There was nothing to say. The five suited board members asked Doctor Andrew for his presentation, his ideas on how to produce revenue from his filament storage container within five years. But Andrew spent the last several weeks trying to find the source of the signal, the man inside the vessel. They were extremely disappointed.
“I’m sorry but we’ll have to let you go.” He wasn’t expecting that. Sure, the loss of his project but not his livelihood. “Dr. English will escort you out.”
English was standing at the back of the room. He had been there the whole time, confidently behind the board, protected by a wall of bureaucracy. Andrew wondered if the English had only humoured him, had only pretended to be interested as Andrew rambled on about little men in jars. And then English used this information against him and convinced the board that he was a crackpot. That’s why they were letting him go.
“This is the wrong time for this,” said Andrew. “You can escort me out next week. You don’t even have to pay me in the mean time but you have to let back into that lab.”
They said no.
“I just need one more message. We have to tell them. There is someone who lives in there. Maybe there are millions of people and they have the right to know. Wouldn’t you want to know if you – ” He trailed off.
The sun was setting and the room was filled with an orange glow. Andrew raised his hand to let it wash in the light. He looked at it and then out the window. The board members glanced at each other, confused. Andrew mumbled, “One more message.”
“Absolutely not, Doctor Andrew. We’re not wasting any more time on this. Doctor English, if you please.” English walked to the front and placed his hand on Andrew’s elbow. Andrew clenched a fist and threw a wild haymaker. English went down, falling into the wall before hitting the floor. Andrew put him in a choke hold while dragging him to his feet and toward the door.
“One more message!” Andrew said to the board members and he pulled English out of the room. Andrew struggled with the man down several flights of stairs. Back in his own lab, he locked the door and let go of English who had his dukes at the ready. He roared, “What do you think you’re doing!”
“We have to send one more,” said Andrew.
“I’m not going to help you do anything.”
“You want to know as much as I do. I know you do.
“I don’t care about the man in the cylinder!”
“It’s us, English! It’s us!”
“It’s a matter of scale! Universes within universes! To us we are a galaxy but to him we are an atom!”
“Him!” Andrew pointed to the sky. “Up there, there is a scientist working in a lab who just invented a machine that allows matter to form universes. And in that cylinder is a scientist who created a cylinder that allows matter to form universes!” It looked like English was coming around. Andrew continued, “Don’t we have the right to know? Don’t you want to know if you are stuck inside someone else’s jar?”
“You don’t want to send a message into the cylinder. You want to send it into space,” English clarified.
“We’ve been doing that for years while searching for extraterrestrial life”
“Yes, but what if we send a message for the jar man?”
“Like what? What could we send that is purely mathematical and that would be misunderstood by other advanced societies?”
“They don’t have to misunderstand it, they just have to not care. It only matters what He does with it. It has to be a wave so broad that no one else would consider it information. The waves we send into the cylinder are tiny to us but they are giant to the receiver. If we send out a giant wave it might be big enough for the jar man to hear. Can your machine do that?”
There was a bang on the door. The board members were trying to get in. Muffled voices were yelling on the other side of the thick oak door. Then there was a thud, a shoulder shove. They were breaking it down.
“A radio wave can be as long a football field so it has to be bigger than that. Something unusual.”
“Can you do it?”
English booted up his machine. Andrew opened a window and English scoffed, “The glass isn’t going to get in the way.”
“I’m not taking any chances.”
English pointed the transmitter outside and entered the pulses into the machine, the Fibonacci sequence. He pressed enter and the machine whirred. It blasted long pulses into the sky just as the door cracked open.