It’s time for another free-for-all story! The rules are the same as before. For those who are new to this, here’s a summary :
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It was just after midnight at the extraterrestrial monitoring facility, and George had his feet propped up on his desk and was dozing off, dreaming of Krispy Kreme glazed donuts, when suddenly the sound of static in his headphones startled him. He looked at the monitor and couldn’t believe what he saw — there was an unknown signal coming from outer space. Normally there’s a few unidentified signals per month that get picked up, but they’re quickly dismissed as coming from Earth. But this signal was unlike anything he had ever witnessed. He yelled for his manager to get in there, then he verified that the signal was being recorded.
The transmission lasted about 5 minutes and had some obvious patterns, but they didn’t know what it meant. The computer couldn’t pinpoint the source, except that it was definitely from outside Earth’s orbit. A group of experts immediately began trying to decrypt the message, and they suspected…
27 thoughts on “free-for-all story #3 : Are you talking to me?”
that it was just a jumble of satellite signals being bounced back to Earth. Rupert, the group’s leader, called George to let him know that it was a false alarm.
“George, we’ve run a number of tests but aren’t finding anything conclusive on those signals.”
“That can’t be right, Rupert, the frequency is far outside the range of a normal satellite.”
“What were you studying when the signals came through?”
George paused a moment, not wanting to incriminate himself. He had actually been researching a new finding that had come out of the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland. A group of scientists there had discovered a new extrasolar planet called Gliese 581c which looked to have very similar habitable zones to that of Earth. They had passed it off as just wishful thinking, but George believed there was still potential there. The signal he picked up was coming from the same region as Gliese 581c.
“Rupert,” George finally responded, “I was just doing some routine observations…just doing my job, you know…and I-”
George covered his ears and rushed to the monitor. “What was that?” Rupert yelled over the phone. “It’s another signal!” George called out. “Do you believe me now?”
“Yes,” he acknowledged, “but that’s not just a signal. I’m getting a visual as well! It looks like…
“some kind of video feed! but it’s encrypted or something. It looks all wavy like those channels on cable that you’re not subscribed to. How is that possible? What could be generating this signal? It’s Definately not from earth or any of our satellites… But that’s not possible is it?”
the room got eerily quiet… and George spoke what they all were thinking… “could this be first contact?”
about that time, Mac Iverr, one of the leading experts in the field expedient contrivances and well renowned for his unconventional methodolgy, completed analysing the initial signal and exclaimed… “hey I’ve broken the encryption… well actually it’s not encryption at all but distortion. By cross-referencing the two signal patterns I was able to build a simple distortion filter and clean the signal up. George quickly went to take a look then said… “that doesn’t look like much of a distortion filter… looks more like copper wire wrapped around a wad of chewing gum and duct taped to the signal analyzer”.
“that’s exactly what it is”, replied mack, “what happens in essence is that the copper-wire and gum strip off the lower decible signal interference basically removing the signal range of anything we typically have here on earth, leaving us with a clean pure signal. It’s not encrypted at all. it’s obvious someone wanted us to receive this message. Now we just have to decipher what it says… It’s not english that’s for sure… but what is it?”
the text flickered silently on the screen as the team attempted to…
…decipher the message. Just then their head honcho, Stanley, arrived on the scene, power-dressed to the max. He informed the crew that word of this was not to be spoken to anyone outside this room, and no one could leave until they figured this out. Then he went to his office to make some top-secret phone calls.
George, always the pragmatist, said, “Looks like we’re gonna be here a while, so let’s order some pizza!” Rupert looked at him in confusion, wondering how anyone can think of food when something this big is happening, but he nodded his consent (because who can turn down pizza?).
George put on his headphones and got to work. He figured that an alien race advanced enough to send signals that far would surely think to use some type of naturally-occurring key for deciphering the message. He applied several algorithms based on nature, and found that the Fibonacci Sequence revealed more of a pattern. His analysis continued for hours (interrupted only by several breaks for pizza). Finally, he said, “Eureka! I’ve figured it out! There’s a few words I don’t recognize, but I think it’s the name of their planet and race. And it sounds like they’re planning to come visit us soon!”
