Big Angel, with all the works," Dr. Max said to the
waiter. Then he turned to face Monty, Jake, Lenore, and Alec
sitting around a cloud-shaped table at Pizza Heaven.
"Here’s to Alec and Pythagoras and the Chromes,"
he said raising his mug in a toast. They all clinked their
mugs with gusto.
amazing," Jake said turning to Alec, "you actually
got to see and talk to the alien…the Chrome?"
Alec said almost boasting.
you can tell us more…what does it want…where’s it
from?" Jake pressed for details.
now," Monty piped up. "I called this party to
celebrate Alec’s promotion from Special Grip and Roaming
Housekeeper of the Café to Special Café Emissary to Visiting
Aliens. No shop talk allowed."
thought we called this party to celebrate the fact that Alec
squeaked by on his final Ancient Philosophy exam—but, considering the existential
circumstances, and an obvious mastery of applied logic, worth
at least an A+!"
Hear!" Monty cheered and they all clinked their mugs
I thought this party was to celebrate Hawkins Falls’
newest and biggest hero—it’s all over the news how Alec
was involved in making first contact." Lenore flashed a
broad smile and gently laid her hand on Alec's.
didn’t really make first contact. It came to us. I just
happened to be at the right place at the right time when it
what does it want, anyway?" Jake persisted.
the general still wants me to keep things pretty hush-hush.
But, well, we’ve all heard the president’s address
yesterday about first contact with an extraterrestrial
intelligence. And I know a lot of stories have already been
leaked to the media. So, I can tell you, maybe a little
more." The electronic rock harp music throbbed in the
background and they all hunched over for a top-secret huddle.
Orionis, or Betelgeuse, is a red super giant
star marking the shoulder of the winter constellation
Orion the Hunter. Betelgeuse is so enormous that, if
it replaced our Sun at the center of our Solar System,
its outer atmosphere would extend past the orbit of
simple bilateral diagrams that Alec used only
accommodates two variables: X and Y. In fact, Lewis
Carroll discusses trilateral diagrams (able to
represent the three terms in a standard syllogism)
extensively. He even proposes a diagram that can
accommodate propositions with as many as ten variable
terms in 1,024 cells.
already translated most of the messages that were recorded.
Chrome is an emissary from its world, somewhere near
in the Orion constellation.
Their home planet is very dark—like a jungle—and it has
a very thin atmosphere. So, they evolved a way to communicate
with light instead of sound. They have discovered a way to
travel through space-time with some kind of quantum effect that requires a lot of energy.
Jake whispered in awe. "Really, like the Sarnk?"
And when they visit another planet, the emissary can only stay
as long as its food supply lasts. Then it has to leave. They
start with just baby talk—basic mathematical concepts,
juxtaposed statements, and simple syllogisms. So, if they can’t
communicate on the first visit, they figure that the beings they
encounter are not sentient or just dumb.
Jake said again. "You mean, if we, I mean, if you hadn’t
figured out how they communicate, it would have just left and
never come back again?"
"Probably," Alec said simply. "Actually, we
found out that before it landed on the café’s patio, it had
dropped in on a group of birds somewhere in Greenland!"
group burst into riotous laughter.
probably shouldn’t say too much more," Alec admitted
when the laughs subsided.
it still here?" Dr. Max asked. "Can you tell us
It left yesterday…it was too weak to stay any longer. But
before it left, the Chrome said it would be back…soon I
fanfare of electronic trumpets blared. "One Big
Angel," the waiter announced triumphally as he set down
the huge, colorful pizza in their midst.
know," Alec said as they all admired the steaming swirls
of green and red and yellow peppers, "I think this pizza
is saying something like ‘all my good friends in the
universe are treasures beyond measure’."
smiles all around, they all helped themselves to large slices
of the amazing pie.