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“Golden Contact” by Lee Allred

FCC Transcript #127621-A

National Network

April 6, 2020 GMT 1300 ff

National Network Anchor:  … and again, for those just tuning in, two hours ago Earth was contacted by what scientists have confirmed is an alien spacecraft. We go now to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Dr. Hans Kepplemann, director of SETI Worldwide. Tell us, Dr. Kepplemann, have you personally spoken to the aliens?

[Split screen with Dr. Rudolf Keppleman at SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute radio telescopes, Green Bank, West Virginia.]

Dr. Kepplemann [chuckles]:  I’m afraid our “communications” aren’t as robust as that. Contact on their part has been a repeating loop of beeps—

Anchor:  Like Morse Code?

Dr. Kepplemann:  Like Morse Code. The beeps signified 3.141, the value for Pi. That’s the interstellar equivalent of a “shave and a haircut” knock on our front door. We’ve replied with our own beeps signifying a progression of natural logarithms showing we’re here, we’re an intelligent life form, and we wish to communicate further.

Anchor [turning toward viewers]:  Log-rhythms, as everyone knows, are the technical term for the tree rings found in tree trunks first used to prove global warming,

Dr. Kepplemann:  Not exactly. You see —

[Connection with Dr. Kepplemann abruptly terminated.]

Anchor [excitedly]:  Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve just been handed this. The alien spacecraft is now heading directly towards Earth on what scientists are calling a landing approach. We go live now to our reporter in JPL Labs in Pasedena. Lisa, what can you tell us?

[Split screen with National Network reporter Lisa Knight-Magnum at NASA’s JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratories) in Pasadena, CA.]

Reporter named Lisa:  Scientists here are saying that indeed the craft will be landing on Earth and that they know where. The propulsion of the craft suggests that it is what they call a fusion torch ship which requires landing in a large body of water —

Anchor:  Like an ocean?

Lisa:  Like an ocean, but as the exhaust could be catastrophic to any ecosystem, it’s best achieved in a dead sea —

Anchor:  Like the Dead Sea in Iraq?

Lisa:  In Israel, yes. Or the Caspian Sea in the former Soviet Union. But JPL says the trajectory points to the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

Anchor [smugly to viewers]:  So we’re about to have our first intelligent lifeforms ever in Utah, then?

Lisa:  I’m from Utah, Bob.

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[Six hour break in transcript.]

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Anchor:  Again for those of you just joining us, an actual alien ship landed in the Great Salt Lake in Utah over an hour ago.

[Camera shifts to a live feed from Saltair, a marina on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. Network Anchor continues to narrate.]

Anchor:  Here is a live feed showing the appearance of what scientists call a Heinlein “torch” ship. Looks a little like an inverted turnip floating point down in the water. We go now to our local affiliate reporter on the spot. Chuck, what can you tell us?

Local reporter named Chuck:  So far the aliens have not emerged or contacted us since landing. Scientists say this is quite expected. Both the intense heat and the roiling magnetic fields created by a torch engine. Once the ship has cooled safely, they expect the aliens to emerge—wait! There appears some movement at the ship.

[Camera pans to the ship, zooms in on opening hatch.]

Chuck [excitedly]:  Yes, yes! What appears to be a hatch is opening in the side of the craft and some sort of ramp is mechanically extending itself to the Saltair marina pier where crowds of locals are gathered. The crowd is eagerly pushing against the police cordon. They—

Anchor:  Chuck—!

Chuck:  —they—

Anchor:  Chuck! Can you see the aliens?

Chuck:  Not yet—I see them! I see them! [to cameraman] Tell me you’re getting this? Can you zoom in closer?

Anchor:  Can you describe them?

Chuck:  I can’t quite—There they are, they’ve fully emerged. They appear humanoid, maybe even humanlike, but it’s hard to tell because of the bulky spacesuits they’re wearing? This…this is the greatest thing in the whole history of history! They’re—

Anchor:  Can you see their faces?

Chuck:  Again, their round, reflective helmets totally cover their heads.

Anchor:  Can you describe their suits?

Chuck:  They’re definitely spacesuits of some kind, but not at our like ours. All of one streamlined piece rather than parts fastened together. There’s sort of a unnatural sharkskin texture to them that almost glows. The upper torso is pure white that abruptly changes to a dark charcoal grey at the waistline. Very, very basic look to them. I think I see some sort of dark-colored flat parallelogram affixed to one side of each of their chests. I—

[Camera jostled by the press of the crowd.]

Chuck [above the noise of the crowd]:  They’ve reached the end of the ramp and are stepping on the pier itself. Wait! They’re removing their helmets!

[Camera view shows alien removing helmet. Crowd gasps.]

Chuck:  He’s—it’s definitely a he! Oh, the humanity!—If that’s not a human face it’s—! He looks like a clean-cut teenager right out of the 1950s. And so does his younger companion!

Anchor:  Chuck—!

[Alien holds up arm. Crowd falls silent.]

Chuck:  I think—I think, yes! The alien’s about to speak!

Alien [in fluent, but highly accented English]:  Greetings, Earth peoples! What do you know about the Mormon Church and would you like to know more?

[Transcript Ends]

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