The group of scientists stood silently, with their jaws dropped, not knowing what to say. At long last, Rupert spoke up, saying, “Let’s send them a response. But what should we say?”
George, having run through this exact scenario in his mind many times, spoke up quickly. He said, “Tell them that we want peace between our peoples and they are welcome here on our planet. Oh, and ask them to bring some chicks with them when they come.” George always was a little girl-crazy, and now it seems he would be alien girl crazy as well. Then he asked, “How are we going to send a signal to them with a Fibonacci Sequence response pattern. Do we even have the equipment to do that?
Mac answered, “This is what we’ll have to do: First we……….
…need to get some duct tape, pens, Gatorade, baling wire, and paper clips. That should be enough.”
George countered, saying, “Why do we need all that? That sounds too complicated. I bet I can whip together a program that converts English into the Fibonacci Sequence. I’ve thought about doing that before, anyway. It’ll take just a few minutes with these .NET 2.0 tools built into Visual Studio. You-all get the message figured out and I’ll have this ready in no time.”
After a few minutes of coding, George hit compile on his program, then he reached for another piece of pizza, only to find that it was all gone. So he clicked on a pizza icon on his desktop, then checked a box called “Refill last order” and then clicked “Submit”. This automatically reordered the same order. This was his favorite program that he’d written, although if this communication with aliens works, that might change.
Rupert and the others handed George the message they had come up with, which read :
WE WANT TO BE FRIENDS!
PLEASE VISIT US.
WHEN WILL YOU BE HERE?
George sent the encoded message, then everyone waited anxiously for another response. To pass the time, most people ate more pizza. After about 45 minutes, a response came. Everyone was excited except George, who realized something — if this was a response to the message they just sent, then the aliens must be a lot closer than Gliese 581c. He pondered this in his heart while decrypting the new transmission. When the message was converted to English, he posted it on the screen, and it was not at all what they were expecting…
WE ALREADY ARE.
GIVE US THE TRAITOR ZAINOOK,
AND YOU WILL BE SPARED.
“What?!” George yelled out after a few complete minutes of silence. “What is that supposed to mean?”
Stanley, their chief, marched out of the room, muttering something about informing the Pentagon…
“George, are you sure that’s translated correctly?” Rupert asked.
“Yeah, I think so, the sequence matches the previous message perfectly. What do they mean, they’re already here? And who is this Zainook?”
As the group sat around discussing what the encrypted message could be talking about, Stanley returned and looked like he had seen a ghost.
“All right, listen up. I spoke to General Houston at the Department of Defense, he wants us on the first plane to Washington to brief him on the situation and show him the signals we’ve been getting. Everybody pack up their equipment and get ready to fly out in one hour.”
George, Rupert, and Mac got everything loaded into one of their Hummers and headed to the airport…
about the time they all boarded the plane they noticed that stanley still looked a bit freaked out. When the group commented on this, he completely flipped! and proceeded to pull out what looked like some kind of childs ray gun from his pocket. He spoke slowely but deliberately “I will NOT go back!!! you are now my hostages! After a brief stunned silence everyone broke into laughter until Stanley pointed the ray gun at one of the planes security officer and he slowly disintegrated into thin air… leaving only his crumpled red uniform on the floor. George (who tends to use humor to hide when he’s uncomfortable or insecure) responded by saying “wow… either that guy is dead, or he’s somewhere wondering where his clothes went.” When he noticed that Stanley was now looking at HIM, he quickly apoligized and asked… “who are you? and why are you donig this?” Stanley responded, “My given name is Zainook, and I will not be taken back alive even If I have to kill you and destroy this entire planet!” At this point George burst into a fit of laughter that was again silenced by a sharp look from Zainook, better known as Stanley…
Famous Psychologist From a Far Away Land
“We will not be going to Washington,” Zainook exclaimed as he went to the front of the plane and destroyed the communication radio with a blast from his ray gun. “Pilot, chart a course for the one area that they would least expect us to go………..the Ozark Mountains. Fly below their radar and land at these coordinants,” Zainnook said as he handed the pilot a slip of paper.
