Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chapter 2

here you go, in all its unedited glory.  I couldn't think of a cool thing to end on.

Chapter 2

Interview with Mike Blum, Professor of Neurobiology

"So, Professor, did the were the aliens really telepathic?"

"I... don't care for the term, 'telepathic.'  It's been popularized in comic books and science fiction as an evolved method of communication, but The Gods achieved this strictly through advanced technology."

"Is that like a universal translator?  Like Star Trek?"

"No.  The Gods said they will learn our languages as they travel to the next sentient planet, but they didn't use translation software.  In our own history, when two or more groups interact, the language of the dominant group is learned.  When Rome ruled Europe, everyone spoke Latin.  Native Americans now mostly speak English.  And so on."

"Has anyone learned to speak the language of the visitors?"

"I'm not sure.  That's not really my area."

"So if they didn't speak our language, we didn't speak theirs, and they didn't communicate with some evolved telepathy, what's left?"

"Technology we can comprehend but are not advanced enough to replicate.  You see, when I speak, your ears hear it.  Your brain attaches meaning to words and phrases and tone of voice.  The Gods sent minute electrical pulses directly to our brains, bypassing the ears and the brain's interpretation of words.  Communication in the most direct form, freed from language entirely."

"Electricity to the brain?  Is that dangerous?"

"It could be, but The Gods seem to have mastered the use of it.  No people or animals are known to have died as a result of speaking to the followers or The Gods.  I've personally studied dozens of brains and could not find a hint of damage.  Our bodies send out electrical signals to do just about everything, and The Gods found the perfect amount of volts and amps to interact with us."

"Okay then, how did they understand us?"

"Sensitive sensors did the same thing in reverse.  They could scan our brain and interpret the electrical signals it made as we formed sentences.  They did the same with elephants, dolphins, primates, crows- anything they deemed intelligent enough.  Again, communication without language to get in the way.  It's really quite remarkable."

"Everyone remembers when one of The Followers was invited to a talk show and said, 'The Gods can see through your eyes and ours.'  Do you remember that?"

"Yes, I do."

"What did that mean?  Did they mean it literally, and is that even possible?  A lot of people felt a little uncomfortable, like they lost their privacy."

"Yes, I think it was said literally.  If they can understand what electrical impulses in our brain mean as far as communication, then it's quite possible they can interpret the electrical signals in our optic system.  It's still a matter of debate, but that's what I think they meant."

"Does the thought make you uncomfortable?"

"I find the idea more fascinating than uncomfortable.  They might have looked through the eyes of every living creature on Earth without any of them feeling a thing.  I think it's a bit intimate, in a way.  How can you know someone better than to literally see through their eyes, or hear through their ears?  Could they feel our pain, or share in our joy?"

"That's all good theory, but what about it?  The visitors left lots of gifts behind, do you think we'll learn to use them soon?"

"I don't think those of us on Earth are going to be able to reverse-engineer anything in our lifetime.  There are a lot of brilliant people working on it- I've even taken a crack at those scanners they used- but it's way beyond us."

"What about The Ten Thousand?"

"Who knows?  They left with the mothership.  They might have already been taught all sorts of amazing things.  You'd have to talk to The Watcher to know anything like that."

"Do you think The Watcher is alive?  As a neurobiologist, do you have any theories on how it thinks?"

"I've never talked to The Watcher.  It doesn't sound alive from what I've read, but no one's sure if its partially or entirely robotic, or some sort of lifeform we simply don't have locally.  I have no ideas on how it thinks.  This stuff The Gods left behind is going to take a long time to figure out.  We're going to have many generations of people asking the same questions that you are today."

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