January 16, 2009.
Wes Crew was working at the S.E.T.I. institute’s radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. It was 5:23 am when all the machines started going crazy. Wes awoke from his catnap.
“What the hell?” he thought to himself, “Probably just another military spy plane.”
Meanwhile, back in America…
Much had happened in the past ten days. Gerry Briar asked congress to grant him temporary control of the country until the situation was resolved. Congress was under republican control, and they granted him the power he so desired. Of course someone sued the government claiming that their right to a fair democratic election had been violated.
Smith vs. The United States of America went before the supreme court on January 15, 2009. Briar, having appointed 2 of the justices, and most of the rest being republicans, won the case. Many Americans were unhappy with this ruling, they felt that their rights had been violated. There were the makings of a serious uproar, but a huge distraction occurred the next day that dominated the news: first contact with an alien race had occurred. We were not alone in the universe.
People on earth didn’t know how to react. Everyone went nuts, this was the biggest news story ever. The coverage was round the clock. Headlines saying “WE ARE NOT ALONE” were on the front page of every newspaper in the world (on page two, in small type, you could find “Briar to Maintain Power”). The message was indecipherable; was it a stray alien T.V. signal? Or perhaps an intentional message beamed out into the stars in the hopes of finding some other life form, someone else to talk to. What ever it was it was nearly indisputed as originating from an alien life form.
The signal was coming from Albireo, a double star system 385 light years away. We didn’t know yet what they were saying, but the Alberians were talking to us.