“Could this be a hoax?” The gathered men and women sitting around the long boardroom table all shook their heads.
“No, Mr. President,” one of the men said. “We’ve done an exhaustive analysis of the signal and everything indicates that this is a genuine event. Despite no sign of any vessels in orbit around the Earth. Not only are they trying to communicate; the signal was meant for us. They want to meet with you.” The president sat up straighter and looked at the scientist.
“I guess all that ‘take me to your leader‘ stuff turned out to be true,” he chuckled. “I’m impressed you guys translated it so fast. As I understand it you only got the signal a couple of hours ago.” The scientist shook his head. The rest of the men and women began to rise out of their chair and head out as if the meeting were over.
“There was nothing to translate, the message was in English. They didn’t ask for our leader…,” he paused and looked around. He was left alone with the president. “They asked, specifically, for the ‘president of the United States.’ I’m sure you can appreciate how much more surprising that is.”
“What about the U.N.? Any movement on that end?” the nameless scientist shook his head.
“As far as we can tell, Mr. President, the message was meant for us and only for us.”
“Fantastic news. I’ll meet them since I don’t have to worry about the U.N. breathing down my neck. Any idea of what they look like? I’d like to be prepared if I’m going to shake hands with a tentacle monster.”
“That message only contained audio data. I’d suggest you plan to shake hands with a tentacle monster, just in case.” The president nodded.
“Set it up, as soon as possible.”
“Actually, Sir, they said the same thing. They’re already standing by.”
“Well,” the President stood from his seat. “Lead the way, let’s not keep them waiting.” The scientist nodded and stood to lead the President out. They picked up the guard detail waiting outside the conference room. He led them through a maze of fluorescent lights and narrow, white corridors. They reached a lab where all the other men and women that were in the boardroom disappeared to. Each of them seemed focused on his or her own task; they were getting ready to monitor the impending visit.
“Are you able to send any messages back?” The President asked. The scientist that had been accompanying him shook his head.
“They told us how to let them know when we’re ready, but we could not figure out how to communicate beyond that.” The President nodded.
“Let them know we’re ready.” The scientist held his hand out to the President and offered him two small, yellow earplugs.
“You’ll need these.” After the President accepted the earbuds, the scientist walked to a nearby control panel and pressed a button. The lab immediately filled with a low rumbling sound as the speakers played a certain frequency. All the scientists in the lab put in their own earplugs while the lead turned a knob to raise the volume. The rumbling grew louder, and everyone covered their ears with their hands; the earplugs did not do enough to block out the sound.
After several loud moments, a small black dot appeared in the air in front of the president. It looked like a dead 3d pixel stuck in the air.
“STEP BACK MR. PRESIDENT!” A member of the security team placed a hand on the President’s shoulder and yelled to be heard over the rumbling. The black dot grew taller and wider until it looked like a hole in reality. The scientists in the lab gathered around the anomaly pointing different instruments at it. They fell into a sort of orbit around the black hole; the shape mesmerized them. Each one realized no matter what angle they looked at the hole, it looked like a hole. They expected it to thin and flatten its shape when viewed from the side, but it resembled a perfect hole no matter how they looked at it.
Two pale, dark-haired women and a small black cat stepped out of the hole. The tall woman wore a white business dress, the shorter one wore black. The cat had a red skull-like pattern on the fur atop its head. Once they exited the hole it disappeared. The scientist stopped the rumbling frequency.
“Mr. President, my name is Dana Sharp. I believe we can do business together.”
“You’re human?” The President asked. Dana nodded.
“How? How did you travel here? Where did you come from? What can you tell us about what’s outside the galaxy?” Ms. Sharp’s eyes narrowed; she squinted at the President in confusion.
“We came from an alternate Earth. We don’t know and don’t care about anything outside the galaxy. There’re too many interesting Earths to think about that kind of thing.”