Spacer Impending Disaster 121
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News of visitors on the way.



    Duststorm is dressed in the same Blue mini she was wearing earlier, but it has been cleaned and pressed. She sips on a glass of red wine. After the pleasantries are out of the way, she calls for the attention of the floor.
    "I have an announcement to make." She begins. "I don't yet know any more information, but I have it on good authority..." She pauses, but it doesn't seem to be for the effect, but more of summoning courage. "Please don't ask how I know, but... Aliens from another planet are coming to Earth."
    She waits for the expected guffaws. She produces a mimeograph copy of a computer printout.
    1101 101 10011 10011 1 111 101
    10010 101 11 101 1001 10110 101 100
    10111 101
    1 10010 101
    11 1111 1101 1001 1110 111
    Handing the copy to Union to pass around. "For those that don't read binary, it says, 'Message received, we are coming.' Some scientists believe that if you send coded radio waves to the right stars, you will get a reply. Last night, they did." _I hope they don't ask for more science, I think I was lucky to remember that._
    "I know you probably think I have seen too many Sci-fi movies, but I assure you, this is from a reliable source. I don't know any more information than that, but I thought Aliens coming was something the Avengers should be aware of."
    Union glances over the sheet, making a quick translation of the binary to confirm Janet's statement before passing the paper over to Ravda on his immediate left. _I've heard about people trying to do that, but with the speed of light there aren't any stars close enough...Unless someone's developed a way to send a faster than light message. Someone was talking about that right after the war. Some particle that could go theoretically faster than light. Damn it, Victor would know what it was!_ Adrian grimaces ruefully under his helmet, _But then I'd be annoyed at him for expounding on it...But Janet's dad no doubt knows that it is..._
    Ravdna's eyes glaze at the numerals, unsure of how they could possibly carry the meaning Duststorm attached to them. "Like unto our own Runes." She thinks. "Methinks with all the wonderment our eyes have envisaged this should be just as likely." She smiles at Janet hoping the thought will bolster her confidence in light of any possible skepticism.
    Union nods his head at Ravdna statement. "Since a bunch of us have been to Asgard we shouldn't discount anything as impossible. I've heard of people talking about what Duststorm's discussing, and I believe here's a theoretical way of making it work, so unless someone's playing an elaborate practical joke," Union glances at Janet and sees the small shake of her head, "we have to take this at face value. Duststorm, can you get us the transmission times of the initial message and the response, and the distance of the star it's aimed at? Delta V and I can probably rough out some numbers as to when to expect them."
    Ravdna then speaks up "I too, have a warning...t'would seem that kinsmen of mine own have escaped from their mortal captors and have journeyed beneath Manhattan."
    Union shakes his head, "I read about their escaping in the papers. They're hiding in the subway and sewer systems? That's a maze down there! Do you have any idea where to find them? Oh, and while we're listing threats, I doubt this is connected with the Vikings, but someone sent an attack robot after Malachi and I in Harlem last night. It was pretty much designed for information gathering—which means either Zola and company are working very fast from prison or someone else has their eye on us."
    "Mine mortal host and a companion trailed the curs only so far. Mayhaps mine connection to Hugin and Munin willst allow us to pursue the minions of the mischief God further still." She says touching the raven feathers draped about the sides of her helmet. "It seems that we are besieged on all sides by would you have us proceed, courageous Union?"
    _Aliens. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph._ This beats worrying about that damn tape by a long way.
    "If I may make a suggestion," Aegis says, "the aliens—assuming they're genuine—are top priority. Has the government been informed? Depending on how close they are to reaching us, the rest of us might go hunting sewer-side for Vikings if Ravdna can't find them, or around the city for any signs of the robot's creator while you brains figure out what should do about our visitors. Of course, if they're going to be here tomorrow, there might not be much we can do...."
    Union glances over at Aegis, _NOW you want to start being friendly with the government? Why not yesterday?_

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