Flame Front – Priya Venkateswara

I must admit, this story is a failure. It is flawed. The events described in the dialogue really wouldn’t happen this way.

“This is some ‘how do you do’.”

“What are you talking about, Bill?”

“Remember those folks who thought there was life on other planets, Steve?”

“Yeah, so? Nothing ever came of it. Not much funding lost there.”

“Well, seems we should have looked harder. Maybe sent out better recorded messages on our satellites. Maybe our television signals should have been more religious than sacrilegious, or something.”

“Why, what’s wrong?”

“I hypothesize that some scientist’s experiment in a star system 12 light years away went seriously wrong.”

“How’s that?”

“Stars are exploding in a particular pattern that indicates the space-time origin of the initial event.”

“Initial event?”

“Yeah, whatever they did, I’m guessing, caused an incursion into our universe of another vacuum, Steve.”

“A baby universe?”

“If you want to call it that, but it isn’t cute. It’s in our universe, our galaxy no less. And I think its growth is accelerating.”

“This is wonderful. Think of the grants we could get to study it. This is the best thing that could have happened to us.”

“I’m dumbfounded. You and I are as good as dead, not to mention the entire world, and you think this is a funding opportunity.”

“Well, we don’t have to mention that in the grant application. We bury it in a footnote to the first year progress report… By the way, how long do we have?”

“I don’t know exactly…”

“See, that should be the first line of inquiry. I’ll get started with an outline and we can discuss it in the morning. We should hit DoE, NSF and some of the private foundations.”

“Why don’t you do just that…”