by Ruth Draves
What happens when the geek inherit the earth
|If all seven billion human souls on Earth could hold their breaths at the same time, it would have been at the moment the alien craft that had been tracked for months had finally slipped into orbit over our planet. The panic that had gripped nations around the globe for weeks quieted as the ship drew nearer. An eerie hush fell over the world as billions of frightened and anxious pairs of eyes squinted at the heavens, hoping for a glimpse of either their brave new future or their immediate demise.
No one knew what the alien visitors wanted. One untranslatable message had been sent to earth. Terror that it was a message of impending doom spread throughout humanity. Riots broke out in almost every city, looting became a daily occurrence, houses of worship filled to standing room only, doomsday seers upgraded their websites and enjoyed unprecedented numbers of followers.
Out in the wastes of the Arizona desert, a technician sat quietly at his station amid the chaos at the Very Large Telescope Array control center. Bob was your typical engineer, nondescript to the point that everyone seemed to forget he existed. The thing that set Bob apart was his love of cyphers. He had been pouring over the message ever since it had been received. Just as the ship reached orbit, he had finished. The yellow legal pad in front of him contained the only translation. It read:
“We need your help. Do you know the way to Algeous 7?”
Bob called up the commands to reply and typed, “No.”
The alien ship pulled from orbit and sped away, never to be heard from again.
Bob ripped the page off of his legal pad, wadded it up, tossed it in the trash, and went for a cup of coffee.
Word Count: 300