Eight brief scenes from the end of the world ★
Early in the morning, a deliriously excited group of research scientists from the SETI Institute gathered to listen to and analyze - incredible - an alien radio wave signal that they had been recieving every ten minutes since three AM. Over sixty years had lapsed since the original radio signals had been beamed into space by hopeful, forward-thinking men, and now they were finally getting a reply. It was a top secret meeting. The group played the transmission several times at the begining of the meeting, first in awe, then with rising disquiet. It was an indescribable, harsh, nasty ten-second blast of noise, and it induced a strange, splintering headache in all of them.
All the others that had been present for the playback were starting to feel very odd by then, themselves...
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