VNER001 -- CYC-130004101 >> FPR 011800/ ext ad67111.14566TRACE -s -- 01010011 01001111 01010011 -- >> CYC.FUNCT ENTER INPUT Y = YES N = NO (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "2")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "2")] >> C-AVNER001 -- CYC-130004102 >> FPR 011800/ ext ad67111.14566TRACE -s -- >> 01010011 01001111 01010011 -- >> CYC.FUNCT -- >> ESTABLISHED RECEIVING... ... >> INPUT: (if: $Y)[Y](else:)[N] CONNECTING... ... CONNECTING... ... (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "3")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "3")] >> A-AVNER001 -- CYC-130004103 >> FPR 011800/ ext ad67111.14566TRACE -s -- >> FPR 011800/ ext ad67111.14566TRACE -aborted -- >> CYC.FUNCT -aborted >> INITIALIZING >> out.011800 trans = MODE01 BEGIN ... ... >> ... ... ... Is someone there? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "4")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "4")](if: $Y)[Oh my god Oh my god Thank you Thank you Who are you?](else:)[Is anyone there? Please Please Who are you?] (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "5")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "5")](if: $N)[I don't understand You're responding, whoever you are Who are you?](else:)[I repeat Who are you] How did you find me? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "6")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "6")]I think I understand I've been sending out a basic encryption SOS for I'm not sure how long My radio stopped working. I sent a message, as simple as possible to any random frequency It must have reached you somehow, but my receiver will only accept basic I/O commands so it seems to only detect the Y/N inputs of your transponder. Does that make sense? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false)(set: $trust = 0) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "7")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "7")]Sorry, I know it sounds crazy But I need to explain I've been here, I don't know how long Please I need to tell you what happened And you need to believe me Ok? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false)(set: $counter = 0) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(set: $counter = $counter + 1)(goto: "8")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(set: $counter = $counter - 1)(goto: "8")](if: $Y)[Thank God Thank you It's been so long since I've talked to anyone.](else:)[Please Please, I'm begging you Please listen to me. I know this is crazy but let me explain.] My name is Corin Avner. I am a North American astronaut on Mission 547, the first manned interstellar project in human history. I was aboard the N.A.S. Vanguard along with my copilot, Luay Miklev. He Luay died, when I'll start from the beginning. $counter [[>>|9 old]]Mission 547 launched on January 7th, 2115. Luay and I were to be the first humans to travel to the heliosphere, closely matching the trajectory of the world's first interstellar spacecraft - Voyagers 1 and 2. We were to intersperse our bouts of cryosleep with regular reports on what we saw firsthand as we traversed the solar system. I never really understood just how small and insignificant the human race truly is until we saw the rings of Saturn, the eye of Jupiter and its moons, everything so vast and silent I've forgotten myself, haven't I? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "10")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "10")] (if: $N)[There were challenges, of course. We knew we might never return to Earth. We were chosen because we had few social ties and were already loners by nature. The mission needed the kind of people who were willing to accept the possibility of death in isolation, light years away from home. I used to think I didn't like people, that I could stand to live without them. But I guess... things change.(if: $counter > 0)[ If you hadn't come along] ](else:)[Sorry. ]I'll move on. Luay and I had started noticing minor gravitational anomalies as we grew closer to the heliosphere, and he began to suspect that it might be a black hole. I immediately dismissed the idea. If such an entity was close enough to our solar system that we could feel its effects, we would have long detected it by now. That was my reasoning. While black holes are essentially invisible, we should have at least detected its light distortion even from Earth. So I convinced him that he was wrong, and that we should forage ahead. [[>>|11 old]]Maybe some part of me was secretly thinking that he could be right. If we were approaching some supermassive entity that was hidden behind cosmic dust and that we couldn't yet see, then the mission could be doomed. Not to mention ourselves. But then, maybe some part of me selfishly wanted to keep the mission going. For nothing else but the vanity of being the first human insterstellar explorers. I wanted that glory. I was willing to take stupid risks for it. And maybe part of me wanted to see a black hole up close. By then we'd gradually started shutting down non-essential systems to preserve resources, and were only sending out reports once every 72 days. Transmission with Houston was still active, but the delay meant it took a week to communicate. (if: $Y)[Whoever you are, God I don't know how I managed to find you but I'm so grateful](else:)[Sorry, I know it sounds crazy But I need to explain] I've been here, I don't know how long Please I need you to try to reach the North American Space Center I'll give you their connection frequency Tell them that Captain Corin Avner is alive but unable to establish communication I'm currently aboard the Vanguard emergency shuttle and I've lost all navigational readings The NASC Vanguard's last outgoing report was Oh god, how long has it been Please, can you try? