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The Medium is the Message

Is the big news discovery of the Media-dubbed ‘Peruvian Megasaur’ all that it really seems?

By Folklore FuturesPublished 3 years ago Updated 2 years ago 8 min read

A great many better and more respected minds than mine had already tried to assemble the so-called prehistoric bones without success. Only now, do they scrape the barrel by calling in one of their former hotshot students more usually seen as a gone whackjob maverick.

The Agency knew no simple message or call could bring me back into the fold – not after all their efforts to discredit me since they’d cut me loose.

But I hadn’t given the suspicious package wrapped in brown paper much attention when it’d first turned up. As your preeminent online alien abduction vlogger I was used to being sent a lot of weird stuff. Most of it absolutely nuts. To be honest I wasn’t even sure if my own direct experience of an alien encounter was real or had been a side effect of my sleep apnea – though I’d committed everything in my life to finding out.

Yet something about the mysterious long brown box in the stack of unopened post had kept nagging at me as I tried to figure someway/anyway to continue financing my investigative research – and still pay the rent. So when the credit card company turned down my application for an interest only period on my mounting debt, I slammed down the phone and went straight over and ripped open the package.

I instantly recognised its contents.

It was one of the much-hyped Peruvian Megasaur bones from the big news archaeological excavation that had been passed off in the mainstream press as a brand new type of sauropod – ‘Perhaps the largest that ever lived!’ – not that I’d believed one word of it.

And now I had my first piece of solid evidence.

I examined it close. Not a fossil. No doubt. Not even natural. Despite appearing to have been organically grown. Something akin to a large tibia, but the two ‘bones’ were twisted and fused. It was incredibly light and strong. I might once have been the wunderkind of genetic bioengineering at Stanford, but in all my time there or since I had never seen anything quite like it – not on this planet anyway!

Excited, I checked all around the box for a postage mark. But there was none. And then, just as it dawned on me that there could only be one possible sender, all electronic devices in my apartment went dark. Then searchlights were streaming through the blinds on my windows, accompanied by a heavy throbbing sound.

I panicked. Had the aliens returned to take me away again?

A loud crash at my door and hefty guys in black flak jackets armed with assault rifles were running into my apartment and yelling. I sighed long then dropped to my knees and put my hands on my head. It was an abduction all right – just not by aliens.

“Still squandering everything I taught you on your silly ghost hunt,” said the older man in a tweed suit as he walked into the secured room. “Funny thing is now, we might just have need of your rather unique experience.”

“Why should I help you?”

He smirked. “Intellectual curiosity. To restore your reputation. Or maybe you’d like to finally get to the truth of just what happened to you that night with all the lights in the forest. You still have nightmares don’t you?”

“And if I say no?”

“Do you really believe that's an option?”

The hefty guys in black took that as their cue to bundle me out of my apartment, down the stairs, and into the covert matt-black chopper waiting with its rotors turning in the street below.

With little time for introductions to the team upon landing, I found myself quickly golf-carted into the huge hangar-like facility that contained all the carefully catalogued artefacts from the Peruvian dig. And standing tall in the centre, surrounded by a structure of platforms with an elevator and a hydraulic lift, was their unsuccessful attempt to reconstruct them.

As I stepped off the golf-cart I looked around and said, “Where do you want me to begin?”

“That’s up to you, you’re the genius,” my former teacher mocked, then went to back up the golf-cart but stopped and struck a different note. “Look, it might just be that you are the only one qualified to tell us what this thing is and how to make it work. Our hope is that it’s a weapon that’ll give us the edge in the New Cold War. But if this is some kind of doomsday device or invasion signal we need to know before someone turns it on.”

I guess that’s the closest I was ever going to get in way of an acknowledgement from the old guard. I smiled then nodded firm.

“Your country is counting on you,” he said, then drove off.

And I was left alone with my thoughts. Well, not entirely alone. As surveillance cameras would be monitoring my every move while the scientists listened and watched from the safety of their bombproof bunker just in case I actually did put the thing together and blow the place up.

I strolled the aisles of alien artefacts laid out in their numbered zones. A weapon? I wasn’t so sure. But it was definitely some sort of bioengineered tech. Buried deep in the earth for us to one-day find again. The ancient Caral people of Peru had built a temple over it. Marking it? Hiding it? Guarding against it being used perhaps? But what was its purpose?

It was all feeling very von Däniken.

