It’s Life’s Illusions I Recall…

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Mission Log: spacetime unknown

Our Solaration pod, the Sagan Seven, has arrived in The Otherearths Galaxy using the new TAREX technique. We are the first Solaration representatives to go beyond our Milky Way to visit another galaxy. Following the path of our probes, we are using the same technique – the targeted expansion of space – to send communications homeward to the Solar System. We await word from home, thus successfully establishing the first intergalactic communications system…

Everything is new to our crew. We’ve traveled farther than anyone has gone before, many thousands of times farther – without a ship.

Upon arrival in our small capsule, carried on the tip of a piece of space that was inflated exponentially with the application of dark energy, we open our polytopic space station. I carried it here in my pocket, the size of a marble with its mass stored in the 4th dimension. We’re now living and working in it at the size of a three-story building. We’ve come a long way since the times of rockets.

Mission Log: Entry 12, Day 17 of our mission to The Otherearths Galaxy. Still no response from home. I can’t be certain they’re receiving our transmissions. Nevertheless, we’ve unfolded all hypercubes and are setting out in teams to explore parts of Otherearths, as scheduled. Since we’ve come so far I cannot allow a communications glitch to retard our exploration.

Mrs. Ichnida, our communications specialist, will maintain the space station with a staff of automatons. I will go with our navigator, Professor Flamear, to Sector 379 while our primary scientist Mister Cresp visits Sector 1645 with our security guard, Officer Bulbor. Doctor Nopoin and our engineer, Ms. Pretymanare being sent to Sector 992 where the likelihood is greatest to harbor forms of intelligent life.

Mission Log: Entry 33, Day 41 of the Otherearths mission. Professor Flamear and I have encountered an odd phenomenon as we approach our targeted star systems. The closer we get to them, the fainter they become. This has now happened three times. In the last case as we approached the class F star itself our readings dropped to zero and the star seemed to become a cloud of harmless light that our shuttle was easily able to enter and pass through without incident. We picked up no signs of energy, heat, magnetism, fusion reactions – nothing.

Mission Log: Entry 59, Day 71 of our mission to the Otherearths Galaxy. It has been 35 circadian cycles since our space station manned by Mrs. Ichnida has received word from the others. Doctor Nopoin and Ms. Pretyman were the first to vanish after a cryptic report concerning the possible discovery of technical life signatures in Sector 992. The disappearance of Mister Cresp and Officer Bulbor came as they went to investigate the former. Our last communication with them was as they entered Sector 1017 en route. Additionally, there has still been no communication from home. We’re beginning to feel desperately alone out here.

Computer, erase the last sentence.

I have decided that there is no choice but that I personally investigate these disappearances. Using advance probes I’ll move ahead on that after dropping Professor Flamear off at the space station. He and Mrs. Ichnida have been ordered to return to Solar space should they not hear from me for a period of 24 consecutive hours.

Entry 63. We have arrived at the location where sensors validate that we should rendezvous with Mrs. Ichnida and our space station, yet – neither are here. Furthermore, Professor Flamear is hearing things that I cannot. How do I know whether to attribute this to his alien senses, or – to madness?

No word from home. No sign of Mister Cresp or Doctor Nopoin. Without the polytopic TAREX transmitters aboard the space station, there is no way for anyone to return to the Milky Way. Flamear is going insane as a growing cacophony explodes from some unknown source inside his head.

Mission Log: Entry 65. Word at last from Mister Cresp. Transmissions are garbled but some images have broken through…

MISTER CRESP:

“…Photons…polarized alignment…we are…unbelievable as it…our entire notion of the universe is…{{{indistinguishable}}}

“…We are living…{{{indistinguishable}}}

“…Is irrefutable. There can be no doubt…{{{indistinguishable}}}

“…We are living inside a vast simulation.

“We are not real.”

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