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(set: $trust = $trust + 1)(goto: "8Y")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "8N")]Thank you Seriously, thank you I'll send you the connection protocol now Give me one second ... ... >> INITIALIZATION TERMINATED >> INCOMING DATA PACKET DETECTED: >> FPR 011800/ ext ad67111.14566TRACE - attempt 0 ... ... >> PARSE ERROR - UNKNOWN MODULE CALL >> TRANSMISSION TERMINATED >> DO YOU WISH TO RETRY? (set: $click = 0) ENTER INPUT (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(set: $click = $click + 1)(goto: "8-retry")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "8B")]I know how insane this sounds I understand if you don't believe me. I can barely believe myself. In that case let me ask you How did you find me? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "8A")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "8A")]>> INCOMING DATA PACKET DETECTED: >> FPR 011800/ ext ad67111.14566TRACE - attempt $click ... ... >> PARSE ERROR - UNKNOWN MODULE CALL >> TRANSMISSION TERMINATED >> DO YOU WISH TO RETRY? ENTER INPUT (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(set: $click = $click + 1)(goto: "8-retry")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "8B")]Oh, that's right. I have to remind myself that it's only "yes" or "no" for you. Here I am, stuck in space And my last possible hope is a game of 20 questions. Look, I have no idea who you are or where you came from As far as I know, you could be some alien and everything I'm saying is complete gibberish to you. Or maybe you think this is some kind of insane practical joke You have no reason to believe me, but maybe you will if I tell you what happened Will you listen? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(set: $trust = $trust + 1)(goto: "11")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "10B")]>> INITIALIZING ... ... Damn it It looks like your system doesn't recognize the data I'm sending. Thanks for trying anyway. There must be other ways for me to try to communicate to control Look, I have no idea who you are or where you came from As far as I know, you could be some alien and everything I'm saying is complete gibberish to you Or maybe you think this is some kind of insane practical joke You have no reason to believe me, but maybe you will if I tell you what happened Will you listen? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(set: $trust = $trust + 1)(goto: "11")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "10B")](if: $Y)[You have?? Could this really be possible? The fact I could reach you and that we're communicating like this It will change everything we know about quantum physics, relativity, ... everything!! If this is possible maybe it's possible for me to come back home So if you've heard of Vanguard, then you definitely already know about NASC. Is Aidan Li still the head of operations? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "10A")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "10A")]](else:)[You haven't... Look, I have no idea who you are or where you came from As far as I know, you could be some alien and everything I'm saying is complete gibberish to you Or maybe you think this is some kind of insane practical joke You have no reason to believe me, but maybe you will if I tell you what happened Will you listen? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "11")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "10B")]](if: $Y)[Is he? That's very unusual seeing that Mr. Li resigned from his position around 15 years ago.](else:)[That's right, Mr. Li resigned from his position around 15 years ago. I was trying to see how honest you were being with me] I'm sorry to trick you like that but I still don't know if I should trust you. Look. I don't know who you are or where you come from Hell, as far as I know you could be some alien and everything I'm saying to you is gibberish You have no reason to believe me but maybe you will, if I tell you what happened Will you listen? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "11")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "10B")] All right. Let me start from the beginning. My name is Corin Avner. I am a North American astronaut on Mission 547, the first manned interstellar project in human history. I was aboard the NASC Vanguard along with my copilot, Luay Miklev. He Luay died, when Sorry. I'm getting ahead of myself. [[>>|12]]I I understand Maybe I'd be thinking the same thing as you, in your place I won't trouble you further Just Remember me, ok? >> INITIALIZATION TERMINATED Please... Please, I'm begging you. I don't know if I'll be able to reach anyone else I'll ask one more time Will you at least listen? