The Flight

earthfromspaceSized

I recall these events and record them on the ship’s journal. I am unsure whether you, any of you will ever read them, but they are there none the less.

We found the first in the Egyptian desert – a mirror of its larger self, but some way below the standard size for a Pyramid. Made of the same material, yet standing all of two men high, it sat buried within the dunes, not far from the Sphinx gaze, had we but noticed.

A minor wonder and easily cast aside as a curiosity had it not been for the energy field it emitted. The sand around it shimmered and appeared to roll around the mass without any encouragement from us.

Once it was unearthed, the heat from the dunes gave out and the rays from the Sun took over – the field pulsing and aching in the noon daylight. The usual jurisdictional wrangling began, as you might expect. You can read the specifics in the historical record, but I’ll simply summarize here.

“Blah, blah, blah – mine”.

“No, Blah, blah, blah, Mine!”

In the end it was the Egyptian military and eventually NASA that had the last word.

The field was a signal – duh. But we didn’t know then, from where or even how it was being generated. It took those brains at NASA and a few folk from other agencies areas around the world to figure it out. The monolith, as they were calling it (a reference to some writer you’ve never heard of) projected outward to the Moon.

They whipped up some scanner doo-hicky that pinpointed the location – wouldn’t you know it – on the far-bloody-side.

So, off we went.

Mankind hadn’t actually popped by the Luna surface (not physically anyway) since the early 1970s, so I guess it was high time we did. A crew (three women and a token fella) jumped on board a Soyuz rocket that the Ruskies had lying around and took a spin upward.

There it was, buried under the lunar surface. It didn’t seem to want to budge, no matter how hard they pushed and pulled, but it did like those sunrays. The field gave out another signal on the same frequency, but this one went both to the Egyptian desert and then off to Mars.

Well, you know what happened next, but here I am, like a chump tellin’ ya, so here it is – Mission, mission, mission – monolith, monolith, monolith. Jump forward a few years – ‘cos ya gotta allow for ship construction time, travel time and the occasional mishap (like explosive decompression venting a few folk from Finder 2 and an out and out bang that saw an end to Finder 5 somewhere beyond Mercury) then you have yours truly and a gang of the most gung-ho, dumbass-smart people around, on their way to the last planet on the list – Neptune.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Neptune? Isn’t that a big ball of blue? Where would you land? How do you find a monolith in all that blue?  Well…f***ed if I know. I just fly the ship, the bobbins do all the sciency crap – ask them, or f***in’ Google it!

So, we turn up. I park the Finder 7 into a lovely orbit, if I do say so myself and off we go, because some mug’s gotta fly the shuttle to the surface and none of these egg heads has a licence.

It was a touch bumpy on the way down. So there’s me, dodging this way and that, shooting icy targets from the planet’s ring system with my shiny new Chinese Laser guns (you know, the ones they swore black and blue they definitely didn’t have on their space station and certainly weren’t trained on Washington D.C.) and then one of the nerds yacks in a bag and stinks out the cabin – thanks for that. Yep, I’m writing it down. By the way, the fella’s name is Frank Burdock…or rather, it was. I’ll get to that.

So, I landed us on the spot where the scanner doo-hicky told me to and off we went in our bright yellow containment suits. The folks at NASA and all the governments around the world asked us not to mention the going rate on a Neptune atmosphere resistant spacesuit…so you’ll just have to guess, but suffice it to say, that hand-out the nice folk in those angry middle eastern countries get is gonna be a little less this year and next and forever I’m guessin’.

NASA spent their entire mission budget just getting us off the ground, so funding the Neptune Rover had to come from the advertising industry. There we were, riding along in the McDonald’sGoogleApple car (we just called it ‘the car’ when we weren’t on camera- oh yeah, they filmed the entire thing! Try piloting a multi-trillion dollar space craft through the cosmos and juggling inane questions from fifth graders at Hopkins Elementary school, I dare ya) and doing our best not to hydroplane across the ice when what should we find, but another one of them monoliths.

OK, I know it sound like I’m awfully glib about this mind-boggling, Earth-shattering event, but that’s just me and as I’m the one writing history here, tough.

Shy of the losses to the other Finder missions, we’d done pretty well. Sure, Cryosleep (sponsored by some big mattress company, with a stencil of a naked chick lying prostrate along the length of the silver coffin) wasn’t that much fun and sure, we all missed Earth and our families, but the mission was the bigger picture and fingers crosses, we were doing O…

K.

Insert stupid act here ______________

Remember Mr Chucks-up-a lot-Burdock? Well, one afternoon Frank’s busy taking a few readings, then he takes a miss-step, slips, his helmet smashes against some eons-old control panel, a bunch of lights flash, his visor cracks and the out-gushing air propels him into the atmos and down a ravine. There goes our 100% safety record.

Days since last accident – 0.

So, we’re all bummed out. We’re a man down and here we are with a pyramid monolith bleeping out sounds (I assume – can’t hear anything on Neptune), but that seems to be it. Just like all the other monoliths, its field amplified, but that’s ya lot boys and girls – can’t see the re-runs getting much telly time.

Back in ‘the car’, back to the shuttle, and back to Finder 7.

The data gets crunched while we take our long naps, so we get the surprise when we wake up.

And here’s where, as they used to say – “Shit gets real”.

It turns out, the monoliths and their signals, well, they were linked. Ok, you knew that, but what you didn’t know was why?

It was all about terraforming, creation.

Alien or something, but it was intelligent by design.

Seems the monoliths stored data on everything and when I say everything, I mean everything – data since before the Dinosaurs, since before the first amoeba, since before life on Earth.

The planets needed aligning to create the perfect Earth habitat and that’s what the monoliths did.

Don’t ask me how, but the signals arranged them in the right order, pulled the planets together like a tug-o-war team. Seems Earth had been dangling on the periphery for a few millennia, the Moon was imported from a neighbouring system and Neptune was just needed to round out the process. Halley’s Comet was even set on a trajectory through the Milky Way, just to influence the mating habits of turtles.

The monoliths had been quietly sending out their signal, minding their business, buried beneath earth and sand and stone and ice, when we came along and discovered them, disturbed them.

We just now woke up and finished reading the compiled report when we received this transmission from Earth. I’ll just insert it here – I think it says it all;

TRANSMISSION

NASA to Finder 7

We received your data package while you were in Cryosleep and had hoped to speak to you before you read the report, but distance and time make that impossible.

Your discovery has shocked the World, as you might imagine. To know that something/one arranged our creation is astounding to say the least, but I’m sad to say that it all falls short in regards to what we have discovered through your data.

It seems, no, it is irrefutable…the signal that pulled us together is now releasing us. By our calculations the Earth’s proximity to the Sun and its neighbouring planets will diminish by 4.2 light-minutes per year. By the time you read this, we will be twice the distance from the Sun that our set orbit would historically have us and getting farther away by the day.

Finder 7… You can’t catch us.

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