“No way…,” Lyra almost couldn’t believe her eyes. The young woman sat in a diner staring at the TV in awe. A group of astronauts returning from Mars was being interviewed about the photographs they returned with. “That’s gotta be the reason I’m here,” she whispered to herself. Her boss, Ms. Sharp, asked her to keep spend some extra time on this Earth, but she did not give a reason. She pulled her node out and sent a report immediately.
It was a pleasant Saturday morning and the diner was full, but not overcrowded. Lyra expected the din of conversation to die down, considering what was shown on the TV. Actual, English words written on a cave wall on Mars. Lyra regularly traveled between alternate universes but even she was impressed. Even if the actual message struck a nervous chord somewhere in her. But, everyone around her was focused on their own troubles. Her node vibrated in her hands as she wondered about the cave’s message.[Thank you, Lyra. Please exit to another server for your safety. Ms. Sharp requested an emergency shut down on that server; there won’t be a warning. – Melody]
Lyra was surprised. She felt confident that Ms. Sharp would be interested in the message; especially considering a human skeleton was found next to it. The more she thought about it, the more Lyra appreciated Ms. Sharp’s focus.
“That’s why she’s the most powerful woman in the universe,” Lyra thought with a smile. “She knows what she wants and doesn’t let herself get distracted.” Suddenly, Lyra felt the ground tremble under her feet; she glanced at the TV and saw they seemed to be in the middle of an earthquake too. Lyra casually wiggled her fingers at the air next to her and opened a black portal to escape through before the Earth exploded.
“The server is down and the Mars astronauts are in hibernation, Ms. Sharp,” Melody reported to Ms. Sharp in her office. “Except for Lyra, everyone that saw the message is accounted for.” Ms. Sharp gave a curt nod.
“Put a team of Zeros to work on solving Mars frequencies. You are the only Unique that knows about it,” Ms. Sharp said. Melody nodded.
“Yes, Ms. Sharp.” She turned to leave, but Ms. Sharp spoke up again.
“Let’s not take any chances; this might show up again somewhere. It’s better to take ownership. Start an ad campaign on suitable Earths,” Ms. Sharp smiled as she repeated the four words found on Mars.
“The AlterNet is Everywhere.”