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "11")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "END_1")]Mission 547 launched on January 7th, 2115. Luay and I were going to be the first humans to travel to the heliosphere, closely matching the trajectory of the world's first interstellar spacecraft - Voyagers 1 and 2. Between our bouts of cryosleep, we'd send regular reports on what we saw firsthand as we traversed the solar system. I never really understood just how small and insignificant humans really are until we saw the rings of Saturn, the eye of Jupiter and its moons, everything so vast and silent I've forgotten myself, haven't I? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "13")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(set: $trust = $trust + 1)(goto: "13")] (if: $N)[We knew we might never return to Earth. We were chosen because we had few social ties and were already loners by nature. The mission needed the kind of people who were willing to accept the possibility of death in isolation, light years away from home. I used to think I didn't like people, and that I could stand to live without them. But you don't really know what it's like to be alone, until ](else:)[Sorry. ]I'll move on. Luay and I had started noticing minor gravitational anomalies as we got closer to the heliosphere, and he started saying that it might be a black hole. I immediately dismissed the idea. If something like that was close enough to our solar system that we could feel its effects, we would have long detected it by now. That was my reasoning. While black holes are invisible, we should have at least seen its light distortion even from Earth. So I convinced him that he was wrong, and that we should forge ahead. [[>>|14]]By then we'd started gradually shutting down non-essential systems to preserve resources, and we were only sending out reports once every 72 days. Transmission with Houston was still active, but the delay meant it took a month to communicate. Everything seemed to be ok. We didn't realize that little by little, our control systems were starting to malfunction. The changes were so tiny that we didn't notice until it was too late. But Luay was smart. He managed to catch on to what was happening and sent out messages to Houston immediately. Meanwhile we both did everything we could to try to steer the Vanguard off its trajectory. But we were too late We were veering far too close to the entity and then almost suddenly we saw it A black hole the size of a planet And we were slowly getting drawn into its orbit [[>>|15]] Imagine what we saw Something the size of a world, but made of nothing The only reason we could see it was because of the light of stars warping around it. I had never been more terrified in my entire life And I could see the same terror in Luay But he was brave, so much braver than me We did everything we could to try to escape the gravity but nothing on the Vanguard was prepared for that We both knew what would probably happen to us once we reached the black hole. We would be instantly incinerated If not that, then we'd watch ourselves become slowly pulverized from massive tidal forces. Spaghettification, they call it. The entire control system was going haywire. There was no way we'd ever be able to pilot the Vanguard and we were getting drawn closer and closer One moment it was the size of a quarter in the window, and the next moment it was looming as far across the horizon we could see [[>>|16]] I was trying my best to prepare myself to die. I wished then that We decided to evacuate in the emergency shuttle in the hopes that somehow, the smaller mass would help us gain more propulsion to get out of the black hole's pull. We knew it was dumb. But we had no other ideas. By then the ship was beginning to I'm not sure how else to put it, it was warping. The walls were starting to fold in on themselves, and you'd blink and things would look just slightly off. But it was happening faster and faster. We tried to activate the shuttle's thrusters but the coupling mechanism to the ship was starting to warp too. The shuttle wouldn't detach. Before I could do anything Luay got up and went back into the ship, and he locked and sealed the hatch He turned on the intercom and said I don't know if you know what it's like to regret something so much that (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "17")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "17")]sorry I He said, go explore the universe I was screaming at him through the door I could hear his transponder beeping but he wasn't answering The next thing I knew there was a massive explosion. The shuttle started its emergency ejection protocol and before I knew it I was spinning out into space, with debris smashing into the walls and then [[>>|18]]In one millisecond, I saw the Vanguard disintegrate in a huge flash of light and in the next instant suddenly, nothing just complete darkness and absolute silence I swore I was dead and for a horrifying moment I thought, this is what death is like it's an infinite darkness and silence where you're alone For all I know maybe it's true maybe you're a figment of my imagination (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "19Y")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "19N")](if: $trust < 1)[Ha I knew it I goddamn knew it Well, Corin, this is truly the worst kind of hell you could imagine You get to spend eternity alone it's what you always wanted, wasn't it And Luay gets to have died for nothing Tell me, imaginary friend Is there any point to all this? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "19A")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "19A")]](else:)[Very funny. I'd like to see how you do, floating out in the middle of nowhere, and someone comes along and tells you that you're imagining them (display: "19N")] Well, I guess there's no way of proving it anyway. Unless I ask you a question only I'd know the answer to? But even then you have a 50/50 chance of guessing right so anyway. I'll gladly take your word for it. It wasn't completely dark for long, thankfully. I started noticing these long, thin streaks of light spiralling in, as thin as pencil lines All of them were heading in the same direction, and that's when I noticed that I was very slowly moving in that direction too When I try to engage the shuttle's thrusters, something crazy happens I don't move, but the streaks of light shift in color and in size around me and if I keep trying to move toward a certain direction, the lights start to form bigger shapes things that almost look like nebulae [[>>|20]] Some of the colors were so dark they were almost black. Some of them were so bright that I couldn't look at them. So I tried shifting in a way so that the colors weren't too overwhelming, and I started sending out the SOS on my transponder. If only you could see this, whatever this is when you look up it's almost like you can see plains and mountains and valleys made out of color the higher the color, the brighter it gets If I'm not dead, then there's only one explanation for this I must be inside the black hole. But if I'm inside the black hole I couldn't be talking to you right now, because nothing that moves less than the speed of light can escape it. It's impossible. Isn't it? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "21")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "21")] (if: $Y)[Of course it is. Once you cross the event horizon of a black hole, nothing can come out.](else:)[But how could that be??] The only way anything could potentially escape is if there's another black hole connected to it, forming a wormhole If you were to be caught inside, instead of being drawn towards a singularity that would destroy you you'd go through the other side, and god knows what's there another universe, another time everything I'm seeing here, the light, the fact I'm moving through light but not through space it's true it's impossible, but it's the only thing that makes sense I'm past the event horizon do you see? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "22")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "22")](if: $Y)[it makes sense.](else:)[let me explain] in a black hole, time and space are reversed. Back on Earth we moved through space freely, but we are pulled through time against our will here, I can't control where I'm going but then, that must mean these lights, they have to be the light of stars not only that - that means they're from the past and ahead of me, that's light from the future Here I'm being moved through space against my control but I can move freely through time. but that can only mean one thing. I am either reaching you through the future or the past because in my present I didn't survive [[>>|23]](if: $N)[Of course not there never is even if I was back on Earth, there's never a point or a reason we appear one day, we live, and a moment later we die makes you wonder why anyone bothers with anything but somehow it's comforting. Who cares about who's the smartest, the richest, the most good, the most beautiful In the face of the universe, humans are nothing but tiny specks that blink in and out of existence I can't believe I used to care so much about being the first interstellar explorer. Well, there's one thing left for me to do](else:)[What could possibly be more insignificant than one human out of billions who one day had delusions of grandeur and got herself lost in the middle of nowhere in space? But I am the first human in the history of mankind maybe even of the entire universe the first to make it this far and there's last thing that I can do] [[>>|19B]](if: $N)[By now I've started to wind down the oxygen system, and it shouldn't be long until well, the details aren't imporant.](else:)[There's a backup cryo chamber in this shuttle and I've begun its activation procedure I've set it to its maximum of 100 years. Hopefully, that will be long enough for me to either wake up to a strange new world, or to never worry about waking up at all. But if there is something on the other side of this place, maybe I'll see it.] Even if you're not real well, it was nice to talk to someone