Dr Arcanonn on Unknown Probes, First Contact and Capships over Barnacles 3


Hi folks, me again after a long absence!

I’ve been out exploring in my little ship for a while – decided to get out and see why it is all you scientists like to get out there in the black – it’s all very good being a journalist and reporting on what you guys and gals do – but, now that I’ve done it, I get it 🙂

Anyway, why am I back?  Because I checked in with Dr Arcanonn the other day and our discussion rapidly became one that I think everyone will be interested in reading.

Me: So Doctor A, what have you been up to this past few weeks?  Everyone wondered where you’ve been!

Yes, I can only apologise for my absence, I have been working hard here at the Canonn Institute in COL 285 SECTOR IX-T D3-43 for this past few weeks, setting up my lab and getting back on studying the Unknown Artefacts and their interaction with the various different prototype weapons that have flooded the market thanks to the work of various engineers, including Professor Palin.

Me: Anything to report?

Unfortunately, no – it doesn’t appear that the Unknown Artefact has altered its behaviour since that last change where it started drawing ship schematics.  I’m not disappointed, though – good science rules things out more often than it proves improbable flukes.

Me: These Unknown Probes – fascinating aren’t they?

Incredible. CMDR Rizal’s discovery that they respond to a ‘honk’ from a discovery scanner quite literally set the whole scientific community ablaze – especially when that signal was found in the spectrogram of the audio that it broadcast.

(Included below)

More work on this can be found here.

What’s particularly interesting is how different this communication is from that of the Unknown Artefact.  The unknown artefact famously uses Federation Blink Code (or Morse code to give it its original name) but this seems to be a purely visual form.

Along with many of my colleagues, when I look at it I find myself convinced that it’s an attempt to communicate – but whereas the morse messages would appear deliberately to be meant to be understood by humans.  This message is less obvious.  There’s also mathematical structure in there, including some circle geometry, but why the message is even encoded in the audio in this way, we just don’t know.  Are we meant to do something with this message?  Is it even meant for us?

For what it’s worth, I think it is, and that we are.  For what, exactly, I don’t know.  Lots of people immediately think of it as some kind of map – and that does seem plausible.  So, if we work on the basis that it is intended for us to understand, and most of us immediately think ‘map’ – then there’s an argument that says it must be.

A map for what, though?  I have my own thoughts, but without proof there’s no point in saying anything yet.  Obviously, I know most people reading this must also have their own ideas – we just all need to work together and I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

I’m very excited though!

Me: What if it’s a warning – that something’s coming?

It’s entirely possible, yes.  Although there is no guarantee that these things are actually alien (why would aliens communicate in morse?)

But let’s assume they are – then I’m glad you said that actually.  Quite a few people are suggesting that this means ‘the aliens are coming’ .  I’d argue they’re already here, perhaps watching us (it’s just a feeling) but, regardless, how will we react when, or if, they do?

There seems to be confusion over what I, and the Canonn, think about first contact.  Some people suggesting that the Canonn has some anti-alien bent because of the presence of Lab 69 – who are undeniably paranoid when it comes to any kind of alien presence.

The fact is, I have always argued that we as a race must always be careful to understand before we act.  My work, and that of the majority of my colleagues, is entirely based around the idea of observing, learning and recording – always urging calm when the natural response was fear.

  • When we found convoys carrying UAs, we asked the question why they were being ferried around as captives – that it was irresponsible to do so.  Yes, we also lost some, regrettably, due to experiments, but we always did our best not to.
  • People claimed that unknown artefacts were an invasion force, I pointed to the morse as being a desire to communicate – and that invasion forces don’t communicate in that way.
  • People said the damage done to ships and stations pointed to a deliberate attempt to hurt us.  I suggested that we couldn’t know, that it could be unintentional – and it turns out I was right.
  • I urged caution in harvesting meta-alloys from barnacles because we weren’t sure what the long term damage would be.  When it became clear that barnacles continued to replenish despite being harvested, only then did we commence mass ‘farming’.  Barnacles are still appearing and, still, no long term damage has been done.

As with the Unknown Artefact ship damage – even if a particular interaction might be seen to cause us harm, then we must wait to confirm that before unleashing hell, and be absolutely sure we didn’t cause it.

Our own capital ships issue warnings if you get too close.  If you ignore those warnings, then you get destroyed – even if you don’t understand the warning.  So, let’s say these aliens do appear and start shooting at us – how do we know, for example, that we’re not seeing such a message in the spectrogram!?

I’ve seen even more ridiculous suggestions that somehow Aliens will need to be protected from the actions of Canonn scientists.

This saddens me.

It seems to me that somebody is looking for an excuse to assassinate scientists doing good work – which is more the actions of terrorists and pirates than that of peacekeepers.  It’s funny, too, how they use the same language that has been used by the federal and imperial navies in justifying their occupation of Merope…  Nobody really believes they’re there to ‘protect’ the barnacles – just as nobody really believes that the universe needs protecting from us!

That said, I know the authorities, and our allies, will be ready to answer our call should we suffer at the hands of these trigger-happy troublemakers, so I’m not particularly concerned.

Me: Speaking of those capital ships – what do you think of the Federal and Imperial presence in Merope?

Words fail me at the level of stupidity, to be quite honest – and yet I am not surprised.  As soon as there was any hint of financial and, more importantly, strategic value in the meta-alloys, it was bound to happen.

And now we have these huge war machines blundering around the site of an alien presence, ostensibly with the aim of ‘protecting barnacles’, while their leaders use the language of propaganda and war.

Throughout human history there are cautionary tales regarding flag-planting land grabs – they always end in blood.  It’ll be the same with this unless everyone realises that we must all work together.

We have Unknown Artefacts pointing at Merope, Unknown Probes pointing at Merope 5c, and alien organisms, i.e. the Barnacles, on two moons in Merope (plus in many other locations in the Pleiades, California and Witch’s Head nebulae).

Either way, it looks probable that Merope is going to be at the heart of some important activity around all these things in the near future – the signs are definitely there.

And while I don’t personally believe that we have any reason to fear that – all I’d say is, if you were an alien presence who’d sought to announce your arrival peacefully, and when you arrive you are met with warships posturing up for a fight – how would you react?

Interesting, and slightly troubling, stuff from the man himself there.

Anyway that’s it for now.  Fly safe – and good luck with that spectrogram – I’ve been staring at it for hours now and I can’t offer any more insight.  But then, I’m not a scientist!


About Verity Gavroche

Former Economics correspondent for the Voice of Varati. After a brief dance with the devil, I'm now the official Canonn investigative reporter :)


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