The following is inspired by a news article about signals from space that return every 16 days. You can read the article here.
Brain yelped a cheer interrupting my nap.
Ever since the news story about strange signals from space every 16 days, Brian’s been at his equipment trying to decode the blips and static. It was interesting for about the first 15 hours.
“I did it!” said Brain. He adjusted dials and knobs as I yawned and scratched my head. “In a matter of moments, we will discover the nature of these pulses.” Brain continued to adjust wavelengths and double-check readouts; I moved from Brain’s cot to the seat next to him. “Scientists are debating if the pulses are caused by an orbiting object blocking the source or if the source is orbiting an object. Another possibility is the source itself is pulsing.”
The machine whined for a minute, which woke me up even further.
“Translation of cosmic pulses complete,” said SPOT, the artificial intelligence.
Brain and I fell into a deep hush. The machines beeped a couple times before the answer came.
“Eat at Joe’s,” said a friendly voice bouncing out of the speakers like a used car salesman who’d spotted a customer from across the lot. “Save 20 percent on your first online order. Offer expires 500 million years from broadcast date–Galactic year 2151.”
A hologram calendar appeared above my watch. “Drat!” I said. “It expired yesterday.”
“Remember,” the ad continued, “if your order doesn’t arrive in 30 parsecs, it’s free.”
I sighed. “Why does everyone get that wrong? Parsecs are not a measurement of time!” I glanced over at Brain; he stared forward like a fish that’d just learned hooks are bad. “What’s wrong?”
“The greatest scientific mystery of our age…and it is a commercial.” He covered his face with a hand. “Why is the universe such a cruel mistress?”
Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!
Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.