The observation station

There was a group of us in an observing station, based somewhere on the ocean near the Florida keys. From a satellite above, encircling the Earth somewhere out there in the eternal night of space, there was an image visible on the radar. It was sinewy and long, roughly the shape of a slug, and it twisted around and around like a tornado. At the same time, it was also tracing a roughly elliptical path near one of the islands in the Florida Keys. This path was no more than a mile long, with the object itself possibly a quarter mile tall, and a few hundred feet wide.

Upon closer examination, we found that the object was in fact some kind of vortex, deep black, and it was causing objects to disappear when it touched them. But since the area was pretty much deserted (no one wanted to go near it), there was no real damage being done.

After we set up the observing station, we looked hard into the vortex, and found that a strange, shimmering light was visible. As we looked more intently, we saw that the shape represented an image, visible beyond the vortex. It wasn’t on the other side of the vortex, since there was only water there, and the island, but it was beyond the vortex. After a while, the image became clearer, and we realized in awe that it was a gigantic space station.

At this moment we realized that the vortex was actually a tear in space, and that we were looking into a different part of the galaxy! The space station was enormous, several miles in diameter, and was made of six concentric rings that were fashioned together to make a sphere. The rings themselves were of a dull, gray metal, with tiny lights all along them.

There was a great sense of excitement in the observation station, because we had discovered an alien artifact. There was no sign of life, but it was certainly not something made by humans. So we began to try sending probes through the vortex, to get more information.

The dream continued by skipping time in jumps. A moment later we were several months into the project. Somehow two of our engineers had been caught by the vortex, and carried away into the other dimension. After several days, they were sent back. We never discovered who sent them back, but when they came back they were not the same as before. There were electrical implants in their bodies, as if the tissue had died and the aliens had repaired them. This was my impression, since they were in all other respects healthy. Perhaps falling through the vacuum of space had caused tissue damage, and the aliens had “fixed” the humans and sent them back. The engineers did behave a little strangely afterward, but they continued to work with the observation group.

Our project was highly secret, and no one knew what we were doing. The world at large thought that the vortex was simply a strange atmospheric phenomenon, and that the government “was keeping an eye on it”. Even the government officials didn’t completely believe our story. I guess no one ever came down to check.

One day, several months into the project, there was a high-pitched, whining noise. All of sudden I had that sense that there was another presence among us. One of the men suddenly lurched forward and fell, and then another was struck by something – something invisible. As I stood up to find out what was going on, there was another whine, and then I felt myself hit by something… or someone? And then it was gone. The noise stopped, and the room was silent again.

When we looked around, we guessed that we had been visited by a presence from the alien space station. Maybe there need for physical violence was a fear response, and they thought we might try to attack them? Anyway, several hours after the encounter I found a pair of compact discs. They had handwriting on them, in black marker, listing a series of dates. At first I thought there was only one disc – and so did everyone else – since the second disk was stuck to the first, on the bottom. The top disc was yellowish, and the bottom completely silver. Since the top disc didn’t contain any really interesting information, everyone disregarded it.

Later on, perhaps a few days later, I found the second disc stuck to the first one. This disk did have some interesting details on it. It seemed to be described certain events that would be happening soon in Earth’s future. First there would be war, and pestilence; and then a desolation of the land, and famine; and then the oceans would begin to rise, washing away much of the coastal land mass. Finally, 550 years into the future, a gigantic meteor would circle round the sun, and impact with Earth on its return journey. This would have the result of wiping out all life on the planet.

I realized instantly that the alien civilization was trying to warn us of what would happen in our time. You see, the vortex represented not only a rift in space, but in time as well. Looking out at the space station, were we seeing the future. We were seeing what would be built, somewhere in our galaxy, at sometime in the remote future. And this race of beings had historic knowledge of our destruction, and was trying to warn us.

I immediately rushed to the heads of our government, who were in charge of the observation project, and tried to warn them. But no one would listen to me. Not a soul! They all laughed, and seemed ignorant of the presence of the second disc, and for some bizarre reason would accept that it existed. They merely disclaimed all possibility of horrible things happening in the future, and accused me of being a doom-sayer.

Even the members of my own team thought I had lost a marble or two. I even showed them the second disc, but they acted like they couldn’t see it. As if it didn’t exist! It was there in plain sight, and I could see by the motion of their eyes that they did indeed see it, but they acted as though the fact of its existence would never penetrate their consciousness.

At this point I was in utter despair, because I felt in my gut that the alien message was true. Except it was so far into the future! I would be long dead before the trials began to occur, and at that time who would warn everyone? Would the meteor catch us unawares, because no one was willing to heed the alien’s warning?

And in fact, some of the trials did start happening within my lifetime. The ocean raised by a few inches (though the meteorologists said that it was a temporary phenomenon, and that they would recede again), and the land started to become drier. The governments were daily becoming more agitated with one another, and unemployment was on the rise. It looked like the prophecies were just beginning to become true – and I even had the blueprints for them in my hand! – but no one would listen to me. I was alone in my terrible knowledge of the future.

So I just continued to study the discs, to see if there was anything I could do. But there was not. As just one man, there was no lasting impact I could make on the understanding of those around me.

And so the dream ended, with nothing more than a terrible sense of the future, and of what the alien’s had tried to tell us. I don’t know how it will turn out. I still don’t know.