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Its all in the timing
by Robert Beers
Working nearly to the point of exhaustion, the team of NASA scientists finished soldering in the last microcircuit and added the last string of zeros and ones to the algorithm, which when activated would decompress the collected history of the human race.
The lead scientist, wiping his forehead with the back of his sleeve said, "At last. Gentlemen, ladies, let's send the signal."
With a cheer, the command was sent and the massive projector, capable of beaming a tight beam, loaded with the algorithm pulsed once and then became quiet as the message was sent at FTL speeds into the heavens.
In a distant solar system, another race was on to complete the building of the first ever data collector the species had constructed. The math was correct, the programs checked and rechecked appeared to function as desired. All it took was the pressing of a single switch and they would begin learning is they had any intelligent neighbors out among the stars.
The lead scientist, a particularly impressive looking specimen, stood on his hind feet and gave his speech. When it was finished and the applause died down, he nodded and the switch was pressed, microseconds after the pulse from earth had impacted the unresponsive collector and dissipated.
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