By Katherine McClain.
A radio decoder for military intelligence is called on to decipher a scrambled broadcast. It’s like cryptology, but for analyzing radio frequencies. What will his analysis turn up? The jagged bursts of static seem to carry an intelligent message, but what is it, and who is sending it?
The static may not be in code, and the tech explains his reasoning for the short static squawks, and how radio communications work. It’s going to take more study, and more expensive gear to be sure of what the intelligent life is saying.
Months pass, and further analysis has turned the signal into a picture, displayed on a television screen. What seems to be a black and white video is given arbitrary colors, and now the language barrier needs to be broken. Will it help to send a signal, and get a reply from the aliens? Sure, but it’ll take years.
The reply comes, the aliens are coming, and a press release rapidly goes out. Anticipation runs high, but the reality of the aliens is unknown. Do they look human, what color are they, are they friendly? They seem harmless based on the broadcasts. There’s something wrong with the whole thing… but what. What is it that has been overlooked in deciphering the squawk broadcasts? Can you say, “Honey I shrunk the aliens?”
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