The Moment That Changed Our World Forever
Discovering the existence of nonindigenous life on Earth was more than many could swallow. Nevertheless, this wasn't going to simply go away, they were here, and this was only just the beginning
Dr. Willow Ellenby wasn't expecting to discover anything out-of-the-ordinary when she scanned the soil samples that the latest research team from Antarctica had brought back. She had been one of the four staff team members that had been tasked with having to examine every little shred of biological matter that each of the expedition groups brought back from the frozen land mass. They had been engaged in studying the effects of climate change on the frozen continent. Their specific studies had focused upon discovering some scientific understanding as to why the ice caves had begun to thaw out faster than they had been doing since the cave's discovery nearly ten years earlier. Sure, it was widely understood among the science community that the long-term effects brought about by changes to Earth's climate were the primary aggressor.
But there had to be something more behind what was happening right now. After all, the discovery of the ice cave structures alone had brought about many questions that couldn't be answered by any of the research expeditions. The effects of climate change were well documented across the western world so it was simple to comprehend the evidence they were faced with out there in the frozen world that was the Antarctic but, what couldn't be explained away so easily by the presenting facts at hand, was the rate at which the ice caves had suddenly appeared in the region. The rate of thawing decay to the ice shelves that had existed in the region, for centuries untouched, and the slow rising of the sea levels within the area, now that could all be scientifically explained away. However, what had been created as a continued disquiet for the specialists investigating the level of thaw, was why those cave structures had not developed even the slightest evidence of melting, when the ice above, around, and in the immediate waterlines surrounding the caves, were steadily becoming liquescent in nature as the mean temperatures rose.
Yet, those ice structures weren't following the simple laws of physics. What the changes to the climate were destroying around the areas in question, simply were not affecting the ice structures themselves.
Willow had been working in the lab for hours, analyzing the data from the various sensors and instruments that had recorded the latest deleterious effects of climate change. Pushing her chair back away from the workstation she had been studying so religiously at for the better part of the day, she removed her glasses and rubbed her eyes. Her eyes were red and sore from the intense concentration she had been giving to the work at hand.
"God, I need a damn break away from this thing, I haven't found anything to explain what the hell is going on out there, nothing makes any sense." After having realized she had just shouted out the words across the room, she had been glad that her colleagues had already left for the day because her verbal outburst had supposed to have been safely confined in her thoughts, and not for others to overhear. Willow was about to call it a day when she suddenly noticed something odd in one of the samples, she had just placed under the electron microscope. It was a tiny speck of amber-colored bacterial luminescence, impossible to be picked up by the naked eye and only barely visible under the electron microscope and even then, it had to be set to its highest magnification. She zoomed in on it with her microscope and gasped in sudden shock. It was a definite cell, but unlike any human, animal, or plant cell, she had ever seen before. It appeared to demonstrate a far more complex structure, with multiple nuclei and organelles. Staring at it hard for the next hour nearly, she witnessed it multiplying within itself, growing larger each time and its amber incandescence increasing with each moment of its multiplication.
She rapidly ran some tests on it and confirmed her suspicion. All indications of her being exhausted suddenly drifted away from her. Whatever this was, it was demonstrating definite signs of being alive. And it was certainly not indigenous. If she was reading this right, she had just discovered the development of alien life here on Earth.
Willow pulled herself away from the microscope's viewscreen with both fear, trepidation, and a growing sense of doubt about what she had seen, reached out her arm to grab the phone and hit the speed dial option on it to immediately call her supervisor, Dr. Robert Parks, and told him what she had found when the connection was made. "There's nothing on this planet that hasn't come from here Willow, alien life just isn't real." He was almost skeptical to the point of nearly laughing aloud at her at first, but nevertheless, he agreed to come over and see for himself. He arrived at the lab within minutes and looked across her room at the cell that was now displayed on the large monitor which was relaying the image from the microscope.
"Are you sure this is not just a contamination or even a practical joke that one of your team played on you before they left for the day?" he asked he asked her. Willow opened her mouth and was about to respond to him when all of a sudden, as he took another hard stare at the wall monitor, another sudden cell meiosis was again taking place, the amber glow was now beginning to show the merging of many other shades of color and had brightened to a point that the glow was starting to cast light out across the lab. Robert blinked his eyes and rubbed them, thinking that he was now seeing images that were not there. But even he was having a challenging time explaining this one away. "What the... it seems that this in no way a joke Willow."
"I'm positive Robert," she reconfirmed. "I checked all the protocols and procedures. This sample had been drilled from deep under the ice, where no human or animal has ever been, both the water temperature, depth, and the barometric readings registering down through the drill hole, indicate that no human, animal, or plant life would be able to survive such hydrostatic pressure "
"Then how did it get there?" he queried aloud.
"I don't know," she admitted. "Maybe it came from space, like a meteorite or something. Maybe an eternity back, long before the ice fields were formed, even before the birth of humanity?"
"Or maybe it's been here all along," he suggested.
They decided to keep their discovery secret for now, until they could run more tests and verify its origin and nature. They isolated the cell in a secure container and stored it within the lab's specially designed cryogenic facility. They also took some more samples from the same location where they found it, hoping to find more evidence of alien life. The worst thing that could happen now would be for them to create an environment of hysteria before they even had an opportunity to check and reconfirm everything that they had witnessed so far. Getting any of their facts wrong or missing something anywhere in the process would spell sudden doom and ultimate ridicule amongst the scientific community.
They worked steadily through the evening and on into the night, analyzing every aspect of the cell: its DNA, its metabolism, its response to stimuli. They were amazed by what they learned: it was unlike any living thing they had ever encountered before. It seemed that it had no genetic code that matched any known organism that currently existed on Earth (at least what had already been cataloged since the data collection records had begun) instead, it used a different system of information storage and transmission that they could not decipher yet at this point in time. For one thing, the current level of technology available to them was simply not powerful enough, and nothing such as this discovery had ever been reported before this moment.
The organism that Dr. Ellenby had by chance stumbled across, did not appear to use oxygen or carbon as its main elements for survival and growth; instead, it used silicon and chlorine as its building blocks for life. Neither did it seem to rely on sunlight or chemical reactions for energy; instead, it used nuclear fusion as its power source. That explained the reasoning behind the expanding glow coming from it. The lab's portable Geiger counter had registered safe levels to human life at this stage but for how much longer?
Would this change over time?
One thing was certain at this point in time. Dr. Parks was going to at least need to activate the radiation protocols and disclose their findings to the nuclear team upstairs. Precautionary but it was nevertheless an obvious necessity to bring it into play.
They discovered that it did not communicate with electrical signals or chemical signals; instead, it used quantum entanglement as its means of communication. The reproduction cycle process appeared to occur by dividing or mating; instead, it replicated by fusing with other cells of its kind. Its evolutionary ability appeared to occur through natural selection or mutation; instead, it adapted by reconfiguring itself according to its environment.
Had life outside of Earth's ecosystem approached a crossroads in what they had come to understand so far on the planet Earth? Was this recent discovery of what seemed to be a new indigenous life, a message to the people of the Earth that 'we are not truly alone?'
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About the Creator
I love writing articles & fictional stories. They give me scope to express myself and free my mind. After working as a mental health nurse for 30 years, writing allows an effective emotional release, one which I hope you will join me on.
I just watched a sci-fi movie in words. Narrated by doctor. Well written, very interesting. How are you doing. Hope all is well!