Monday, February 13, 2012

The Genesis Quest 1 - Don Moffitt

"And the world changed, never to be the same again.

The first signals were detected almost at once. They were found mostly in the part of the spectrum between the hydrogen and hydroxyl radical lines, where theory had long predicted that water-based life would be apt to concentrate its communication efforts.

An excited assistant hurried up. "We're locked onto them now. There's remarkably little frequency drift. They're also utilizing the first harmonic of the hydrogen frequency."

He passed over a touch pad that was beating rhythmically with repeating data. The director pulsated with emotion. "The very first time!" he murmured to himself. "We've found them the very first time!"

He'd forgotten completely about his visitor, who was still sharing his thoughts through a patch of contact. A diffident query reached his consciousness: "Can you be sure?"

"Eh? Yes. It's unmistakable." He thrust the throbbing datapad at him. "Have a look at this. It's the first ten prime numbers -- counted out plainly in a steady rhythm and sitting in the middle of what looks like an ongoing message in binary code. That's to get our attention. It's their beacon. I'm willing to bet that it's repeated every few minutes.""

3.5 out of 5