiet times of setting in silence. Beholding the words in order and matching them and their meaning to his breathing. He begins experiencing refreshing times, of setting on the patio, and breathing the sacred words.
This morning’s meditation has lasted longer than previous days, as Sam is experiencing a profound sense of relaxation and revelation. He has worked through the sacred words several times over, and now sets in the stillness, eyes closed, basking in a warm inner glow.
He becomes aware of a distant hum, almost a drum beat. He senses a vibration, a feeling. The sensation is that of a river flowing. His release of focus causes the hum to become clearer. It is not a hum, but a heartbeat. It is not his heart beat. Sam slowly opens his eyes. Leiyana sets across from him. He had sensed her.
Leiyana smiles, “I was not aware that you knew of this practice. Who taught you?”
Sam serenely answers, “I had a habit of this before I arrived here.”
Leiyana raises an eyebrow, “Sam, you seem calmer than I have ever witnessed. Did you know that some Shi’ann also practice, using the repetition of the sacred words to take them to a balanced state.”
“I do now” Sam smiles.
Leiyana stares at him, Sam can tell that she is trying to read him deeper. His mind and heart are open, his senses are clear. Sam directs his intuitive focus out towards her, as well.
“Oh Sam!” Leiyana reaches out and takes his hands. “You have become aware. You can sense me as I do you. When did you first notice that you could do this?”
“Just recently. I’m realizing that this awareness has always been present, but my mind is too busy to notice. My worries, my doubts, myself, all keep me from seeing just how plain and simple...and right, it all really is, to just let things be. It is nice for a change to relax and just watch life occur, to not react to my desire to change things, to control things. We make it... life that is, so hard... so difficult, don’t we?”
“I am so excited to see you in this state. I sense a peace in you, a calmness. It is as if you have become another person.”
Sam nods, “Or I am finally embracing who I really am.”
She wraps her arms around Sam. There is an intimacy that goes beyond the physical. They hold each other, both basking in the emotions that they share.
The “Baby Boom” as Sam calls the numerous reported pregnancies and births, brings with it, a huge demand upon both of their schedules. Leiyana attempting to attend every birth and requests for Sam’s presence at the same, have them both traveling, often, to other cities. In spite of the fast and hectic pace, they are enjoying themselves. The warmth of social attitude that is occurring in all of the cities, reminds Sam of family gatherings and holiday festivities from his other life. This society is in the early stages of a major cultural shift. Sam is proud to be a part of it. He feels more like a citizen now instead of the strange alien guest he was at first. Everyone here makes him feel like family. He realizes that he loves these people, all of them. He cannot imagine his life without them.
A new morning activity has begun for Sam and Leiyana, meditation. After their morning tea and meal, they set, whether at home or abroad, and breathe the sacred words together. Their deeper awareness of each other is bringing greater intimacy to all areas of their relationship. It seems that their very souls are entwined. Sam has never felt more alive.
The demands of Leiyana’s career responsibilities and Sam’s education schedule, eventually causes them to spend days apart. When they are not together, they use the video communications to visit. Sometimes, they even share their meals in this manner. Sam misses her, and hates sleeping alone. Still, they both pursue the responsibilities before them. Leiyana is training and leading the next generation of birthing specialist, while Sam studies earnestly towards a position with the communications council.
His work with Civil Utilities gains him more than the knowledge of the cities’ water and power ways. Sam has involved To’mas in a project that brings together this societies’ advanced and modern technology and a comfort from Sam’s previous life. After class each day, the two friends work on a project that Sam hopes to have installed at the apartment, before Leiyana returns home. Even Felitra becomes involved. Sam’s relationship with his two favorite class mates, goes beyond friendship. The coming cycles will reveal a connection of hearts, they are becoming family members.
She will be home any minute, and Sam is so excited that he cannot sit still. He roams the yard outside of their apartment, watching for her arrival. A vehicle approaches, but it’s not Leiyana. Jerdon and Martark exit the glider car and greet Sam. He invites them inside and offers tea.
“So to what do I owe the honor of a visit from my favorite father in laws?” Sam laughs, as does Martark.
Jerdon shakes his head with a smile and ask, “How does our dear daughter tolerate your humor?”
“She loves me and can’t resist me.” Sam winks, “But seriously, you look like something is on your mind. What can I do for you, Councilor?”
“I have been visiting with some of your instructors,” Jerdon begins. “You have advanced very well in your studies, and they are recommending that we forego the next levels of your education schedule and allow you to begin Masters Class in communications.”