George, always the quick thinking, responsible one, responded, “But Stanley…err…umm..I mean Zainook, didn’t the message imply that they would destroy all humans if you weren’t returned? Come on man, we shared pizza together and..”
“Shut up stupid human!” exclaimed Zainook. “Pilot get us in the air or you will be the next one evaporized!” With that all conversation ended and everyone sat contemplating their own mortality and wondering if this could be the beginning of the end.
As the plane began soaring through the air, Rupert, who was sitting quietly in last row of seats, wondered silently to himself if the place they were headed in the Ozark Mountains was anywhere close to where he grew up and the place that his cousins still lived. These particular cousins, while not the most educated or wealthy, were quite resourceful and loyal to a fault. Rupert knew that if he could get a message to them, they would come running……….
After a flight of a few hours, pilot announced over the intercom that they were flying over the ozarks. It was at this point that Stanley (aka Zainook) ordered the pilot to land the plane. When the pilot argued that there was no landing strip Zainook pointed his ray gun at him, and the pilot immediately put the plane into a steep dive, pulling up only when it seemed a crashed was unavoidable. He then brought the plane in for a very turbulent near-crash landing. At this point the team thought they were done for and was about to panic when the pilot was finally able to pull the plane under control and bring it to a halt amongst trees and brush. They could only wonder what fate would befall them next…
Just then a freak tornado cruised through! The plane had barely stopped moving when the cyclone touched down (by the way, it sounded exactly like a freight train). Everyone piled out of the plane in a panic, but there was no time. In an instant, the twister sucked the plane into its whirling maw, shredding it like like a scene from some movie or something. A cow floated by. It was like a Force Five or something.
Rupert’s legs suddenly caught on a Gucci bag left onboard by a former female CIA agent who was never seen again! “Mac, save yourself!” he cried, giving his old friend a final shove toward the open cargo bay. “Rupe!” Mac cried, but his words were never heard in the roaring wind.
As he tumbled to the ground and blacked out, the last thing Mac saw was the screaming face of Zainook/Stanley, as the pressure inside the twister exploded his body like an obscene grape and the plane disintegrated before his eyes. His lifelong friend, Rupert, had disappeared completely.
When he awoke…
… he saw everyone lying on the ground, unconscious. He managed to wake everyone up, and they all collaborated to figure out what had just happened. As far as they could tell, Stanley/Zainook was gone for good. And Rupert was missing. They hollered for Rupert, but there was no response.
Rupert had survived and was in fairly good condition, considering what had just happened. He didn’t have any idea where his friends were, though. He thought and thought, until he remembered how they used to make fun of Mac because he was from Booger Hollow, Arkansas. He knew that was close to the Ozarks, so he set off in search of it. He hadn’t walked far, when he heard a “bump” sound, followed by several “boom” sounds that varied in pitch. He followed the sound, and found a car stopped on a dirt road in the woods.
Rupert walked up to the car and met a guy named Burford Wayne. Burford was sittin’ in the car, listening to some old-school Techmaster P.E.B. (which has a lot of bass). His car audio system didn’t handle it well, but you could tell what it was. Burford explained that he was driving around, looking for that UFO that had recently crashed, which his momma had seen while she was going to the outhouse. Rupert figured he meant the plane that he was on. Once Burford realized that Rupert had been on that “UFO”, he told him to hop in the car, and he took Rupert to town, advertising Rupert as someone who had been abducted by aliens.
