Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Day 10 - The Riddle

The object landed in the deserts outside Roswell, New Mexico on July 3rd, 1947.

It had been tracked on radar as it entered Earth’s atmosphere and a team had been scrambled to recover it as soon as its trajectory had been calculated. At the time, the prevailing theory was that the Soviet Union was far further forward with its rocket research than intelligence had suggested and they were going to recover a rocket of some description. However, when the team finally reached the area, they swiftly realised that the object was not something from the Soviet Union.

It was a black dodecahedron measuring just over twenty feet in diameter and was inscribed with a series of runes that covered 90% of its surface. The object was transported to the Groom Lake facility and was subjected to a series of tests that revealed that it was composed of a metallic compound that was unknown to science and which was seemingly impervious to all attempts to damage it.

A team was assembled to decipher the runes but, after two years, no headway had been made and the object steadfastly resisted all attempts to probe it. A decision was made to store the object and to re-evaluate it when science had progressed sufficiently.


In 2005, the object was removed from storage and was subjected to a further battery of tests. The exterior was photographed and the runes were digitized and fed into a supercomputer that attempted to understand the language used.

The results were as disappointing as the original examination of the object in the late 1940s; despite the huge advances that had occurred in science, the object remained as much a mystery as the day it had crash landed in the New Mexico desert. It was a puzzle behind the ability of man to decipher.

A decision was made to return it to storage.


In 2057, the object was moved to a secure facility to be analysed. A full holographic display of the object was constructed and attempts were made to conduct a full molecular scan. However, the object resisted the scan attempts and the scientific team were left with just as little to go on as all their predecessors. An attempt to decipher the runes using an NSA quantum supercomputer proved to be futile and the object was again returned to a storage depot to be considered once new technologies and approaches were available.


In 2146, the object was removed from storage and a pioneering sub-atomic probe was used to determine its structure. With an understanding of the way in which the object had been constructed, a secondary scan revealed a hitherto subset of additional runes which had been impossible to visually detect. The full set of runes were then fed into a fusion-powered hyper computer and, after six months of number crunching, it was able to deconstruct and translate the language of the object.

The message gave information on the origin of the object, a star system almost 300 light years from Earth, and provided instructions on how to open the object in order to obtain faster-than-light drive technology.

With great fanfare, the decision was made to open the object on July 3rd, 2147; two hundred years to the day since it had landed on Earth. The momentous occasion would be captured on live broadcasts and the whole world would finally have a chance to see the alien technology that had been hidden from view for the last two centuries.


The object listened carefully as a series of mixed frequency sonic pulses, coupled with a multispectral laser array, were beamed at it. Finally, after all this time, it had been given the correct code and it could fulfil its function. Eight out of the nine locks had been unsealed.

It had waited patiently while the lifeforms of this planet had crudely probed it over the course of the last two hundred years, although it had begun to worry that they might never solve the riddle and thus never find out what lay inside it.

They were going to be impressed by the gamma bomb that it was built around, it was sure. Well, impressed for the 0.003 seconds between them opening its casing and the bomb detonating, at least.

Its makers had been very thoughtful; seed the cosmos with devices that would only function when the lifeforms of that planet grew sufficiently advanced that they presented a real possibility of evolving into a genuine threat.

The ninth lock received its unlock sequence.

The object opened.

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