I took a good long look then at the skeletal construction in the centre of the space. It was a confused mix of badly aligned twisting parts with steel strut and super-hard plastic inserts. Much as with dark matter or luminiferous ether, these bolt-ons fudged the gaps in the scientists’ myopic knowledge as they sought to impose a more standard geometric form.

“I see the problem,” I said aloud. “Your thinking is too Earthbound.”

A clicking noise in the speaker system announced that one of the scientists was about to talk. “Please elaborate and put forward your proposal,” came a voice I did not recognise. “Time is short.”

I snorted. Easier said than done.

In the same way that Pythagoras’s mathematical treatises on music had failed to take into account all the alternative modes of unstructured expression used by non-Western cultures across the globe, so too were the scientists failing to imagine any approach to bioengineering other than their limited own. But just how does one get inside the mind of an alien and fathom its intention?

I went back to pacing the aisles as I tried to figure out how to begin. But my close proximity to the alien tech was having a distracting effect.

Flashes of my abduction, clearer than I’ve ever been able to recall before – even with the aid of hypnotherapy regression – were flooding my thoughts. In my nightmares these bizarre bone-like objects had formed the structure of their ship, their control panel, the chair into which I’d been strapped, the tools they had used on me to do . . . What exactly?

And that’s when I stumbled upon a particularly malformed piece, almost as if I had been directed to it. “I think this may be something,” I said aloud to the cameras that listened and watched.

The speaker system clicked on and then off. “Please clarify at once.”

I ignored it and bent down and put my hand upon the surface of the alien artefact. It hummed in response. And in an instant all memory of my abduction – that no headshrinker had been able to fully convince me was false – was returned in full.

And I knew.

I knew that the time-unbound aliens had abducted me to change my brain. They had been preparing me. Laying the way. For this very moment that they had foreseen. And that they were in some strange way still in communication with me. No wonder my vlogs had been so spot on. No wonder the Agency had viewed them and then sent for me to come.

I was about to speak out when my mind escaped the restrictions of linear time and I saw my-future-self a few seconds from now running over to the bastard tower and riding the elevator all the way to the top, where I hang from the railing and violently kick at the non-alien additions as I start the process of taking the stupid ugly thing apart.

And then come the flashing lights and sounding alarm as armed security guards rush in to stop the madman from destroying months of painstaking work. They roughly manhandle me back to floor level and lay me prostrate before the shocked scientists who now feel I should never have been brought on board as I am obviously too far gone.

And then I am breaking free and running to the vibrating artefact that had given me such a jolt and fetching it to show them. And as I do, another nearby piece starts to shift and move – without warning it leaps up and attaches itself to the one I hold.

As we watch opened-mouthed the two pieces grow together and fuse. Creating something entirely new. The join is seamless.

And then it is several months further ahead, and I am now director of the project. And staff in long white lab coats and hard hats look to me as they operate giant robot arms that descend from above and pick up and put into place each alien artefact as I select them – my intellect superseded by the subconscious feeling in my gut, itself informed by the direct transference of knowledge from across the universe.

And then comes the last day. And the very last piece. I elect to place it into the immense intricate mechanism by hand, somewhat ceremoniously.

For safety the facility is evacuated. The surveillance cameras document as I once more take the elevator to the top. The scientists observe from their bombproof bunker. Some still worry I am a puppet for the vanguard of an alien invasion. My former teacher has his fingers crossed.

I have no fear myself.

Just as I reach out, the last piece jumps from my hand and fuses to the gravity-defying configuration – now not unlike a giant gnarly twisting worm – and the whole thing begins to glow and hum, shifting to an upright position as all the parts come together as one.

And then from its narrow mouth bursts forth a beam of pure energy. It is NOT a weapon. It is something else.

The beam carries a message.

The message does not reach back across the stars to its creators who had long ago buried its truth. It instead simultaneously enters the hearts and minds of all sentient life forms on Earth and upgrades their being to the next level of existence.

That’s as much as I was shown.

For my-future-self is disintegrated in the first pulse so that my genetic code can act as the access key for all our species to receive the important biological instruction to evolve.

And then...

And then I was back in the present. Back in the cool quiet air-conditioned hangar-like facility as the scientists waited and watched. Back beside the vibrating artefact that would be the founding stone of the new construct. Back just at that final nanosecond before I turn and run to the old tower and start to tear it down.

Back in what human experience defines as – ‘now’.

Short Story

About the Creator

Folklore Futures

Travelling back via the psychosphere that connects all sentient beings throughout space-time, come warning stories from the myriad dimensions as yet unborn...

Brought to you from the keyboard of David Valentine

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