As the townfolk examined Rupert and asked him questions, he kept protesting that he hadn’t been abducted yet that he was on the plane, but it was a moot point because the locals figured he had been brainwashed by them aliens. Rupert finally convinced the crowd that they should make a search party to find the wreckage. They seemed kinda scared at first, but once Rupert told them that they might get on TV and become famous if they found it, they were very eager to get involved. They set out immediately, looking for the “UFO”…
Meanwhile Mac gathered up some of the debris from the plane and built a Fibonacci Sequence modifier that could be used to send a message using the old outdated A.M. signal. He figured if this alien race was as advanced as they claimed then surely they would pick up the signal. He just wasn’t sure if he’d be able to convince them that Zanook/Stanley was really dead. George and Mac discussed the best way to proceed and decided that maybe their best option was to try and fool the aliens into beleiving that Zanook had fled the planet… but how to proceed?
George tried to come up with a plan. He really tried. He even closed his eyes so he could constipate better. But there was nothing there, no thoughts, except that he sure could use a pizza.
Mac was fumbling around with the transmitter, when he heard a faint rumble. The noise kept getting louder, then he noticed an alien space ship hovering above them. Of course, all the people there noticed, with shock and awe. A circular opening on the bottom of the craft began to glow green.
Just before everyone crapped their pants, they heard a voice saying, …
“sdfkl dblak k dopslep zzzzzzzdk!!!” Mac quickly ran the statement through his Fibonacci Sequence modifier (FSM) to interpret. He came up with “we come in peace! … George visibly relaxed as a glowing green beam enveloped him… the voice then said “ddwk!!!” the FSM interpretted the rest of the statement “NOT!” about the same time that George was vaporized into a small puddle of goo as Mac indeed crapped his pants!
Then they heard another voice from the spaceship, saying, “brup zzzt phvrrrt pow”. The FSM translated this as, “The rest of you puny humans will be next if you don’t surrender the traitor Zainook!”
Just then Burford Wayne and Rupert arrived, and they told the rest of the search party where to go, via CB. Burford jumped out of his car and made some outrageous kung-fu motions. Ironically, his hand-motions translated to “We surrender” in alien-speak. So the aliens beamed Burford and Rupert aboard the ship.
Burford was somewhat scared, but not petrified beyond action. (He has been in a similar situation before, although then he was facing an old mad scientist instead of aliens.) Burford could see how advanced this alien race was, so he knew it was up to him to save the world. Without a second thought, he …
Called Dominos and ordered the “five for five” deal. Through the Fibonacci Sequence Modifier he learned that “phrrrt moosh vivila” meant the aliens would prefer mushrooms as the one topping allowed for the deal. This, in turn, led him to believe that the aliens were vegetarians. This eased his mind somewhat, as he was very concerned about being battered and fried (since he was from the Ozark Mountain area, he assumed by default that deep frying would be the cooking method used). As his fear of being eaten diminished, his courage grew.
Burford knew that if he could get the aliens to eat all five pizzas they would be incapacitated with flatulence, nausea, and possibly diarrhea. Being an unaccredited dietician he new that it takes many generations for a GI tract to properly evolve in order to handle modern and processed food such as Dominoes pizza. However, he was unsure how to convince the delivery boy to deliver pizza to a UFO. He again used the Fibonacci Sequence Modifier to convince the aliens that the delivery boy was Zainook (aka Stanley). after learning this the aliens beamed up the delivery boy, pizza and all. The aliens began eating the one topping mushroom pizza.
Burford kept his fingers crossed that the pizza would take effect quickly. Of course only one of his hands were involved in the finger crossing, because his other was busy maneuvering some of that irresistible pizza into his mouth.
Suddenly, he smelled something very putrid and foul…
Burford said, “Rupert, man, don’t do that while I’m eating! That’s nasty!”
Rupert replied, “Dude, that wasn’t me! Look!”
The aliens were getting sick, and apparently some had indeed passed gas inside their spacesuits (which can damage spacesuits, besides causing a lack of fresh air for breathing). While the aliens were discombobulated, Burford knew this was his time to save the day. He ran over to the controls and looked for a self-destruct button.