“You got to be kidding me? That’s fantastic! I wasn’t sure that I even had a snowball’s chance in hell.
Thank you Jerdon, this is great news. When do we begin?” Sam is stunned and excited.
Martark barks, “Later you shall tell me of this snowball’s chance in hell, it sounds exciting!”
Sam laughs and nods his head.
Jerdon shares the details and the rigorous schedule that will be required. Along with attending classes, Sam will begin performing some duties at the Communications Center.
Leiyana’s time away is understood and appreciated by her father. “I know that you both would like to spend some time together before your start this new venture. I also know that she has missed you, I spoke with her earlier and know how eager she is to come home to you.” Jerdon pauses and seems to look at the ceiling searching for the words that he should speak next. “Sam... Martark and I were more than concerned when we saw the relationship between the two of you developing. After the death of her mate, Caltrim, she became so emotionally distant, that we were not sure she would ever seek a relationship again. Now, having seen your development and how happy our daughter is, how much in love with you she is, I want to say to you, that Martark and I embrace you as family. Thank you for making our daughter happy.”
Sam is overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, he stands and opens his arms. The two men rise and embrace him. The door opens and Leiyana walks in and stares at her fathers and Sam in an emotional hug. Sam turns his face towards her smiling and says, “Well this is awkward.”
Before Leiyana’s fathers leave, Martark introduces a home coming gift to Leiyana, his newest wine. The four of them enjoy a few toast and discuss Leiyana’s recent city visits and Sam’s progress towards the Communications Counsel.
They are alone, and the evening has come. He leads her towards the bathroom to show her his latest home improvement project. She sees the strange glass closet standing next to the sound bath. “What is this, Sam?” Leiyana examines the closet by opening the door, and looking inside.
“This my love, is a hot water shower. In my life before, this was my most favorite, practical and relaxing way to get clean. I would like for you to try it, tonight.” Sam hands her a waxy perfumed square.
“Felitra helped with the production of this, it’s a cleansing agent.”
Leiyana sniffs the soap and smiles, “Mmm, it smells wonderful. How does it work?”
“I’ll have to show you.” He begins undressing her.
She stands under the hot spraying water, with the fragrant smell and feel of soap lather. Sam is gliding his hands across her silky skin. The soap bar slips from her hands, she quickly reaches down to catch it and strikes Sam in his midsection.
“Oooff!” By instinct, Sam flinches and steps back. She does not cause him pain, he is just startled.
Leiyana reaches to him and says, “Oh Sam, I am so sorry, did I injure you?”
He looks in her eyes, takes her in his arms and says, “No, you didn’t hurt me, in fact, you make me forget that I was ever broken.” He explains to her later that most hot water showers do not last that long.
Sam’s first few days at the Communications Center are exciting and frustrating. He is excited to be viewing the data of the original message. His frustrations are in regards to the fact that much more study must occur before he can even begin to understand the basics of the message stream. Still, he is looking at a message from outer space. He gathers all the material that he can for review away from class. He continues utilizing his journal for hand written notes. The other instructors and even the director, are all impressed with Sam’s enthusiasm.
New friendships quickly develop between Sam and his fellow communications researchers.
Bentanh, an older and very wise man, shows great patience towards Sam’s many questions. Fawnhala, who is no longer being courted by Hontel, laughs at even the simplest jokes that Sam shares. Westar, a young man who began his work on the same day as Sam, seems to be barely out of his teens, but possesses a very high intelligence. These friendships, like the others that have developed since he arrived here, shall span a lifetime.
This evening, Sam is home alone, as Leiyana is conducting surface visits and offering birthing lectures. He is pleased to see just as many males, as females, who are interested in the birthing process. The Shi’ann society is over eleven hundred years old. They have had a long time to recognize equality among the sexes. He wonders if they ever had to overcome the macho man’s attitude that was prevalent during his own era. He considers himself fortunate to live among them.
Leiyana joins Sam for dinner, using the communications screen. She informs him of her day and the latest reports of births and pregnancies. She should be filled with pride, as her work has been instrumental in bringing this “baby boom” to society. But this is not the attitude which she displays. The meek, mild and sweet Leiyana acts as if she is only doing her duty, to progress the path of the people. It is one of the many qualities of her personality, which Sam finds so attractive.
