Paradigm - June 1997
Unknown - A Brief History - THE EYE
(page 5/20)

Unknown - A Brief History

AD 2074, Earth
There are two SETI agencies, both on the verge of collapse. Funding has almost dried up, stations are poorly manned and the equipment is several years out of date.

AD 2074, September - 50 million miles above the earth's orbital plane.
The nothingness of space is all around, the distant backdrop seems littered with objects but this place is empty. Then ... what ? An astronomer would have blinked a few times and adjusted the telescope, an astronaut would have cleaned a non existent spot from his visor, both would have missed it. A million miles away the same thing happened, that slight aberration of the starlight. Then two rapidly, one after the other. Then nothing.

AD 2075, Earth
There are twenty-seven SETI agencies around the world, all of them well funded, hi tech. institutions.
Yes, there were arguments, endless discussions, cynical scientific papers and philosophical disproofs. But everyone knew. The two decrepit, old listening posts had detected for the first time a 'conversation' between two extra-terrestrial intelligences. In the following year, the aliens invaded.
The red lights did not flash, the alarm bells did not ring, the searchers kept on looking. None knew of the invasion except a couple of million of the earth's inhabitants and they weren't about to tell anyone.

AD 2077, Earth
Intense global warming has begun to seriously effect human activities. The scientists are baffled and consequential very unpopular. Pollution is almost non-existent, burning coal was banned long ago and trees have not been extensively harvested in decades. Theories abound but solutions are non-existent. The world becomes desperate.
In Queensland, New Zealand a rather eccentric scientist even went so far as to measure the oxygen output of a tree to check that it hadn't changed. The entity controlling the tree was, however both intelligent and powerful and emitted that oxygen it would otherwise have kept for itself. The scientist was left feeling almost as foolish as others though him.

AD 2079, Earth
The earth is dead, save for one part of the ultimate human achievement.
Some where near the centre of the Eurasian landmass lies a 'capsule', self supporting in every way and protected in a vast chamber carved from solid rock. It's main contents; one thousand frozen human beings and two of the most powerful computers ever built. It simply lies there, waiting.

AD 2079, Space
cartoon Another container, similar to the first, is orbiting the planet somewhere above North America, continually monitoring the unfortunate conditions on the surface below. It's contents ? Exactly the same. Waiting.
Far away is the third and final container, attached to the most powerful engines ever built by human hands. It accelerates away from the Earth. past planets large and small, out of the solar system. And onwards.
The ethic behind that last desperate launch ? It went against the grain of human thought since the dawn of time.

Rather the unknown than the known.

Only time......