Unfortunately, all the buttons were labeled with a crazy-looking language. So Burford started pushing all the buttons. Rupert joined him, pushing all buttons. They have no idea what they did, but the spaceship started spinning violently, and a green light was flashing, and a strange voice was heard from the computer system. Also, a giant laser beam fired from the ship and Burford’s car became blew up.
While Burford stared at the wreckage of his car, hoping his insurance covered alien attacks, he noticed one of the aliens running towards him. Without time to think of a plan, he …
flipped a coin. and the result was…
actually,Burford didn’t stick around long enough to see what the result was… he was too busy running like a madman with Rupert close behind. The Ships engine shuddered sputtered and then finally stopped. The craft slowly fell from the sky landing in the swamp with a impressive splash. Meanwhile Burford and Rupert where still running frantically around in the ship, trying to evade, not only the aliens, but the terrible stench being emitted from their bowels.
Burford thought this was the end, but he was mistaken. Before it actually ended, Burford and Rupert found the escape hatch, pushed the button, and were launched 40 feet into the air. Fortunately they landed in the swamp and were unscathed.
The alien craft caught on fire, and then…
exploded! 2 aliens were catapulted from the wreakage and landed mere yards from Burford and Rupert. the space craft was a total loss and was incinerated. Meanwhile the 2 aliens didn’t seem to be dealing with the gaseous after effects of the pizza. A seemingly never-ending supply of gas was seeping from their bowels. Burford and Ruport (and the pizza boy who also survived the crash) all watched in amazement as the aliens spacesuits begin to fill with gas to the point at which they slowly lifted from the ground.
and a huge fart came out of their bodies, and all turned green and blue for a few seconds, after that, just the silence..just the silence.
Just when it looked like the day was saved, out stepped an old man with an old-timey ray gun. He proclaimed, “I am the Important Evil Genius, and I am here to save my Xangrilangrian friends!” (Little did he know that these were not the Xangrilah people; he makes these mistakes all the time because he is extremely old and senile.)
Despite the old man’s ignorance, he still posed a potential threat because of his weapon. He began to ramble incoherently, mentioning things like volcanoes, secret lairs, inflatable moon bases, and Xangrilah gold currency missing. Rupert tried to reason with him, but then the old man became irate and yelled, “You cannot interrupt me before I finish my monologue! What is wrong with you people?!?”
While the old man walked around exasperatedly, mumbling to himself, Burford had an idea to save the day. It was crazy, but that had never fazed him before…
Crappo the Clown
Burford farted as loud as he could, and the old man said, “Who dat call my name?” In the midst of his confusion, Burford and Rupert quickly…
Important Evil Genius (E.D)
surrendered to the Evil Genius (I should know … I was there) once the old man realized they were no longer a threat he took a closer look at the aliens and realized there were not who he had originally believe them to be. At which point he lifted his antiquated looking ray-gun and zapped them, igniting the combustible gases in the alien suits and causing them to burst into an impressive fireball and fly away like a fiery balloon, zig-zaging until they were finally out of sight. He then lowered his mighty weapon and shuffled slowly away muttering something to the kids about “staying off of his Lawn”.
When he was finally out of sight Burford, Rupert, & the pizza delivery boy just stood there looking at each other in disbelief of all that had just happened. The pizza boy was the first to gather his wits together and be able to speak. he said “um… somebody still has to pay me for all those pizza’s you guys ate”
Burford knew he shouldn’t have to pay for the pizza after saving the world, so he thought up a plan quick. He told the pizza boy that this was the old man’s property so he would pay for the pizza. As the pizza boy went to collect his payment, Burford and Rupert left quickly, to go celebrate. One should definitely have a crazy-huge party after saving the world from an alien invasion! They figured they would invite all their friends over, then order many more pizzas, all charged to the Important Evil Genius. And thus, the day is saved.
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