Near the end of their conversation, she complains of an upset stomach, probably due to the very spicy foods she has eaten for the last few days. The citizens of City Ten, are known for their love of hot and spicy foods. He tells her good night after he request that she return home with a sample of the spicy produce. He remembers fresh jalapenos and his mouth waters.
Sam lays down to read in bed, before going to sleep. He never reads in bed when Leiyana is at home, but tonight, he is still excited about the day’s work. He feels that his mind has been stretched. For days now, he has struggled with new concepts and fresh views of the earlier translation work of the Others’ message. He reviews the notes in his journal.
The 1st message was translated into a digital graph, noting the high and low frequencies, and other measurements to be studied.
The received message was then sent back in response, adding a few more energy pulses/tones/notes/beeps to the end of the stream.
The added material consisted of simple math structures.
Many different computing programs have been applied to the message. Algorithms have been and continue to be mapped for all of the messages.
The Others 2nd message, after so many years, began with the earthly added data.
They had understood the math.
A definite intelligence is communicating with the Shi’ann.
Astronomers located the signal’s point of origin in space.
Debate occurred that the second transmission came from a slightly different location.
Was the first message random, meant for any and all who may be listening?
Was it directed purposely at the earth?
Do the Others want to know if they are alone in the universe, too?
After reading and writing his thoughts for over an hour, Sam finally turns off the light. He hopes that Leiyana is feeling better. His last thoughts of the day are of missing her and wondering about the Others. What are they like? He dreams of mysterious and dark shadowy figures, who stay just out of sight.
Leiyana will be home tonight, and Sam request of his coworkers, an early leave, this afternoon. Westar and Fawnhala joke with Sam about his evenings plans.
“Yes” he admits to them both, “I have missed her very much!”
Bentanh assigns Sam a few housekeeping task around the main lab, just to keep him busy. Sam begins moving equipment and storing tools that were left out by other researchers. He becomes lost in his work and begins whistling, as he moves about the room.
Bentanh listens and ask, “Is that a melody from your era?”
“Yes, I guess it is” Sam says. He didn’t even realize that he was whistling.
“What is it called, it seems to be a mournful plea?”
Sam had to think of the tune. He smiles when he recognizes the song that has been playing in his head. It has been so long since he last heard it. “Imagine, is the song’s title. It was very popular for many decades in my era. It is a song which hopes for a peaceful world, hmmph... much like this one.”
Sam recites the lines through his thoughts for a moment then quotes, “Imagine all the people, living life in peace.”
“How is it that you know these words?” Bentanh stammers. The man is visibly shaken.
“Those are the words of the song, the lyrics. So tell me, you know them as well?” Sam is intrigued.
“Oh Sam, this is amazing! Those words are engraved on the cavern wall above the entrance to City One, on the surface. The original entrance, that is. Those words were placed there shortly after Emergence Day, so long ago!” Bentanh reaches for the communications control and calls the others in the center to the main lab. He then opens a line to the Chief Counsel Chamber and to all the cities’ Communications centers, “Everyone will want to hear this!”
Bentanh looks at Sam as if to honor him, he says, “All the people...” Sam joins in speaking the rest of the sentence with him, “...living life in peace.”
Sam recites the entire song’s lyrics, to the best of his memory. He is not prepared for the response from the others. Tears flow. There are smiles, laughter, and embraces. Voices from over the communications lines are also celebrating.
Bentanh says, “We should have expected this, the seed of our hope and peace, was present in Sam’s world.”
Sam considers Bentanh’s words, but does not want to interrupt his friends in this moment of joyful celebration. Leiyana and he shall visit City One on their next surface trip. John Lennon would be proud.
Sam drove to the pod craft port station to pick up Leiyana. He arrives moments before her craft touches down. He watches her depart the vehicle. She has not noticed him yet, as he stands at a distance from the landing station, among a small crowd of other citizens. Many are waiting for their loved ones to arrive.
He watches her walk, as her eyes scan the crowd. She searches for him, he can feel her, and then, eye contact. She smiles at him. He loves her smile. Sam smiles back and then he sees it in her face, or maybe he senses it. She is closer and he can sense her clearer. The look in her eyes tells him that she is aware of what he is doing. He is reading her.
She reaches him. Their embrace is passionate. The strength of her kiss conveys what he feels as well. They have been apart for too long.
During the ride home, they engage in conversation. Sam can tell that she is waiting until they are at home, to make her announcement. She tells him of her last few days of training other physicians in the birthing process. He tells her of his desire to visit City One, on the surface. She is excited to hear of his description of the song lyrics that Bentanh had recognized. Leiyana agrees that they should visit and allow him a chance to see with his own eyes, the words which are engraved upon the wall.
