[The Message]

The message was received Friday morning, 6:31 AM Mountain Standard Time. It was largely mathematical, and in spite of the reports that you might have seen to the contrary, appears to be completely benign in nature. Let me say that again: the message is completely benign. The President has been in touch with heads of state from around the world, and every possible security measure is being taken.

[The Encoded Message]

I'm going to recommend to the President that we militarize this project immediately.

Attendance at religious services has risen a dramatic 39% in recent days.

...Some three German armed divisions clashed with neo-nazi protesters.

So, it turns out there's life on other planets. Boy, this is really gonna change the Miss Universe contest, don't you think?
--Jay Leno

Health officials from around the world are concerned that the message from Vega might trigger a rash of mass suicides not unlike the recent cult deaths near San Diego.

[The Fanatic]

I've had my eye on you a long time, doctor. I consider you one of my most valuable long-time investments. And when it comes to my investments, I always do my homework. Eleanor Ann Arroway. Born 25 August, 1964, DePere, Wisconsin. Mother, Joanna, died from complications during childbirth. Early testing indicated high predisposition toward science and mathematics. Father, Theodore, advised to provide enrichment activities along these lines, did so conscientiously until his death from myocardial infarction November 10, 1974. You graduated from High School in 1979, almost two full years early. Awarded full scholarship at MIT, graduated Magna Cum Laude. Doctoral work, Caltech, where you did breakthrough work on the [?] ruby maser, dramatically increasing the sensitivity of radiotelescopes. Subsequently, offered a teaching position at Harvard University, which you turned down to pursue SETI work at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Changes in NSF policy gave rise to certain funding problems, at which point you came to my attention.


Once upon a time, I was a hell of an engineer.

I find it convenient to keep my interests... mobile.

Hadden: The powers that be have been very busy lately, falling over each other to position themselves for the game of the millennium. Maybe I can help deal you back in.
Ellie: I didn't realize that I was out.
Hadden: Oh... maybe not out, but certainly being handed your hat.

[The Primer]

Hadden: I've had a long time to make enemies, doctor. So many governments, business interests, even religious leaders that would like to see me depart this Earth. I'll grant them their wish soon enough. But before I do, I wish to make a small contribution. A final gesture of good will to the people of this little planet who have given... from whom I have taken so much.
Ellie: You found the primer.
Hadden: Clever girl. Lights. Pages and pages of data. Over 63,000 in all. And on the perimeter of each...
Ellie: Alignment symbols, registration marks, but they don't line up.
Hadden: They do, if you think like a Vegan. An alien intelligence's got to be more advanced. That means efficiency functioning on multiple levels and... in multiple dimensions.

[Fear, Again]

Ellie: It is our belief that the message contains instructions for building something, some kind of machine.
Constantine: A machine? That does what, doctor?
Ellie: Well, we don't know. It might be some type of advanced communication device, or it could be a teaching machine of some kind, or... it might turn out to be some kind of a transport.
Kitz: A transport?
Drumlin: There's no proof of that.
Kitz: The fact is, you don't know what it does. It could be anything. It could be a Trojan Horse. We build it, and out pours the entire Vegan army.
Military Nut: Why bother even risking the personnel? It could be a weapon.
Another Military Nut: Right. Some kind of a doomsday machine.
Kitz: Exactly. Everytime they detect a new civilization, they fax down these construction documents from outer space, we poor saps build whatever this thing is, and blow ourselves to kingdom come.

There's no reason to believe that their intentions are hostile.

[Prove it]

Ellie | The Signal | The Message | The Machine | The Journey | The Truth
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