Saturday, December 19, 2009

Prepared to Receive

While far away in hostile but natural environment the crew especially equipped for the mission and transporting highly trained but autonomously capable humans to the focal point. The probability that they were at or near the geographical center identified was high but not certain.

Reception is essential but insufficient. Real-time adaptation the same. All in all, this time ...

One camp argues that natural constraints require the extraordinary efforts of both sender and receiver. Another camp insists that what appears to be constraints is an important part of the message. Not unlike other pursuits of fundamental knowledge, conflicting hypotheses emerge. And sometimes, a breakthrough occurs. An encompassing theory that seems to unify disparate perspectives into a more encompassing whole is a possibility. Implicit in the simultaneous cosmic events sensed just weeks ago is that the cipher key that would reveal some highly salient aspect of the message if not the message itself was imminent.

And if that were not enough, there were those making a strong theoretical case for a prompt reply. If it took this message such a long time to arrive why did the equations show that a reply could be instantaneous, at least in a relative sense?

Modalities of communication with spectacular diversity and application is just what inspired Bryan most. From the days on top of world to half a century later in the frozen tundra, this, more than anything gave his life meaning.

"We have contact, sir"

"Are they there yet"

"No, but it can't be far now, a break in the weather is about all we need"

"Standby for power request"

Not until the recent breakthrough in storage technology, was it possible to get this much power on such short notice for this purpose. For decades an artificial nuclear reaction could provide the energy and in timely fashion but not without the show-stopping Nuclear Magnetic Pulse. It would preclude all the processing required for decoding the message and rapidly preparing the reply.

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