Sam had prepared the meal earlier. Leiyana compliments the meal. She always does that. He listens to her but becomes lost in thought staring into her eyes. He sees it very clearly now. Emotions swell up inside him. He cannot hide the excitement any longer. He reaches across the table and pulls her face to his.
“Sam, I have something...” Leiyana tries to speak but her sentence ends in a mumble.
After the kiss, Sam kneels before her and wraps his arms around her waist. He places his head against her stomach. She cradles him and whispers, “How did you know?”
When he looks up, he sees that she sheds tears of joy. “Thank you my love, thank you.” Sam stands and pulls her up from her chair. “Thank you for giving us a child.”
Their loving making this evening is slow and tender. Afterwards, they hold each other for hours and discuss their future lives as parents.
The first few days after their pregnancy announcement, their home has many visitors. Martark laughed then cried, then laughed some more. To’mas and Felitra both promise to baby sit, when needed. Fawnhala and her new romantic interest, Tessuma, also offer to watch the baby. Tessuma is Felitra’s aunt. The two first met the day the tropical storm hit the island.
Well-wishers and gift givers come by and express the joy that the entire city shares. It seems to Sam that the whole world is celebrating. He thinks of his children from his life before. How would Desi and Ben feel about having another sibling? Sam wishes he could share the news with them.
Leiyana has promised to take it easy and at great pleading from her fathers and Sam, she agrees to only work a few days each week. Sam returns to his work at the Communications Center, but checks up on her several times throughout each day. The couple discover a new, and less exhausting routine. Sam is thankful to have her home each evening.
During an evening meal, he brings up the topic of marriage. Leiyana is unfamiliar with the term. He explains this practice was recognized by just about every culture from his world. She listens, nods and then offers, “What you speak of is a life joining ceremony. This is also practiced among the Shi’ann. Actually there are many variations of the custom.”
They spend the rest of the evening discussing the type of ceremony that would best reflect their love. Leiyana is excited to explain the numerous life joining customs, and then Sam realizes that he never even ask her if she wanted to join her life with his. So he ask, “Leiyana, if you are willing, I would like to share my life and love with you for the rest of my life.”
She kisses him, “Of course I would love too, but you are not even an official citizen, yet.” She gives him a sexy and sly smile, imitating him.
“And what must I do, my dear lover, to become an official citizen” Sam laughs.
The rest of their conversation covers the details of Sam’s official recognition as a Shi’ann citizen. Jerdon’s name comes up several times in their dialog. Leiyana is eager for the both of them to discuss this with her father, the Councilor. Sam feels like this was her plan all along. She was baiting him. The Shi’ann are not a deceptive people, but he has the feeling that she is holding back information. Still, he agrees that they will meet with Jerdon and discuss the topic by the week’s end.
His work among the Communications team has been enlightening. For weeks now he has been working with the first message, which seems ancient to all of the other researchers. Every item that he requested has been supplied to him. Chart, graphs, the audio recording, the earliest math formulas, and notes by researchers who have long since joined The Ones Before, are the items with which he works.
Though Bentanh knows that others have already covered the steps and processes which Sam is performing, he cannot help but be curious. Sam’s enthusiasm is contagious. For the fourth time now, Bentanh loads the audio recording of the original signal. Headphones have been constructed, at Sam’s direction, and he spends hours listening to the alien pulses and hums.
Feeling a slight stress headache, Sam rises from his work station and rubs his eyes, and the muscles in his neck. Bentanh looks at him, “You have been at it for quite some time. You should take a break.” He points towards the doorway. To’mas and Felitra stand there waving at him. They hold a covered food tray and drink containers. They have remembered the scheduled lunch date, and Sam has not.
Outside, he reclines with his two important guest. The have chosen a shady spot in the shadow of the Com Center’s building. The small grassy area, arranged with comfortable seats and tables, is enjoyed by the researchers during their lunch and afternoon breaks. Sam is happy to see the dynamic duo. They are excited to see him.
The lunch conversation consist of questions and answers about their classes. Sam is surprised at their change of attitude and how they present their questions about his work. It seems that they have matured by cycles in just a few months.
To’mas ask, “So have you encountered any problems in your work which I might assist?”
Sam laughs, “Well, let me think about it. Certainly, a fresh perspective cannot hurt.”
