“What if what we find is contrary to what we believe, you know, our like whole moral code or whatever?” Dan asked.
Jeff is wearing a stereotypical long white scientist jacket under his clear poncho. His inability to stand in a stable position shows Dan that he is not used to riding on boats. The water is calm despite the light mist of rain that is not so much falling as hovering. Jeff’s glasses can’t decide if they need to protect from the sun as they transition from dark to light.
“Well it’s still our job to report the facts, but I don’t know what you’re planning on finding down there. Sure, this report suggests some irregularities but it’s probably nothing.” Jeff replies as he is checking his clipboard to see if they are getting close to the land site. “I wish I knew what you are worried about, you have done these dives before.”
“I’m not really worried,” Dan lies, “I just mean in general, have there been instances of scientists throwing away information because they didn’t like the results?” He adjusts his scuba suit after attaching the oxygen tank.
“It happens. I know people think science is so concrete but there really are some questions that we can’t answer with our current ideas. We just make do,” Jeff off-handedly responds.
This news made Dan even less comfortable with this dive. His usual dives are planned a few days in advance, but this morning he was called in at 4 a.m. for an emergency. He is used to not having much information but today was different. Not even the people giving him orders seemed to have information. Everyone on the boat has been crunching numbers and flipping through books since they left the dock. All he knows is that this one supposedly landed perfectly on a shelf only a few miles off the coast. He always preferred deeper dives so this news was disappointing.
“Alright we should be right on top of it!” the captain yelled from the upper deck.
“We have the camera hooked up to the live stream inside. I’ll be the one on the radio with you if you need anything. Just scan as much of it as you can with the camera and we will tell you when we have seen enough. Then if we choose to extract it, we have everything we need up here but you will need to come drop off the camera first. Got it?” Jeff gives the typical lecture Dan has heard more than enough times.
Dan gave the nod and flipped over the railing.
The fluttering of papers and clicking of calculators stops as soon as Jeff opens the door to the deck.
Everyone rises up from where they were to come and hover around the big screen. The silence in the room makes those who were once not nervous into the most worried. The picture focuses into a beam of light illuminating the cold Atlantic waters. The seemingly endless beam finally approaches its target. The meteor is about the size of a semi-truck tire. The char was a lot less visible than Jeff is used to. The shape was also inconsistent
“Is this it?” Dan asked over the radio.
“Yeah it has to be, get closer so I can see the texture,” Jeff called back.
“No fucking way!,” yells the closest researcher to the TV. Everyone is now squinting with ferocious tenacity. The hair on the back of Jeff’s neck feels like it is trying to escape.
“Are you seeing this!” yells a barely audible Dan “There’s writing on it! And it’s in English! What the hell did we find?”
Jeff, as the leader, tries to keep composure. “Yeah we see it. We can’t read it though. Could you back up and work with the focus?”
Do not be afraid of progress. We are here to protect you. Shoot for the stars.
“I’m coming up,” Dan said as the camera unfocused and shined back through the endless water, “we need to extract this thing now.”
“Yes, come on up Dan, but we are not extracting, we have to forget this happened.”
“What do you mean? I’m not even a scientist and I know this is a discovery of epic proportions! We’ll be famous!” Dan shouted back, sounding exhausted from frantic swimming.
“Because I know who this is from. It’s too dangerous for public interpretation .This message has a specific audience and he is the only one besides us who will ever know about it.”