The New World - Part I. Johnny B. Goode Chapter III. - Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria
The president is conferenced in as a 3 dimensional projection as realistic to the eye as if she was standing in the room, she was seen only, not felt as it is the year 2,111's
secure form of standard communication, on the moon colony, listening to the first broadcast received from another world. She interrupts; "Well Gentlemen and Lady, it looks as if we are the modern day Nina" August rebuts "Well Madame President with all due respect, they actually built the Nina and went to "The New World" we have been twiddling our thumbs for decades, just sitting on the theoretical technology to make such a trip" August can barely disguise his frustration, especially considering the current vindication of everything he has been preaching for a decade. "You know I agree with you August, but wanting and doing in our modern world are 2 very different things, as you well know, one step at a time, not long since we've fed the world and saved half of it from starving, we'll get there, this will help no doubt, and may we deal better with this "New World" then our fathers did with the last" President Chavez adds this last part as if she is already speaking to the nation. Lida gives August a look clearly transmitting a thought with eyes alone, he nods. "Honestly Madame President, we may have to worry how they will deal with us, I would imagine they are far more advanced to have received and rebroadcasts this message to us. I, well we, believe this follow up message to be some type of invitation to us, or at least a response of some sort, and-" The President interrupts him as she is already moving to the next steps, considering options and weighing collateral "Well, we will need the best linguist in the world to try and decipher this message, or invitation as you say, I need you to transmit everything, and I mean, everything to the National Science Advisor" With this she ends the transmission, and they all look at each other beginning to appreciate the gravity of it all. "Well..." August begins, The President reappears in the room, interrupting August. "Well done, Madiba" she says with a smile, almost as if a private joke they both share. August shakes his head slowly from side to side, almost imperceptibly, a small smile creeping into the left corner of his mouth, as if saying I'm not sure I can take credit for this and simply bows wordlessly in thanks for her gratitude and respect, with this she ends the transmission again. August completely in command once again addresses both of his graduate students "Okay Ethan, please, be the point of contact for the science advisor, make sure he receives everything and answer any of the deeper technical questions he may have, being more of a politician then, well you know...Lida, I'll need you helping me sweep the system for any other messages we may have missed, this one hasn't ended, and they played Johnny B. Goode, why?" Lida smiling "why not the Beatles?" laughing then adds clearing her throat as August doesn't laugh. "This could be it guys, we miss anything and history may be written differently, you know the fall of the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, who knows what they missed? ...let’s get it right" August holds his coal black eyes on Lida for a beat longer to emphasize his point and then moves the same piercing stare to Ethan. "You really think it's an invitation" Ethan looking at August returning his intensity. "Don't know? We've been pushing them to fight for the funding for interstellar travel for decades, what's the most recent estimate?" August glances at Lida "3 weeks, given we can stabilize the gravity wave, it's all experimental, they nearly created a black hole on Mars when they tried it in the field" Lida looks at Ethan as his brow furrows, the constant competition between the two is never-ending. "Isn't it more of a time wave? Or space-time wave?" Ethan repaying her for her tearing down his voyager reference ignores her derisive look and turns back to August who clarifies as a professor would to his students. "It's bending space-time around the ship, or expanding space-time behind the ship which should cause a forward compression of the space time in front if the angle is right for the gyro, propeller, that's the donut shaped wheel that will spin around the outer hull, and you’re not wrong Lida as we now know gravity to be a warping of the ocean of space-time by matter. The power however is the prohibitive factor. It's what effectively shuts down any conversation, it would take more power than the world uses in a hundred years. It's not that it's impossible, but the commitment to do that, well, it would need to be a global endeavor." Ethan jumping in, "but with your field equations" not to be out done Lida adds "Nobel prize winning field equations". August smiles to himself "that's just math guys, reading Beethoven and playing Beethoven" "two different galaxies" Lida says knowingly quoting one of August's most famous lines. "Indeed" Ethan nods, "well, what do we do with this?" August leans back in his chair now, reaching up and lightly caressing the overnight stubble on his chin. "100 years after men were stabbing each other with bayonets to keep my ancestors as slaves the Slav’s were in space. We are capable of anything, when inspired to hope, to believe that anything, Is possible". Ethan the eternal skeptic shaking his head still, "but a ship powered by Dark Energy, Or, I mean shit we still call it Dark energy for crying out loud, we have no idea-". "Careful with the 'we'" August interrupts Ethan who continues "well