Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Pocket Full of Posies Chapter 2 Page 6


     "That... that can't be right. Can it?"

     The three engineers stood there befuddled by their readings. Then one turned to the other two.

     "Send the drone out another light year." The first engineer primed some controls, adjusted a few settings and gauges, and executed the command. After a couple minutes of silence there were a series of broadcast beeps followed by a display reading times, distance, and telemetry.

     "Nope," said the third engineer, "still the same readings. Well, adjusted for the new relative position, of course."

     The third engineer rested his face in his hand, his arm propped up on the desk. A finger rubbed itself across his brow back and forth a couple times before he then ran his hand through his hair. "Okay," he said, after another moment of inflection, "let's try a couple more positions, just to be sure."

     The next ninety minutes were pretty much the same thing over and over again. Each time the three engineers would double and triple check their findings. Finally the last engineer piped in.

     "Okay, it's clear we don't have a glitch; we've sent the drone to ten locations across several cubic light years of space, and every reading is consistent for its distance."

     "Yeah, but that doesn't make any sense. These transmissions should be taking hours, not minutes, to come and go."

     "Well we know that, but..."

     They all looked back at the displays reading the drone a few light years out and a transmission time of under two minutes.

     "Doesn't make any sense."

     "I know. But, if you apply the wave field formula to the signal..."

     "But how?! That was an experimental idea for a ship drive, not a radio transmitter. I mean, there's no way this should even work."

     "Hey, we just dropped a drone four light years from here in a few minutes. And we've only been able to do that for... what... a year? I'm thinking there's going to be a lot of stuff that doesn't make any sense from here on out; now that we're a stellar species."

     They all at there in silence for another couple minutes, looking over the drone displays. One of them finally sat up and looked at the others. "So... what do we tell the director?"

     "We tell them what we have; a way to cut transmission times down from weeks and months to minutes and seconds. He says 'good work you three', and we get raises, or gifts, or some sort of nerd hero party. Maybe they name it after us; who knows. Point is, we have us a break through. Who cares if we don't know how it all really, exactly works."

     "Good point; no one knows how Aspirin works, and everyone still uses it."

     "Okay, then; who's gonna write up the report?"

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