Felitra says, “All he can talk about lately is The Others. He wants to work in communications because of you. He admires you.”
To’mas does not seem challenged by the statement. “I want to help my friend become the best communications councilor, ever!” A serious and honest face nods at Sam.
“Thank you very much To’mas, but you should keep up with your studies, as it seems that I might really need some help, so I need you, to learn all that you can.” Sam roughs up To’mas’ hair.
Sam begins explaining his work to his friends. Early researchers have already decided that the messages, were multi-layered. The first and general layer of a message stream, is considered as a type of language. The pattern of pulses, tones and hums, is slowly being understood. Beneath that, numerical values have been discovered. He looks in their excited eyes and tells them, “But I am only on the very first message. I’ve a ways to go, before I can even move to the next message.”
“We had to listen to the first message in science class.” To’mas, nods his head up and down.
“And what did you think of it? What wonderful thoughts did it inspire in Sir To’mas?” Sam winks at Felitra.
“Tell him To’mas, tell him of your outrageous dreams!” Felitra giggles. “He says that every time he listens to the message, he has night dreams about The Others and thinks that maybe they are trying to communicate with him!”
“Actually, that’s a very interesting idea. To’mas, never give up your imagination.” Sam smiles at the boy. To’mas may have been born centuries too late, he thinks. The boy’s fantastic imagination, reminds Sam of home.
Felitra shares her view of the message, “To me, it sounds like bubbles moving through water. There is a humming noise that is wrapped around the tones. The pulses and beeps are like bubbles, waiting to be popped.”
Sam considers his young friends’ words. They are both much more intelligent than when he first met them, months ago. Sam says, “And you, Miss Felitra, should become a writer. That was a very good description.”
After lunch, and watching his friends board the transport glider, he returns to his work station. Bentanh establishes a link to all of Sam’s research through the communication lines. He will be able to access any of the files, from home. He actually enjoys listening to the signal. Like his younger friend, Sam fantasizes about communicating with The Others.
It is not a scheduled work day, but since Leiyana is out with Martark, gathering goods for their home, Sam decided to review his latest communication’s notes. All morning he has been playing the recording of the Others’ first message.
As he listens to the hum and pulses, Felitra’s words run through his thoughts. He agrees that the static noise of the message is similar to the sound of flowing water. The pulses, what was it that she said about them? Bubbles... “Like bubbles...waiting to be popped.” He thinks that she is such a brilliant kid, and then, an inspiring thought overtakes Sam. He rushes out the door, headed towards the Com Center. He needs the lab equipment to test the idea that just popped into his head.
He has no difficulty loading the message and isolating the very first pulse, or “bubble” as he explained to Bentanh over the communications line. Bentanh is at home with his mate, Morian. They are entertaining their grandchildren for the day. Sam apologizes for interrupting him but ask a few questions on how to break apart a pulse bubble. Bentanh is very interested in Sam’s theory. After a few minutes of explanation, Sam says goodbye to his friend, again apologizing for the interruption.
On the display, he views the magnified digital signal. The very first pulse does appear to have slight breaks of empty space between the high and low points. Sam creates more space in the breaks of emptiness, moving them further from each other. There, now it doesn’t look like just one pulse but several that had been grouped together. Still wearing the headphones, he plays the audio of the message. “Blammmph!” The sound is deafening. He quickly removes the headphones and stops the recording. His ears are ringing.
He locates the volume and speed controls, and makes adjustments. Not as loud and much slower this time. He holds one ear piece of the headphone against his head and plays the pulse again. “Yes”, there are several distinct tones hiding in the very first bubble. He continues playing the one pulse over and over, continuing to slow it down more, more, and then he hears it.
He stands up, drops the headphones and backs away from the station’s control board. His breathing is rapid. Sweat trickles down the back of his neck. He paces the room. He’s not sure if he should laugh or cry. He fidgets his hands, not sure of where to put them.
It can’t be. Not in an alien message. How? How can this be? His mind is racing, searching for an explanation.
He returns to the control board, opens a line from his volume controls and connects to the room’s communications speakers. He turns up the volume just a bit more and hits play. “Dum dum dum dumm...” He can hear his heart beat in his ears, throbbing. This is unbelievable. He plays it again, turning up the volume even more. “DUM DUM DUM DUMM”.
“It is! It really is... Beethoven’s 5th Symphony!”