you’re probably the only person who has any idea, what the hell it even is" August leaning in to them both "this whole universe was born from the darkness, we need not be so afraid of it, just a little faith." Lida looks at him a small smile breaking out on her face making it shine, he is her hero and also the biggest crush of her life, she hasn't let him know in words although the unspoken is there between them like the Dark energy and Dark matter they've been speaking of, powerful, massive, unavoidable, but ignored mostly. Why is it the most elemental things in the universe are the most taken for granted, if not completely forgotten? Is it that we have taken so long to evolve the most important things have firmly established their preeminence and need not reintroduce themselves at least not to the newest visitors to the party, will we even be here long enough to take notice? As Lida brings the 3 dimensional sound wave up on her workstation, she reaches her hand in to touch these alien waves, her fingers make a wave of rhythm gently flowing through the air with the peaks and valleys of the sound wave. The light from the projector played along with her fingers "we're going to need a linguist, I-" Lida is interrupted by August "Lida, let’s just focus on verifying the source of the signal for now and let the powers that be begin their tug of war over who will "control" the message" as August gives Lida a knowing look, dropping his head to the side a little and looking at her with his left eyebrow raised. Lida just nods knowingly "being so far away from home, I guess I almost forgot all the politics involved in something like this." Ethan jumps in on Lida’s political bent saying in an almost disdainful tone, as if this next comment of his held the answer for why he had immigrated from Great Britain in the first place, "Noddington will be trying to discredit and then diminish and then stoically deny." Ethan chuckled to himself at his own little joke. "Surely the PM of Great Britain will see the value in a discovery like-" Ethan cuts Lida of mid-sentence, speaking in heavy, measured, clearly disdainful tones "exactly, what about his time in power has made you believe that about him" Ethan's mouth hangs open as he looks at Lida almost in disbelief, for all his ribbing, within him stirs a great and deep reservoir of respect for Lida. Even in 2,111 with Africa having finally shaken off the scabs of the deep wounding of the previous 6 or 700 years, finally reclaiming some of the gravitas and respect that had made it once the cradle and birthplace of humankind authoring civilization from the shores of the Nile, Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. And, sure, Johns Hopkins had a long history of bringing the best and brightest from Africa to study, research and contribute at the unrivaled, unquestioned, singular research institute in the solar system, as they had launched Hubble telescopes to orbit Jupiter, and even Neptune all focusing on different arcs of the cosmos, looking deeper into space and further back in time than had ever been thought possible. Some of these discoveries had indeed helped Dr. Matthews validate and verify his more exotic theories as he was writing the paper that would change the fundamental context in which humanity made its way through existence. Lida, was selected from 30,000 applicants of which 2,500 were eminently qualified, with resumes, transcripts and experiences that made them nearly indistinguishable from one another. August had really not even started to consider applicants until this impossible list had been reduced to about 30 by people he trusted of course. Still it was always his call for this once in a lifetime chance to be part of changing things and pushing out further with our exploration and discovery. Talk about cream of the crop, August had specifically requested residents as he wanted young as yet to be jaded, brilliant minds on his team, they were stepping into the unknown not knowing and while he needed strong skepticism at his side, he didn't need preconceived notions, and strongly entrenched beliefs about the universe that even the best scientist couldn't avoid forming after a career in their respective fields. But, grad students eyes still wide with wonder and expectation, now these he could utilize to the very limits of their perceived abilities and maybe beyond. Well beyond was exactly where they found themselves at this moment as Lida simply smiled at Ethan, almost feeling his positive thoughts about her, she knew he respected her and the feelings were mutual. After all they had no peers, a leader who would still be remembered in a millennia or even ten, and after all hadn't they two been selected from a stadium of qualified competitors for this opportunity. "Ethan, you know better than I do, that is without a doubt" Ethan chuckled at Lida's self-deprecating response to his feelings about his former countries prime minister, returning her smile amplified "I guess I better". August smiled at the two of them, he could not be more satisfied with his choice a brilliant Anglo-Saxon young man whose capacities and intellect already rivaled the very best astrophysicist's in the world. A gifted young African woman whose photographic memory along with an intuitive ability to strip down the most complex issues of astronomy to simple statements anyone could grasp, along with a mind for quantum mechanics that was nearly unrivaled among the very best the world had ever seen. These were the Yin and Yang poles he needed to tug on either side of his vision as humanity attempted to solve the most fundamental questions of his or any other time.