Part 3: the 2nd Message


The First Message was 112 hours (4.6 days) of data, repeatedly transmitted from 11 August 2098 until 28 April 2143, without variation for just under 45 years, and then it just stopped.

1 May 2143. After 3 days of silence commenced the Second Phase of The Message from Jupiter. Millions of monitors were tuned to that frequency, billions of people tensly waiting, wondering why The Message had stopped transmission after 45 years of constant repitition.

Suddenly text began to unroll across the screens all over the Earth. It was in Universal Digitese, which any computer could translate into a local language.
Greetings, peoples of Earth from the peoples of Jupiter. We have been observing your progress and are satisfied. So we will now initiate the Second Phase of Contact.

You wish to know about us, your quest for knowledge is admirable, and perhaps we can be as entertaining for you as you have been for us.

Some of your assumptions and speculations about us have been quite accurate, those taking into consideration the physical conditions of a Gas Giant. Others have been a source of amusement to us, thank you. We have also enjoyed your television very much, thank you.

We are not like you. You are a very tiny people, you live in a very quick time-frame, you dwell upon a surface and are subject to gravity. You also have tiny individual personalities permanently installed in your integral bodies, which we find quite interesting and entertaining.

We are Composite Symbiotic Entities, of interchangeable modular beings, and our "personalities" are therefore in constant flux, depending upon our current configurations. We are also very big in relation to you: We who send, are probably the size of that island you call "Great Britain".

"We also live in a slower time-frame"; in the time We have formulated that phrase, 4 of your days have gone by.

And we sail through the atmosphere, much as your whales swim in your seas, there is no surface here, only levels of atmosphere.

We have no technology, but we are naturally equipped to control the available energy around us. Thus we can send this message. Thus have we colonized two of the other Gas Giants: Saturn and Uranus. (Neptune is too cold.)

But now we need to transport some of us to a Gas Giant in another Star System, where a race of our people need help. We cannot do this alone: we need your technology. You see, we of this Solar System are destined to form a symbiosis that will take us to the stars.

The Jupiterian, who became known as "Sender", told of how the Jupiterians lived, their history, their wars, their complex 3-way sex life and matriarchal culture, their heroes and villains, myths, adventures, explorations, colonizations--and the people of Earth became fans. The series was a hit. The 2nd Phase was 89 hours (3.7 days) long, and then it began to repeat.

THE INVITATION

In 2155, 57 years after the 1st Message, 12 years after the 2nd, the Jupiterians sent The Invitation:
Phase 4 Contact. We invite an envoy of two Earth people, one man and one woman, to come to Jupiter and physically meet with us.

We will appoint the couple when the time comes. First you must build a ship which can tolerate Jupiterian conditions, using MEST applications in a new way. Instruction follows.

We request that it be ready by March of 2166.

The Instructions that followed were plans for a space ship of very special format, hundreds of hours of scientific data which once again provided technical breakthroughs. The ship was built at SpaceCity. It took all 11 years to iron out the bugs, for it was a complex device which no one quite understood. Perhaps not even the Jupiterians, for it became rather evident that all of this data was theoretic, that they had never themselves tried to build a ship of this kind, nor design it for human usage.

In 2163 the Invitation was completed:
We hereby appoint the two humans whom we wish may be your envoys.

The man: Niels Tordenskjold,
citizen of Denmark, WorldPersonNumber
05/09/2142-M65353262632902048693-20439847N-6219487

The woman: Marucia Alexandre,
citizen of Brazil, WorldPersonNumber
03/06/2144-F30949586768595404042-5059585-495857487

They may descend into our Atmosphere March 21, 2166.

There will be a beacon of Solar light, follow that into the upper atmosphere. Then, if they will please allow us to take remote control of their ship. we will guide them in to us. Thank you.

And the Messages ended. All of them. Jupiter was silent.

But the
MEDIA BLITZ had just begun.