In shock, his hands raise as if to embrace the sky. He steps backward, away from the work station. A thousand thoughts a second are racing through his mind. Goosebumps rise across his arms and back. He speaks aloud, “Fantastic, this is fucking fantastic!”
“Sam, is everything okay?” Westar ask. He has entered the room and sees his friend in what appears to be a state of panic.
Sam turns around and grabs his friend and shakes him, “Oh man, I’m so glad you’re here. You’ve got to listen to this and tell me that I haven’t gone crazy!”
Shocked Westar explains that Bentanh had told him about Sam’s theory. Since he was close by, he thought he would check in.
Sam plays the recording for his colleague. Westar immediately recognizes the sound as notes of music.
“A very serious sounding tune.” He says.
Sam’s friend is even more intrigued when he is told “I know this song. It was a classical tune, still well known, even in my era.”
The room has more people packed in it than Sam had thought was possible. All of the crew from the Com Center are present. Leiyana and Martark stand next to Sam’s classmates, To’mas and Felitra. Visiting Counselors from other cities, various citizens and other leaders have arrived. Sam is watching and waiting for his opportunity to address the crowd.
Bentanh is working at the control station, preparing to broadcast Sam’s description of this breakthrough in their research. Earlier, he and Westar had enhanced the sound of the musical notes. They have even extended the amount of notes in the line of music, by breaking down the next few pieces of the bubble. Sam is convinced that this is Beethoven’s 5th. The static in the recording has been reduced even more. He thinks that it sounds crisper, almost like the actual piece.
The main communications screen lights up. Everyone turns to face it. Jerdon and several other Chief Counselors are seated and wait for an off screen signal to begin speaking. Apparently, this announcement will be broadcast across all communications lines. But of course, Sam thinks to himself, everyone will want to hear this.
On the communications screen, Charia begins, “Sam it is very good to see you again.”
“Councilor, I greet you all in peace with open arms.” Sam spreads his arms and smiles at those present.
“The Chief Council has received a brief report of your discovery, and the report is even now, being repeated in all of the cities. Please proceed, Sam, and tell us all what you have found.” Charia says.
He begins by explaining Felitra’s description of the first message. His two young friend’s faces shine as he tells of their conversation. Next he informs the group what he can remember of the piece of music and its composer. “Many from my previous culture, would recognize the song from just a few notes.” Sam states.
From the doorway, a weak but precise voice ask, “But how could an alien intelligence know of a song from earth? Especially from the distant past?” All turn to see Zoejara, seated in her hovering chair. “I am sure that you have a theory for this, my friend.” Zoey offers her standard greeting to Sam.
With hands placed together, Sam returns the greeting and says, “Thank you for asking my most honorable Councilor. I have a very good idea.”
“Dear Sam, the future is coming, but please, speak before it gets here.” Zoey laughs at her own joke.
After the room’s laughter subsides, Sam begins to tell of his era’s space exploration accomplishments. Since he had recently recited this past history to his historian friends, it is still fresh in his mind. Sam tells of the two Voyager space crafts, which were launched in the late 1970′s, from Earth. In his previous life, Sam had attempted to stay informed of his world’s space missions.
He tells them that the Voyager crafts, both had a gold plated copper disk on board. The intention behind the disk of information, was that someday, in the distant future, an alien intelligence might discover it. Upon the disks, was imprinted an ambitious message, which declared the story of the Earth and of its human population. Recordings of music, greetings in many languages, animals and many of the sounds of nature, had been placed upon the disk. Sam recognized the Beethoven piece as one of the many songs on the golden record.
“Presently”, he explains, “both crafts have left our solar system and have been traveling through inter-stellar space for over two thousand cycles.”
Sam remembers vaguely, the announcements in past years of the probes each leaving our system, headed for deep space. He believes that the Others have encountered at least one of the probes.
“Their ability to send back a portion of the golden records data, is evident, that they know much more about humans and the Earth, than we know about them.” Sam tells his audience.
After playing the edited message section, Sam attempts to answer questions about the Voyager crafts. Then he shares his greatest insight regarding this discovery. “We should send the next message in the Shi’ann language, in our tongue.” Everyone smiles at his use of the word “our”. Even he realizes that he now feels like one of them, a Shi’ann. “We should speak to them simply, and tell them who we are.”
The coming months will reveal a greater unveiling of the contents of the messages. The Communications Centers, in every city, begin to apply Sam’s technique of unraveling the messages. Breakthroughs shall continue for cycles to come.