one last time. (if: $N)[See you on the other side.](else:)[Wish me luck. I'm going exploring.] >> INITIALIZATION TERMINATEDMaybe in your time, the North American Space Council doesn't exist yet maybe I have yet to be born, or maybe you've even heard of me and I've been declared long dead Nothing that enters a black hole can survive but nothing that survives a black hole could send a message. They call this the black hole information paradox. According to the laws of physics I am at this moment both alive and dead the only way I could be communicating with you is oh god I finally see it Luay's transponder. He must have known [[>>|24]]We only activate our transponders in times of emergency in the event we ever became separated. They're quanta-based, and they function through entanglement. Whatever is transmitted through my transponder is transmitted through his and vice versa He knew he was going to die so why else would he activate his transponder? my god. That must mean that somehow his transponder is still on the other side of the event horizon, and it moved into your time, and was emitting my signals and those signals reached you. Whatever the reason, maybe it means something. Maybe it means I could even get out of this black hole, somehow Please, tell me Could that be possible?? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "24Y")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "24N")]It sounds crazy but there's so little we know about this universe, and no one could ever predict what would happen in a black hole. In here, who even knows what's possible or impossible? There's this old children's book I used to love where a little girl dreams that she climbs into a mirror to another world. She says that people can't believe in impossible things, but the Queen tells her that she just needs more practice. Everything that humanity has achieved at one point, we thought was impossible. [[>>|25]]You're right It's insane. I have no idea what I'm thinking There's this old children's book I used to love where a little girl dreams that she falls into a rabbit hole. And the only way she's able to wake up from the dream is when she realizes everything around her is impossible. At least there's one thing I know for sure: I'll never be able to leave this place. [[>>|25]] Whoever you are, I don't know what kind of person you are or where you come from and to me it doesn't matter. (if: $trust > 2)[I don't know what kind of insane luck I had, but I'm so glad that I got to meet you. If you're ever as lost and alone as I was I hope that one day you meet someone who's as kind to you as you were to me.](else:)[I'm just glad that I got to talk to someone one last time. You reminded me that well, maybe people aren't so bad.] If it sounds like I'm saying goodbye, it's because I am. I've decided on what I need to do. (if: $Y)[I don't know where this place will take me But I think there's something on the other side. I think there are still new worlds to be seen. I don't know how long it'll be until I see them, so I'm going to start shutting down more systems - including this transponder. I'll need as much power as I can spare for the journey. But I'm going to record everything I see, and once every so often I'll send out a report - just like old times. Who knows, someone out there might find it.(set: $positive to true)](else:)[There's an emergency cryo chamber in this shuttle, and I've set it for its longest duration: 100 years. Maybe I'll reach the black hole's singularity by then - hopefully, I won't be awake for that. Or maybe maybe I'll come out of the other side, and there will be new worlds to see.(set: $negative to true)] Whatever happens, I'd like to ask you a favor. I understand if you don't - but do you think you could keep a promise? (set: $Y to false)(set: $N to false) (link: "Y")[(set: $Y to true)(goto: "26")] / (link: "N")[(set: $N to true)(goto: "26")](if: $N)[I understand you can't promise something to a stranger, from a different time and a different world, light years away But all I ask is that you think about it.](else:)[There's no reason for you to keep a promise for a stranger from a different time, and a different world, light years away But saying that you will it means everything to me.] All I ask is that you remember me. Everyone who knows me, most likely, believes that I never made it to interstellar space. They'll see the remains of the Vanguard, and maybe they'll even find my body out there. In that time and place, I no longer exist. But to you, and you alone, I am still here, moving onward to a place that mankind has never seen. If you like, share my story. Who knows, maybe one day someone will see it and believe it. If you're in my future, maybe I'll meet them someday and if you're in my past, who knows - that person might be me. Whoever it is, they'll know that there's something beyond the event horizon. Thank you for being here, listening. (if: $positive)[I'm going to go explore the universe.](else:)[Wish me luck.] [[>> INITIALIZATION TERMINATED|END]] "I can't go back to yesterday - because I was a different person then." - Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland Thank you for reading!